How to lazy load images in ListView in Android

Asked 13 years ago
Viewed 563.99 k times

I am using a ListView to display some images and captions associated with those images. I am getting the images from the Internet. Is there a way to lazy load images so while the text displays, the UI is not blocked and images are displayed as they are downloaded?

The total number of images is not fixed.

asked 13 years ago

Correct Answer

Here's what I created to hold the images that my app is currently displaying. Please note that the "Log" object in use here is my custom wrapper around the final Log class inside Android.


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public class DrawableManager {
    private final Map<String, Drawable> drawableMap;

    public DrawableManager() {
        drawableMap = new HashMap<String, Drawable>();

    public Drawable fetchDrawable(String urlString) {
        if (drawableMap.containsKey(urlString)) {
            return drawableMap.get(urlString);

        Log.d(this.getClass().getSimpleName(), "image url:" + urlString);
        try {
            InputStream is = fetch(urlString);
            Drawable drawable = Drawable.createFromStream(is, "src");

            if (drawable != null) {
                drawableMap.put(urlString, drawable);
                Log.d(this.getClass().getSimpleName(), "got a thumbnail drawable: " + drawable.getBounds() + ", "
                        + drawable.getIntrinsicHeight() + "," + drawable.getIntrinsicWidth() + ", "
                        + drawable.getMinimumHeight() + "," + drawable.getMinimumWidth());
            } else {
              Log.w(this.getClass().getSimpleName(), "could not get thumbnail");

            return drawable;
        } catch (MalformedURLException e) {
            Log.e(this.getClass().getSimpleName(), "fetchDrawable failed", e);
            return null;
        } catch (IOException e) {
            Log.e(this.getClass().getSimpleName(), "fetchDrawable failed", e);
            return null;

    public void fetchDrawableOnThread(final String urlString, final ImageView imageView) {
        if (drawableMap.containsKey(urlString)) {

        final Handler handler = new Handler(Looper.getMainLooper()) {
            public void handleMessage(Message message) {
                imageView.setImageDrawable((Drawable) message.obj);

        Thread thread = new Thread() {
            public void run() {
                //TODO : set imageView to a "pending" image
                Drawable drawable = fetchDrawable(urlString);
                Message message = handler.obtainMessage(1, drawable);

    private InputStream fetch(String urlString) throws MalformedURLException, IOException {
        DefaultHttpClient httpClient = new DefaultHttpClient();
        HttpGet request = new HttpGet(urlString);
        HttpResponse response = httpClient.execute(request);
        return response.getEntity().getContent();
answered 3 years ago

Other Answer

I made a simple demo of a lazy list (located at GitHub) with images.

Basic Usage

ImageLoader imageLoader=new ImageLoader(context); ...
imageLoader.DisplayImage(url, imageView); 

Don't forget to add the following permissions to your AndroidManifest.xml:

 <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET"/>
 <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE"/> Please

create only one instance of ImageLoader and reuse it all around your application. This way image caching will be much more efficient.

It may be helpful to somebody. It downloads images in the background thread. Images are being cached on an SD card and in memory. The cache implementation is very simple and is just enough for the demo. I decode images with inSampleSize to reduce memory consumption. I also try to handle recycled views correctly.

Alt text

answered 13 years ago