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Communicating with fragments

To reuse fragments, build each as a completely self-contained component that defines its own layout and behavior. Once you have defined these reusable fragments, you can associate them with an activity and connect them with the application logic to realize the overall composite UI.

To properly react to user events, or to share state information, you often need to have channels of communication between an activity and its fragments or between two or more fragments. To keep fragments self-contained, you should not have fragments communicate directly with other fragments or with its host activity.

The Fragment library provides two options for communication: a shared ViewModel and the Fragment Result API. The recommended option depends on the use case. To share persistent data with any custom APIs, you should use a ViewModel. For a one-time result with data that can be placed in a Bundle, you should use the Fragment Result API.

The following sections show you how to use ViewModel and the Fragment Result API to communicate between your fragments and activities.

Share data using a ViewModel

ViewModel is an ideal choice when you need to share data between multiple fragments or between fragments and their host activity. ViewModel objects store and manage UI data. For more information on ViewModel, see ViewModel overview.

Share data with the host activity

In some cases, you might need to share data between fragments and their host activity. For example, you may want to toggle a global UI component based on an interaction within a fragment.

Consider the following ItemViewModel:

Kotlin

class ItemViewModel : ViewModel() {
    private val mutableSelectedItem = MutableLiveData<Item>()
    val selectedItem: LiveData<Item> get() = mutableSelectedItem

    fun selectItem(item: Item) {
        mutableSelectedItem.value = item
    }
}

Java

public class ItemViewModel extends ViewModel {
    private final MutableLiveData<Item> selectedItem = new MutableLiveData<Item>();
    public void selectItem(Item item) {
        selectedItem.setValue(item);
    }
    public LiveData<Item> getSelectedItem() {
        return selectedItem;
    }
}

In this example, the data being stored is wrapped in a MutableLiveData class. LiveData is a lifecycle-aware observable data holder class. MutableLiveData allows its value to be changed. For more information on LiveData, see LiveData overview.

Both your fragment and its host activity can retrieve a shared instance of a ViewModel with activity scope by passing the activity into the ViewModelProvider constructor. The ViewModelProvider handles instantiating the ViewModel or retrieving it if it already exists. Both components can observe and modify this data:

Kotlin

class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity() {
    // Using the viewModels() Kotlin property delegate from the activity-ktx
    // artifact to retrieve the ViewModel in the activity scope
    private val viewModel: ItemViewModel by viewModels()
    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
        viewModel.selectedItem.observe(this, Observer { item ->
            // Perform an action with the latest item data
        })
    }
}

class ListFragment : Fragment() {
    // Using the activityViewModels() Kotlin property delegate from the
    // fragment-ktx artifact to retrieve the ViewModel in the activity scope
    private val viewModel: ItemViewModel by activityViewModels()

    // Called when the item is clicked
    fun onItemClicked(item: Item) {
        // Set a new item
        viewModel.selectItem(item)
    }
}

Java

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {
    private ItemViewModel viewModel;

    @Override
    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        viewModel = new ViewModelProvider(this).get(ItemViewModel.class);
        viewModel.getSelectedItem().observe(this, item -> {
            // Perform an action with the latest item data
        });
    }
}

public class ListFragment extends Fragment {
    private ItemViewModel viewModel;

    @Override
    public void onViewCreated(@NonNull View view, Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onViewCreated(view, savedInstanceState);
        viewModel = new ViewModelProvider(requireActivity()).get(ItemViewModel.class);

        ...

        items.setOnClickListener(item -> {
            // Set a new item
            viewModel.select(item);
        });
    }
}

Share data between fragments

Two or more fragments in the same activity often need to communicate with each other. For example, imagine one fragment that displays a list and another that allows the user to apply various filters to the list. This case might not be trivial to implement without the fragments communicating directly, which would mean they are no longer self-contained. Additionally, both fragments must handle the scenario where the other fragment is not yet created or visible.

These fragments can share a ViewModel using their activity scope to handle this communication. By sharing the ViewModel in this way, the fragments do not need to know about each other, and the activity does not need to do anything to facilitate the communication.

