[DEPRECATED] - Extension of Android's ImageView that supports animated GIFs and includes a better density management.
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This library has been deprecated. Please consider using square/picasso instead.

Extension of Android's ImageView that supports animated GIFs and includes a better density management.


Francesco Pontillo and Sebastiano Poggi


The ImageViewEx is an extension of the standard Android ImageView that fills in one of the biggest gaps in the standard ImageView: displaying animated GIFs.

The Android Framework Drawable class, in fact, only supports static GIFs. This View is able to receive a raw image in byte[] form, bypassing the standard Drawables handling and thus providing broader support.

The ImageViewEx also allows you to specify what has to be considered the default image density when loading images from raw data. Android defaults to considering mdpi as the baseline, but using setInDensity you can choose to change it to whatever value you like (we suggest to stick to standard abstracted density buckets like hdpi thou).

The following is a brief documentation of the classes, methods and views included in this library.


  1. Import and usage
  2. ImageViewEx
  1. ImageViewNext
  1. Known issues and workarounds
  2. Some boring stuff
  3. Version history
  4. License
## Import and usage

This library requires Android API level 8 (Android 2.2) as minimum, and targets the Android API level 17.

You need to include in your destination project:

The Eclipse project included specifies this is a library project, although it provides two basic Activities for testing the extended ImageViews provided.

For your application, you need to include the permissions specified in the AndroidManifest of the library, which are:

  • android.permission.INTERNET for getting images on the internet
  • android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE to monitor the network state
  • android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE for making the cache access and write the SD card

The ImageViewExService service is also internally used by ImageViewNext for handling asynchronous operation. You need to declare this service in your AndroidManifest.xml:

	<service android:name="net.frakbot.imageviewex.service.ImageViewExService"/>
## ImageViewEx

ImageViewEx is an extended ImageView that supports some additional methods for your every-day life.

### Animated GIF

The best thing about ImageViewEx is its automatic handling of animated GIF images starting from a simple byte[].

Simply call img.setSource(mGIF) and see your GIF animating. Note that there may be some issues under some conditions (see Known issues and workarounds).

What if you don't know if an image is a GIF or a regular one? No problem, simply call setSource and ImageViewEx will do the rest, displaying your image as a regular one or an animated GIF when necessary.

Accessory methods are:

  • void setFramesDuration(int duration) to set the duration, in milliseconds, of each frame during the GIF animation (it is the refresh period)
  • void setFPS(float fps) to set the number of frames per second during the GIF animation
  • boolean isPlaying() to know if your GIF is playing
  • boolean canPlay() to know if your source set by setSource was an animated GIF after all
  • int getFramesDuration() to get the frame duration, in milliseconds
  • float getFPS() to get the number of frames per second during the GIF animation
  • void play() to start the GIF, if it hasn't started yet.
  • void pause() to pause the GIF, if it has started
  • void stop() to stop playing the GIF, if it has started
### Conditional animation

As mentioned earlier, you may not want to animate some GIF under some conditions.

So we've provided you with a conditional method that gets triggered just before each animation begins, boolean canAnimate(). This method should be overridden by your custom implementation. By default, it always returns true. This method decides whether animations can be started for this instance of ImageViewEx.

If you don't want to have another class extending ImageViewEx and your canAnimate() returns the same value throughout your application, you can use the following


to specify you never want to animate GIFs. If you don't set any value to setCanAlwaysAnimate, it defaults to true. The result you get by setting the value to false is that it will stop all animations, no matter what canAnimate() returns.

You can check the current behavior by calling the static boolean getCanAlwaysAnimate() method.

