Android Navigation Architecture Components For Beginners | Example

Android Navigation Architecture Components For Beginners | Example

In the previous tutorial, we have learned about installing Android SDK and developing your first Android i.e. Calculator.

In this tutorial, we are going to learn Android navigation architecture components in detail. At the end of this tutorial, you will able to create an Android App with navigation. When you click on the button in the Android app, it will open a new window just as below.

Android Navigation Architecture Example

Android Navigation Introduction

What is Android navigation component?

Android Navigation Architecture is one of the finest components of Andriod JetPack.

Navigation component is a collection of libraries, a plugin and tooling that facilitates android navigation.

What is the use of Android navigation component?

Navigation allows users to navigate between different parts of content within an app. Navigation component helps you implement Options menus, Button navigation, Navigation view and Navigation drawer. It also works with Action bar, Toolbar, Collapsing toolbar etc.

You might be wondering does this navigation component of Android have any leads or not. Of course it does!

Benefits of Navigation Components

Navigation components provide a number of benefits, namely:

  1. Simplifies setup for common navigation patterns
  2. Properly handles up and back actions by default
  3. Easy fragment transactions
  4. Handles transaction animations
  5. Simplified deep linking
  6. Type safe information passing through navigation

Key Parts of Navigation Components

Now let us learn about the major key parts of Navigation Component in Android. The Navigation Component consists of three key parts, specifically.

  1. Navigation Graph
  2. NavHostFragment
  3. NavController

Let us dive into the basics of the above listed key parts of Android Navigation Architecture Components.

  • Navigation Graph:
    Navigation Graph is an XML file that describes the app’s navigation flow. It contains activities and fragments, and how they relate to each other in one centralized location. In Navigation Graph each of the screens(activities or fragments) is called destinations and the arrows that show navigation flow are called actions.
  • NavHost:
    NavHost provides a container where navigation can occur. This will be added by you to your layout. NavHost will be responsible for moving destinations in and out as the user navigates them. The Navigation component has a default  NavHost implementation called  NavHostFragment which displays fragment destinations.
  • NavController:
    NavController is an object which is responsible to manage app navigation within a NavHost. i.e. It keeps track of current position within the navigation graph. It also organizes the swapping of destinations in the NavHost as users move through the app.

Let’s go through an example to implement navigation for easy understanding.

Note: For this make sure you are using Android Studio 3.3 or higher and Emulator or device running API 14+.  Android Studio 3.3 or higher is required for the Android Studio navigation tooling.

Let’s start with it.

Android Navigation Architecture Components Example

First of all, you have to make a new project to try these concepts. To create a new project for practicing Navigation architecture in Android, select Empty Activity and click Next.

create new project in Android

After clicking the “Next” button, configure the project by giving it a name, entering package details, and by specifying the location to save the example project in your respective systems. Click on “Finish” to complete the process.

configure Android project

After creating a new project in Android Studio, do the following to include a navigation graph in your Android Project:

  • Step 1: Add respective navigation dependency in the build.gradle file of the Android Project.
Android add navigation architecture dependency
  • Step 2: Right click on res folder.
  • Step 3: Create a new Android Resource File.
Create new Android Resource File
  • Step 4: Give File name as ‘navigation_graph’.
  • Step 5: Change the resource type to ‘Navigation’.       
  • Step 6: Click OK.
save navigation graph Android

As the navigation graph resource file is created, the XML file for it looks as below:

<?xml version= 1.0  encoding= utf-8 ?>
  <navigation xmlns:android= 
    android:id= @+id/navigation_graph >

So far, we have learned to create an Android Project for navigation example, then we had seen the steps to add and create a navigation graph resource file in the “res” directory of the Android Project.

Now, proceeding further lets us complete our examples by adding NavHost to it.

Go to your activity_main.xml. Switch the layout mode to design mode. A container list of Palette will be displayed on the left side. Search for NavHostFragment and drop it onto the container area of the layout and change id to nav_host_fragment.

NavHostFragment in container area of Android layout

In-text mode of “activity_main.xml” layout file, your NavHostFragment will be looking like:

    android:id= @+id/nav_host_fragment 
    android:name= androidx.navigation.fragment.NavHostFragment 
    android:layout_width= match_parent 
    android:layout_height= match_parent 
    app:defaultNavHost= true 
    app:navGraph= @navigation/navigation_graph />

In navigation_graph, you will see that the NavHostFragment instance has been detected as the host in the top-left corner. Now to start with the navigation of components you can add fragments to the navigation graph. For this click on the new destination button which looks like a blank page with + icon on it.

add fragments to navigation graph

Then click on Create new destination, enter your fragment name as FirstFragment in the upcoming window which asks for your fragment name. Here FirstFragment will act as start destination which will be displayed when the user launches your app.

Similarly, create another fragment and name it as SecondFragment in the same way. Suppose you have already created these fragments. Then you can add these fragments to the navigation graph by simply clicking the fragment name which will be displayed after clicking the new destination button.

Now we are going to implement navigation flow from FirstFragment to SecondFragment. Take your mouse pointer over the right-hand side vertical center of the firstFragment, a circle will appear. Click within the circle and drag the line to SecondFragment. Now you can see an arrow pointing towards SecondFragment which is called action.

fragment action

After this your navigation_graph will be looking like:

<?xml version= 1.0 encoding= utf-8 ?>
<navigation xmlns:android= 
  android:id= @+id/navigation_graph 
  app:startDestination= @id/firstFragment>

  android:id= @+id/firstFragment
  android:name= com.example.navigationdemo.FirstFragment
  android:label= fragment_first 
  tools:layout= @layout/fragment_first  >
    app:destination=”@id/secondFragment” />

  android:id= @+id/secondFragment 
  android:name= com.example.navigationdemo.SecondFragment 
  android:label= fragment_second 
  tools:layout= @layout/fragment_second  />


Add a button with id ‘next_button’ in your fragment_first.xml file. Add below code in your file:

public View  onCreateView(LayoutInflater inflater, ViewGroup
  View rootView = inflater.inflate(R.layout.fragment_first, container, false);
  Button nextButton = rootView.findViewById(;
  nextButton.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener ( ) {
    public void onClick(View view) {
          .navigate( action_firstFragment_secondFragment);
  return rootView;

Check this line of code.

Navigation.findNavController(view).navigate( action_firstFragment_secondFragment); 

The above line of code is responsible for navigating from FirstFragment to SecondFragment. Now you can launch your app. As your application is launched, a button with text CLICK HERE! will appear and as we click on the button we will navigate to the next screen which says- “Welcome to”.

And that’s how Android navigation architecture components work. If you have any question, feel free to ask me in the comment.

Happy Learning!

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for this guide. I’m a beginner and learning Android development. I want to create my own app.

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