I have an activity in Android that contains a list. I want the user to be able to refresh the list, so they can see the latest information.

Using a Twitter-like approach of slide-up to refresh doesn't quite work, because it's not about getting the latest new stuff. The data that will be refreshed is contained in each item (imagine stock prices).

So what's the best way to allow the user to refresh the list?

1 Answer 1


Most common pattern I've seen so far (used, for example, by Facebook, Foursquare, Gmail, LinkedIn (updates section) and so on) is putting the Refresh button in the application options menu (under the MENU button). Here's the example of the options menu refresh in the Facebook application.

Refresh option in the bottom menu

Other popular option is putting it in the top-right corner as a button with an icon. This is done by Miso, for example:

Refresh as an option in the top menu

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    These examples follow exactly what yydl described as the Twitter-like paradigm, I mean temporally added information. So they could use a swipe down gesture to be refreshed. Anyway, in the case of a static list with contained information to be refreshed, such means (menu option, top button) could be used. It depends a lot on what is in the menu already and the look of the UI. Jun 16, 2011 at 7:13
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    Swipe down to refresh is a more iPhone gesture though, Android applications use Menu -> Refresh more. Jun 16, 2011 at 7:24
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    Maybe, I just think swipe is a bit more natural on a tactile device than two tap on buttons. Now, I understand Android has to be different in some ways, but when something like this works well, why not using it? Jun 16, 2011 at 12:27

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