### Density Level

You can set a specific density to simulate for every instance of ImageViewEx by using the following methods:

  • static void setClassLevelDensity(int classLevelDensity) to set a specific density for every image
  • static void removeClassLevelDensity() to remove the class-level customization
  • static boolean isClassLevelDensitySet(), checks if a class-level density has been set
  • static int getClassLevelDensity(), gets the set class-level density, or null if none has been set

You can even set a density for just one of your ImageViewExs:

  • void setDensity(int fixedDensity), to set the density for a particular instance of ImageViewEx
  • int getDensity(), gets the set density for a particular instance of ImageViewEx (an instance-level density has higher priority over a class-level density)
  • void dontOverrideDensity(), restores the regular density of the ImageViewEx
### Fill direction The `ImageViewEx` has one unique feature: it allows you to decide which direction to fit the image on, and then resize the other dimension (this function implies `adjustViewBounds`) to show the scaled image. For example, you can use this to show a banner which fills the whole horizontal available space (the `ImageViewEx` has `android:layout_width="match_parent"` and `android:layout_height="wrap_content"`, plus `android:adjustViewBounds="true"`). Setting `fillDirection="horizontal"` will prioritize filling the available horizontal space while keeping the image aspect ratio and expanding the `ImageViewEx` to fit the height. ### Regular behavior

ImageViewEx is, after all, a regular ImageView, so you can go ahead and use its regular methods:

  • void setImageResource(int resId)
  • void setImageDrawable(Drawable drawable)
  • void setImageBitmap(Bitmap bm)
  • and so on.
### Example of use
	// Disables animation, behaving like a regular ImageView,
	// except you can still set byte[] as the source
	// Sets a default density for all of the images in each ImageViewEx.
	// Sets a density for the img1 only.
	// Changing the density after an object has been set will
	// do nothing, you will have to re-set the object.
	img1.setSource(Converters.assetToByteArray(getAssets(), "image.png"));
    img2.setSource(Converters.assetToByteArray(getAssets(), "animated_image.gif"));
## ImageViewNext

ImageViewExService is used by ImageViewNext, an extension of ImageViewEx that handles downloading, displaying and caching of images (and animated GIFs, of course).

ImageViewNext extends ImageViewEx, thus supporting all of its methods, plus some more.

### Remote loading and caching of images

ImageViewNext uses ImageViewExService and some DataDroid Operations to retrieve images from a two-level cache and the internet and set them into your ImageViewNext.

ImageViewNext takes care of instantiating the cache to some default values, which can be overridden/read by using the following static methods (pretty self-explanatory, read the JavaDoc for more information about them):

  • getMemCache()
  • getDiskCache()
  • getMemCacheSize()
  • setMemCacheSize(int memCacheSize)
  • getAppVersion()
  • setAppVersion(int appVersion)
  • getDiskCacheSize()
  • setDiskCacheSize(int diskCacheSize)
### Loading and Error Drawables

ImageViewNext supports loading and error Drawables:

  • static void setClassLoadingDrawable(int classLoadingDrawableResId) sets a Drawable for every instance of ImageViewNext from the resources to be displayed (and animated, if it's an AnimatedDrawable) as soon as the caching tells us there's no in-memory reference for the asked resource. If you have enabled a disk cache, this Drawable will be set before fetching the disk memory.
  • void setLoadingDrawable(Drawable loadingDrawable) sets a Drawable for the current instance of ImageViewNext from the resources to be displayed (and animated, if it's an AnimatedDrawable) as soon as the caching tells us there's no in-memory reference for the asked resource. If you have enabled a disk cache, this Drawable will be set before fetching the disk memory.
  • static void setClassErrorDrawable(int classErrorDrawableResId) sets a Drawable for every instance of ImageViewNext from the resources to be displayed (and animated, if it's an AnimatedDrawable) as soon as the RemoteLoader returns an error, not being able to retrieve the image.
  • void setErrorDrawable(Drawable errorDrawable) sets a Drawable for the current instance of of ImageViewNext from the resources to be displayed (and animated, if it's an AnimatedDrawable) as soon as the RemoteLoader returns an error, not being able to retrieve the image.
  • Drawable getLoadingDrawable() returns the Drawable to be displayed while waiting for long-running operations.
  • Drawable getErrorDrawable() returns the Drawable to be displayed in case of an error.
### Getting images from the Internet

In order to get images from the Internet, simply call setUrl(String url) to start retrieving an image from the internet or the caches.

