Hello, I should begin by saying that I'm brand new to android development, although I have a good understanding of the fundamentals of java. That being said, I usually learn best by doing, so I'm writing an app for a campus magazine I work for and trying to learn through the process of making it.
At the top of the screen is a bar with two spinners labeled "issues" and "sections," which allow the user to filter the articles shown to only those in the respective issue / section. The rest of the screen is taken up by what I will describe as a vertically-oriented gallery, which shows the headline for each story underneath an image associated with it. The user can then "flip" through the stories in the magazine by scrolling through the "gallery." Selecting one of the stories will open the full story up in ViewPager.
1) Initially, I planned to place the "issues" and "sections" spinners in the ActionBar. However, as I understand it, ActionBars are not displayed to users using Android 2.x. Given that these elements are critical to navigating the app, and that a majority of android users are still using 2.x, this seems unacceptable. As a result, I'm using an ActionBar-less theme and essentially drawing my own action bar via a linear layout on top of my main activity. Am I correct in my understanding that ActionBars do not display on Android 2.x devices? If so, am I correct in including my "tool bar" as a part of the main activity, or is there a better way to implement it? (Perhaps as a fragment? I don't really understand how those fit in yet...).
2) I am aware that the gallery widget is deprecated, so obviously I'm not going to use it. What alternative widgets would best achieve the same visual goal of having the user "flip" through the stories in the magazine by scrolling through the widget? Is there a way to animate a ListView to achieve this goal?
3) I'm trying to do just that, but am stumbling even at getting the ListView to work with a custom adapter. I want to make sure that whoever helps me gets enough points to warrant their time, so I've posted this issue to a separate question here
Again, any help - particularly which helps me to understand the wider issues involved here - will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.