Android Resources Import array of objects defined in resources

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There are cases, where custom objects need to be created and defined in the resources of the application. Such objects can be composed of Java simple types, for example Integer, Float, String.

Here is the example of how to import an object defined in application resources. The object Category constains 3 properties of category:

  • ID
  • Color
  • Name

This POJO has it's equivalent in categories.xml file, where each of array has the same properties defined for each category.

  1. Create a model for you object:
public class Category {
    private Type id;
    private @ColorRes int color;
    private @StringRes String name;

    public Category getId() {
        return id;

    public void setId(Category id) { = id;

    public String getName() {
        return name;

    public void setName(String name) { = name;

    public int getColor() {
        return color;

    public void setColor(int color) {
        this.color = color;

    public enum Type{
  1. Create the file in res/values folder:


  1. Compose each model consisting of resources:
<array name="no_action">
<array name="to_accept">
<array name="opened">
<array name="to_verify">
<array name="to_close">
  1. Define an array in resources file:

    <array name="categories">
  2. Create a function to import them:

    public List<Category> getCategories(@NonNull Context context) {
    final int DEFAULT_VALUE = 0;
    final int ID_INDEX = 0;
    final int COLOR_INDEX = 1;
    final int LABEL_INDEX = 2;
    if (context == null) {
        return Collections.emptyList();
    // Get the array of objects from the `tasks_categories` array
    TypedArray statuses = context.getResources().obtainTypedArray(R.array.categories);
    if (statuses == null) {
        return Collections.emptyList();
    List<Category> categoryList = new ArrayList<>();
    for (int i = 0; i < statuses.length(); i++) {
        int statusId = statuses.getResourceId(i, DEFAULT_VALUE);
        // Get the properties of one object
        TypedArray rawStatus = context.getResources().obtainTypedArray(statusId);
        Category category = new Category();
        int id = rawStatus.getInteger(ID_INDEX, DEFAULT_VALUE);
        Category.Type categoryId;
        //The ID's should maintain the order with `Category.Type`
        switch (id) { 
            case 0:
                categoryId = Category.Type.REGISTRATION;
            case 1:
                categoryId = Category.Type.TO_ACCEPT;
            case 2:
                categoryId = Category.Type.TO_COMPLETE;
            case 3:
                categoryId = Category.Type.TO_VERIFY;
            case 4:
                categoryId  = Category.Type.CLOSED;
                categoryId = Category.Type.REGISTRATION;
        category.setColor(rawStatus.getResourceId(COLOR_INDEX, DEFAULT_VALUE));
        int labelId = rawStatus.getResourceId(LABEL_INDEX, DEFAULT_VALUE);
        category.setName(getString(context.getResources(), labelId));
    return taskCategoryList;

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