Drag selection of RecyclerView items

Google Photos is fascinating application, I admire every bit of it. Selection of photos is done right and seamless. Unlike old pal ListView, RecyclerView does not have any method or feature for selection (single or multiple), this post will give you insights how to respond on events for multiple item selection using ItemTouchListener and GestureDetector.

Selection in short

Material design guidelines suggest that selection of list items should be done by initial long press and dragging over items once the first item is selected with long press .


In this post I will omit the UI aspect after selection, but only discuss the handling the motion event and dispatching for further consuming of the refined events.

For selection session to start we have to wait for long press event to occur on the ViewHolder using GestureDetector in onLongPress() method. We keep reference of it for later, to use it as first condition to start selection on ACTION_MOVE. Once we have the long pressed ViewHolder, we have to look for ViewHolder that is under MotionEvent.getX() and MotionEvent.getY() and start selecting each ViewHolder that lies under these points.

If the RecyclerView layout manager is GridLayoutManager and we have selection in different span index than the long pressed or previously selected ViewHolder, an attempt is made to select all items within the span indexes. (second demo video)

On ACTION_UP we are nulling each of long pressed ViewHolder and other temporary references.



Any feedback is welcomed!

Knitting code. One line at a time. @ WS Audiology