ImageViewNext can be overridden in order to do some custom operations in the following methods:

  • void onMemCacheHit(byte[] image) is called as soon as there's a memory cache hit for the requested URL
  • void onMemCacheMiss() is called as soon as there's a memory cache miss for the requested URL
  • void onDiskCacheHit(byte[] image) is called as soon as there's a disk cache hit for the requested URL
  • void onDiskCacheMiss() is called as soon as there's a disk cache miss for the requested URL
  • void onNetworkHit(byte[] image) is called as soon as there's a network hit for the requested URL
  • void onNetworkMiss() is called as soon as there's a network miss for the requested URL
  • void onMiss() is called when an error occurs or the resource can't be found anywhere
  • void onSuccess(byte[] image) is automatically called after the image has been retrieved

You should not worry about setting images, as this is handled by ImageViewNext itself , which by defaults sets the loading image when there's a memory miss (on onMemCacheMiss()), an error one in case of error (onMiss()) and the retrieved image in case of success (onSuccess(byte[] image)).

If you override ImageViewNext, always call the default implementation of these methods.

### Handling network failures

By default, starting from version 2.2.0, each ImageViewNext will listen to network availability changes and automatically retry and get the image from the Internet, if and only if the same instance failed to do so in the previous attempt.

If you want to override the default behavior you can use:

  • setClassAutoRetryFromNetwork(boolean classAutoRetryFromNetwork) to set a class-level behavior
  • setAutoRetryFromNetwork(boolean autoRetryFromNetwork) to set an instance-specific behavior

To know what the current settings are in regards to auto retry, use:

  • isClassAutoRetryFromNetwork() to get the class-level setting
  • isAutoRetryFromNetwork() to retrieve the instance-specific setting

Remember: the instance-specific setting has an higher priority than the class-level setting.

### Maximum number of threads

You can set the maximum number of concurrent threads; threads are used to retrieve an image, given its URL, from the memory cache, the disk cache or the network.

Use ImageViewNext.setMaximumNumberOfThreads(THREAD_NUMBER) BEFORE any ImageViewNext object is instantiated (ideally, in your Application class), as calling this function again after an ImageViewNext has been instantiated will have no effect.

You can retrieve the maximum number of concurrent threads with ImageViewNext.getMaximumNumberOfThreads().

### Example of use
	// Sets class-level loading/error Drawables
## Known issues and workarounds

ImageViewExinternally uses an old Android Framework class, Movie, to parse animated GIFs. This ensures fast execution, since the Movie class internally relies on native code. Due to Movie being a legacy class, though, there are a few quirks.

Firstly, you can't have Movie working on an hardware-accelerated canvas in Honeycomb and newer versions of Android. The ImageViewEx thus automatically disables hardware acceleration by itself when it has to display a GIF image. One side effect is that hardware acceleration is "lost" forever on the View once turned off, so if you reuse the ImageViewEx and at some point you assign a GIF image to it, from that point onwards it won't be hardware accelerated anymore. That's a limitation Android itself imposes, so there's not much we can do about that. On the bright side, this only affects cases where hardware acceleration is available; even when software rendering is active, there's not a big performance hit thou.

The second issue is that Movie has serious issues on some emulator instances and some retail devices. This is most likely due to some broken code down at native (maybe in Skia) or video driver level. So not much we can do on this one either. On the bright side, we've provided a workaround, that is setting setCanAlwaysAnimate(false) on phones known to cause issues. You will lose animation support, but you don't need to get crazy trying to handle several layouts, some using ImageViews and some using ImageViewExes.

## Some boring stuff If you like this project and want to make a contribution, feel free to make a pull request, submit a bug report or ask for anything. Any contribution is appreciated!

If you use this library, letting us know would make us proud. We do not ask for anything else.

## Version history


  • Updated DiskLruCache to 2.0.0.


  • Enabled setting of maximum number of concurrent threads.
  • Minor fixes and improvements.


  • Speed improvements.
  • Moved assets to the test project.


  • Caching/async system completely rewritten.
  • Several performance optimization.
  • Few bugs fixed.


  • Few bugs fixed.


  • First release.
## License
Released under the [MIT license](http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php).

Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Francesco Pontillo and Sebastiano Poggi

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal
in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights
to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Software.