[TUT] ImageView with Loading Spinner

Hi guys, read a post where someone wanted to load a url image in an ImageView and show a loading spinner whilst this was happening. So I thought it would be a fun exercise for me to do.

I originally posted this here: AndDev but have now migrated to my own blog.

Ok so i’ve implemented a View that shows a loading spinner whilst it is retrieving an image from the web.
This is useful when people have slow http connections and you at least want to show them that your loading something!

To start with you will need:

     <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />

in your manifest.

Ok this is the ImageView Object, it is mostly self explanatory, just add it to your project package:

import java.io.IOException;
import java.net.MalformedURLException;
import android.content.Context;
import android.graphics.drawable.Drawable;
import android.os.Handler;
import android.os.Message;
import android.os.Handler.Callback;
import android.util.AttributeSet;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.ImageView;
import android.widget.LinearLayout;
import android.widget.ProgressBar;
 * Free for anyone to use, just say thanks and share
 * @author Blundell
public class LoaderImageView extends LinearLayout{
        private static final int COMPLETE = 0;
        private static final int FAILED = 1;
        private Context mContext;
        private Drawable mDrawable;
        private ProgressBar mSpinner;
        private ImageView mImage;
         * This is used when creating the view in XML
         * To have an image load in XML use the tag 'image="http://developer.android.com/images/dialog_buttons.png"'
         * Replacing the url with your desired image
         * Once you have instantiated the XML view you can call
         * setImageDrawable(url) to change the image
         * @param context
         * @param attrSet
        public LoaderImageView(final Context context, final AttributeSet attrSet) {
                super(context, attrSet);
                final String url = attrSet.getAttributeValue(null, "image");
                if(url != null){
                        instantiate(context, url);
                } else {
                        instantiate(context, null);
         * This is used when creating the view programatically
         * Once you have instantiated the view you can call
         * setImageDrawable(url) to change the image
         * @param context the Activity context
         * @param imageUrl the Image URL you wish to load
        public LoaderImageView(final Context context, final String imageUrl) {
                instantiate(context, imageUrl);        
         *  First time loading of the LoaderImageView
         *  Sets up the LayoutParams of the view, you can change these to
         *  get the required effects you want
        private void instantiate(final Context context, final String imageUrl) {
                mContext = context;
                mImage = new ImageView(mContext);
                mImage.setLayoutParams(new LayoutParams(LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT, LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT));
                mSpinner = new ProgressBar(mContext);
                mSpinner.setLayoutParams(new LayoutParams(LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT, LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT));
                if(imageUrl != null){
         * Set's the view's drawable, this uses the internet to retrieve the image
         * don't forget to add the correct permissions to your manifest
         * @param imageUrl the url of the image you wish to load
        public void setImageDrawable(final String imageUrl) {
                mDrawable = null;
                new Thread(){
                        public void run() {
                                try {
                                        mDrawable = getDrawableFromUrl(imageUrl);
                                } catch (MalformedURLException e) {
                                } catch (IOException e) {
         * Callback that is received once the image has been downloaded
        private final Handler imageLoadedHandler = new Handler(new Callback() {
                public boolean handleMessage(Message msg) {
                        switch (msg.what) {
                        case COMPLETE:
                        case FAILED:
                                // Could change image here to a 'failed' image
                                // otherwise will just keep on spinning
                        return true;
         * Pass in an image url to get a drawable object
         * @return a drawable object
         * @throws IOException
         * @throws MalformedURLException
        private static Drawable getDrawableFromUrl(final String url) throws IOException, MalformedURLException {
                return Drawable.createFromStream(((java.io.InputStream)new java.net.URL(url).getContent()), "name");

An example of instantiation within XML would look like this, changing my package name to wherever you have put the LoaderImageView class file:


And an example of programmatic instantiation looks like this:

final LoaderImageView image = new LoaderImageView(this, "http://developer.android.com/images/dialog_buttons.png");
        image.setLayoutParams(new LayoutParams(LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT, LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT));

I’ve also attached the example project, which has both types of ImageView class’s so refer to that if you need a bit more background.

Remember to say thanks :-) and any questions just ask!

