With the Android L release, RecyclerView has replaced ListView as the goto component for creating a view for providing window to a large data set. It promises lots of performance improvements over the standard list view.

To use the RecyclerView widget, you have to specify an adapter and a layout manager. To create an adapter, extend the RecyclerView.Adapter class. The details of the implementation depend on the specifics of your dataset and the type of views. For more information, see the guide.

An important point that the guide leaves out is about handling clicks on the recycler view items. There is no such thing as OnItemClickListener for RecyclerViews. Given that RecyclerView takes ListView a step further and doesn’t have a concept of a row/column, but rather an arbitrarily laid out amount of children, they have delegated the onClick to each one of them, or to programmer implementation.

Here’s how we can add a item click listener by implementing the RecyclerView.OnItemTouchListener to respond to only single tap events. This is just a beginning and can ofcourse be extended to provide more complex gestures like long click etc.

import android.content.Context;
import android.support.v7.widget.RecyclerView;
import android.view.GestureDetector;
import android.view.MotionEvent;
import android.view.View;

public class RecyclerItemClickListener implements RecyclerView.OnItemTouchListener {
    private OnItemClickListener mListener;

    public interface OnItemClickListener {
        public void onItemClick(View view, int position);

    GestureDetector mGestureDetector;

    public RecyclerItemClickListener(Context context, OnItemClickListener listener) {
        mListener = listener;
        mGestureDetector = new GestureDetector(context, new GestureDetector.SimpleOnGestureListener() {
            public boolean onSingleTapUp(MotionEvent e) {
                return true;

    public boolean onInterceptTouchEvent(RecyclerView view, MotionEvent e) {
        View childView = view.findChildViewUnder(e.getX(), e.getY());
        if (childView != null && mListener != null && mGestureDetector.onTouchEvent(e)) {
            mListener.onItemClick(childView, view.getChildAdapterPosition(childView));
        return false;

    public void onTouchEvent(RecyclerView view, MotionEvent motionEvent) {

Using it in code is very simple. Just add an item touch listener of this class to the RecyclerView:

    new RecyclerItemClickListener(context, new RecyclerItemClickListener.OnItemClickListener() {
      @Override public void onItemClick(View view, int position) {
        // TODO Handle item click