Navigating Pages with Ease

Navigating Pages with Ease (Tap Left/Right) : A Custom ViewPager in Android


Android provides a range of components that allow developers to create engaging and intuitive user interfaces. One such component is the ViewPager, a layout manager that allows users to flip through pages of data, akin to sliding through pages of a book. But what if we could make this navigation even more intuitive? What if a simple tap could transport you through pages? In this blog post, we'll explore how to create a custom ViewPager that responds to single-tap events for page navigation.


The traditional ViewPager in Android responds to swipe gestures for moving between pages. However, there might be cases where you want a simpler interaction, such as a single tap. Our aim here is to create a custom ViewPager that responds to single-tap events. Tapping on the left half of the screen will take the user to the previous page, while tapping on the right half navigates to the next page.

How to Achieve That

To achieve this, we will extend the default ViewPager class and customize it to handle our desired tap events. This involves using Android's GestureDetector, which will enable us to listen for single-tap events and respond accordingly.

Code Sample

Here's a sample code of a custom ViewPager in Java:

import android.content.Context;
import android.util.AttributeSet;
import android.view.GestureDetector;
import android.view.MotionEvent;
import androidx.viewpager.widget.ViewPager;
import java.util.Objects;

public class CustomViewPager extends ViewPager {
    private GestureDetector gestureDetector;

    public CustomViewPager(Context context) {

    public CustomViewPager(Context context, AttributeSet attrs) {
        super(context, attrs);

    private void init(Context context) {
        gestureDetector = new GestureDetector(context, new GestureDetector.SimpleOnGestureListener() {
            public boolean onSingleTapConfirmed(MotionEvent e) {
                float halfWidth = getWidth() / 2.0f;
                if (e.getX() < halfWidth) {
                    if (getCurrentItem() > 0) {
                        setCurrentItem(getCurrentItem() - 1, true);
                } else {
                    if (getCurrentItem() < Objects.requireNonNull(getAdapter()).getCount() - 1) {
                        setCurrentItem(getCurrentItem() + 1, true);
                return super.onSingleTapConfirmed(e);

    public boolean onTouchEvent(MotionEvent ev) {
        return super.onTouchEvent(ev);

    public boolean performClick() {
        return super.performClick();

Code Breakdown

The CustomViewPager class extends the default ViewPager and modifies its behavior through overriding certain methods and adding a GestureDetector. The GestureDetector is set up to detect single-tap events, and based on the location of the tap (left or right half of the screen), the ViewPager navigates to the previous or next page respectively. This is done in the init() method which is called from both constructors.

The onTouchEvent() is overridden to ensure that each touch event is also sent to the GestureDetector for processing, and a click action is performed for possible use by other components or accessibility services.

How to Use the Custom ViewPager

The custom ViewPager can be used in your application just like any other view component. Here's a guide on how to do it:


First, you need to create an instance of the CustomViewPager in your activity and set an adapter to it:

CustomViewPager customViewPager = new CustomViewPager(this);
PagerAdapter adapter = new CustomPagerAdapter(); // This should be your custom PagerAdapter


You can also get the current item, and set the current item programmatically:

int currentItem = customViewPager.getCurrentItem();
customViewPager.setCurrentItem(currentItem + 1, true)


Alternatively, you can declare the CustomViewPager in your layout XML file and reference it in your activity:

    android:layout_height="match_parent" />

Then, in your activity:

CustomViewPager customViewPager = (CustomViewPager) findViewById(;
PagerAdapter adapter = new CustomPagerAdapter(); // This should be your custom PagerAdapter

Remember, in order for the ViewPager to display anything, you will need to set a PagerAdapter to it that supplies the views representing each page.

Also, please replace com.example.yourapp with your actual package name in XML usage.

Use Cases

The custom ViewPager is perfect for applications where users prefer minimal hand movement or find swiping through pages inconvenient. It can also be beneficial for applications targeting users with accessibility needs, as the single-tap navigation may be easier for them to use. For example, in a digital book reading app, this would allow users to navigate between pages with a single tap, mimicking the act of flipping a book's page on either side.


Enhancing the user experience is a crucial aspect of Android development. By customizing a ViewPager to respond to single-tap events, we can make navigation through an app's pages easier and more intuitive. While this post focused on single-tap events, Android's GestureDetector offers a wide range of gesture detection capabilities that developers can leverage to build engaging and user-friendly interfaces.

Documentation References

    1. ViewPager | Android Developers

    1. GestureDetector | Android Developers

    1. MotionEvent | Android Developers

    1. Building a Custom Component | Android Developers

Remember, the code is just a tool to serve your user's needs. By understanding your users and tailoring the code to their preferences, you can build an application that truly stands out. Happy coding!

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