Exploring Shared Transitions in Jetpack Compose: Elevating UI Experiences

Jay Patel
2 min readMay 4, 2024

In the world of modern app development, user experience reigns supreme. Users expect seamless transitions, fluid animations, and engaging interactions. Fortunately, Jetpack Compose, the declarative UI toolkit for Android, empowers developers to craft delightful user experiences with ease. One such feature that enhances UI fluidity is Shared Transitions.

Shared Transitions allow elements to smoothly transition between different composables while maintaining their visual continuity. This feature is particularly useful when transitioning between screens or elements that share a common visual identity, such as images or avatars. Let’s dive into how Shared Transitions work and explore an example to understand their implementation.

Understanding Shared Transitions

In Jetpack Compose, Shared Transitions are facilitated through the `Transition` API. This API enables us to define animations that run when transitioning between composables. Shared Transitions specifically handle the transition of shared elements across composables.

The key components of Shared Transitions include:

1. Shared elements: These are UI elements that exist in both the starting and ending composables. Examples include images, avatars, or any identifiable visual component.

2. TransitionSpec: This defines how the transition should occur, including animations, interpolators, and duration.

3. Enter and Exit Transition States: These states represent the beginning and end of the transition, respectively.

Example: Implementing Shared Transitions

Let’s illustrate Shared Transitions with a simple example of transitioning between two screens: a list of items and a detailed view of a selected item.

@Composable
fun MainScreen(navController: NavController) {
val items = listOf("Item 1", "Item 2", "Item 3")

LazyColumn {
items(items) { item ->
ListItem(
text = { Text(item) },
modifier = Modifier.clickable {
navController.navigate("detail/$item")
}
)
}
}
}

@Composable
fun DetailScreen(item: String) {
val transition = rememberSharedTransition("itemTransition")
val color = Color(0xFFDDDDDD)

Box(
modifier = Modifier.fillMaxSize(),
contentAlignment = Alignment.Center
) {
val itemColor by transition.animateColor(label = item) { color }

Box(
modifier = Modifier
.size(200.dp)
.background(color = itemColor)
.clickable { /* Handle click */ }
.sharedElement(item)
) {
Text(text = item, color = Color.Black)
}
}
}

In this example, the `MainScreen` displays a list of items. When an item is clicked, the app navigates to the `DetailScreen`, showing a detailed view of the selected item. We use `rememberSharedTransition` to define a transition with a unique label for each item.

Conclusion

Shared Transitions in Jetpack Compose elevate app experiences by providing seamless transitions between composables. Whether transitioning between screens or elements within a screen, Shared Transitions enhance visual continuity and engage users with fluid animations. By understanding the key components and implementing Shared Transitions in your apps, you can create captivating user experiences that set your app apart from the rest. Happy coding!

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