—-> Download Image Loader Src Here <----

41 thoughts on “[TUT] ImageView with Loading Spinner

  1. This very nice thanks a lot, but I have a question.

    How can I implement this to a sliding Menu app. If you can help me it will be very helpful and nice.

    thanks a lot

  2. Hi,

    I have a requirement to load the image from an https site and this works only for http sites. any idea what needs to be changed/updated in the code? or could you please update and send me the code.

      1. Yes I have Internet permission in manifest file.In logcat there is no errors. I have to load the image via code not in xml. I have set width and height in XML for that ImageView. Shoud I set layout Layout params in code too?

  3. Hey there, a lot of thanks to you! Your class is just awesome!

    But I’ve got 1 problem:
    My Layout is defined in XML, and I want the downloaded Image matching the width of the screen.

    In my Relative Layout (with fill_parent attribute) I define it like this:

    In the Activity I call it this way:
    image = (LoaderImageView) findViewById(R.id.loaderImageView);
    (And update it: image.setImageDrawable(getAnImageUrl());)

    Now the images are resized to a smaller size and are displayed aligning the left side of the screen.

    Would you please tell me the way out of this, so that the Image (-width) fills the screen? :)

    Thank you a lot in advance!
    Greetings from Germany,

      1. Thx for your fast reply.
        Didn’t used scaleType but by adding it it doesn’t change anything.


      2. I found something:
        When I change minSdk from 4 to 3 the Image fills the screen, BUT it looks like the whole layout gets scaled (Action Bar is a lot to big, buttons seem to jump out of the screen, Option-items are to big for the screen and only readable halfly, …)

        Do you have any idea what the problem is?


    1. Hi Max,

      I had the same problem. I ended up changing the ImageView parameters in code in the LoaderImageView class.
      Here is the compete function I changed.

      private void instantiate(final Context context, final String imageUrl) {
      mContext = context;

      mImage = new ImageView(mContext);
      mImage.setLayoutParams(new LayoutParams(LayoutParams.MATCH_PARENT, LayoutParams.MATCH_PARENT));

      mSpinner = new ProgressBar(mContext);
      mSpinner.setLayoutParams(new LayoutParams(LayoutParams.MATCH_PARENT, LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT));



      if(imageUrl != null){

    1. So if you have a phone plugged in, ADT isn’t recognising it, either use an Emulator (AndroidAVD) or google and download the drivers for that device

  4. i have used ur tutorial ,end almost everything’s look fine,but image does not display,i know that ur code is perfect but something is wrong either with my eclipse or my AVD ,i have given the user permission for internet in manifest file,and set the proxy address in my avd so browser is run on emulator ,but noe i have stuck ,any webservices does not run because this issue,
    can u help?

    1. IF you are behind a proxy sometimes you’ll have to add that proxy to the HttpClient you are using for web requests. Why don’t you try your code on a real device over 3G that will avoid the issue.

  5. Hi, I am trying to experiment with your code, but I am getting errors just trying to run it. one of the errors is
    “button cannot be resolved or is not a field”. I find this error in the ImageExampleXML.java file. Another error in the same place is the main cannot be resolved or is not a field? what does this mean? Thank you for your time

    1. Hi this means your R.java file hasn’t been generated. Ensure you have ‘build automatically’ turned on and there are no error’s in your project especially in the XML.

  6. I’v used your code and it’s awsome!!
    One question:
    How can I set the size of the image to FILL_PARENT?


  7. Looks great! How can I use this to *update* an ImageView after a thread pulling data from a database has been completed (in the onPostExecute() method)?

    kind regards,

    1. Hmm you could pass the ImageView to the ASyncTask but be careful because you would be passing a context to your whole Activity. I would just create an interface that the ASyncTask could call when it is finished and let your Activity worry about updating the ImageView, that way ut keeps a nice degree of separation

  8. Just want to say thanks for the code, its really helped me develop my first application. Thanks to you my first app should be in the market place soon enough.

    I’ve one question, How does the Android OS know that Tutmenu.java is the first file that should be run, i can’t see anything in the code that mentions it. I’m guessing its specified somewhere else the code?


    1. Glad you made use of it.

      Sorry I can’t see a Tutmenu.java, the first ‘file’ that is run is declared in your AndroidManifest.xml

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