The following example shows how two fragments can use a shared ViewModel to communicate:

Kotlin

class ListViewModel : ViewModel() {
    val filters = MutableLiveData<Set<Filter>>()

    private val originalList: LiveData<List<Item>>() = ...
    val filteredList: LiveData<List<Item>> = ...

    fun addFilter(filter: Filter) { ... }

    fun removeFilter(filter: Filter) { ... }
}

class ListFragment : Fragment() {
    // Using the activityViewModels() Kotlin property delegate from the
    // fragment-ktx artifact to retrieve the ViewModel in the activity scope
    private val viewModel: ListViewModel by activityViewModels()
    override fun onViewCreated(view: View, savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        viewModel.filteredList.observe(viewLifecycleOwner, Observer { list ->
            // Update the list UI
        }
    }
}

class FilterFragment : Fragment() {
    private val viewModel: ListViewModel by activityViewModels()
    override fun onViewCreated(view: View, savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        viewModel.filters.observe(viewLifecycleOwner, Observer { set ->
            // Update the selected filters UI
        }
    }

    fun onFilterSelected(filter: Filter) = viewModel.addFilter(filter)

    fun onFilterDeselected(filter: Filter) = viewModel.removeFilter(filter)
}

Java

public class ListViewModel extends ViewModel {
    private final MutableLiveData<Set<Filter>> filters = new MutableLiveData<>();

    private final LiveData<List<Item>> originalList = ...;
    private final LiveData<List<Item>> filteredList = ...;

    public LiveData<List<Item>> getFilteredList() {
        return filteredList;
    }

    public LiveData<Set<Filter>> getFilters() {
        return filters;
    }

    public void addFilter(Filter filter) { ... }

    public void removeFilter(Filter filter) { ... }
}

public class ListFragment extends Fragment {
    private ListViewModel viewModel;

    @Override
    public void onViewCreated(@NonNull View view, Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onViewCreated(view, savedInstanceState);
        viewModel = new ViewModelProvider(requireActivity()).get(ListViewModel.class);
        viewModel.getFilteredList().observe(getViewLifecycleOwner(), list -> {
            // Update the list UI
        });
    }
}

public class FilterFragment extends Fragment {
    private ListViewModel viewModel;

    @Override
    public void onViewCreated(@NonNull View view, Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        viewModel = new ViewModelProvider(requireActivity()).get(ListViewModel.class);
        viewModel.getFilters().observe(getViewLifecycleOwner(), set -> {
            // Update the selected filters UI
        });
    }

    public void onFilterSelected(Filter filter) {
        viewModel.addFilter(filter);
    }

    public void onFilterDeselected(Filter filter) {
        viewModel.removeFilter(filter);
    }
}

Notice that both fragments use their host activity as the scope for the ViewModelProvider. Because the fragments use the same scope, they receive the same instance of the ViewModel, which enables them to communicate back and forth.

Share data between a parent and child fragment

When working with child fragments, your parent fragment and its child fragments might need to share data with each other. To share data between these fragments, use the parent fragment as the ViewModel scope.

Kotlin

class ListFragment: Fragment() {
    // Using the viewModels() Kotlin property delegate from the fragment-ktx
    // artifact to retrieve the ViewModel
    private val viewModel: ListViewModel by viewModels()
    override fun onViewCreated(view: View, savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        viewModel.filteredList.observe(viewLifecycleOwner, Observer { list ->
            // Update the list UI
        }
    }
}

class ChildFragment: Fragment() {
    // Using the viewModels() Kotlin property delegate from the fragment-ktx
    // artifact to retrieve the ViewModel using the parent fragment's scope
    private val viewModel: ListViewModel by viewModels({requireParentFragment()})
    ...
}

Java

public class ListFragment extends Fragment {
    private ListViewModel viewModel;

    @Override
    public void onViewCreated(@NonNull View view, Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        viewModel = new ViewModelProvider(this).get(ListViewModel.class);
        viewModel.getFilteredList().observe(getViewLifecycleOwner(), list -> {
            // Update the list UI
        }
    }
}

public class ChildFragment extends Fragment {
    private ListViewModel viewModel;
    @Override
    public void onViewCreated(@NonNull View view, Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        viewModel = new ViewModelProvider(requireParentFragment()).get(ListViewModel.class);
        ...
    }
}

Scoping a ViewModel to the Navigation Graph

If you're using the Navigation library, you can also scope a ViewModel to the lifecycle of a destination's NavBackStackEntry. For example, the ViewModel could be scoped to the NavBackStackEntry for the ListFragment:

Kotlin

class ListFragment: Fragment() {
    // Using the navGraphViewModels() Kotlin property delegate from the fragment-ktx
    // artifact to retrieve the ViewModel using the NavBackStackEntry scope
    // R.id.list_fragment == the destination id of the ListFragment destination
    private val viewModel: ListViewModel by navGraphViewModels(R.id.list_fragment)

    override fun onViewCreated(view: View, savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        viewModel.filteredList.observe(viewLifecycleOwner, Observer { item ->
            // Update the list UI
        }
    }
}

Java

public class ListFragment extends Fragment {
    private ListViewModel viewModel;

    @Override
    public void onViewCreated(@NonNull View view, Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    NavController navController = NavHostFragment.findNavController(this);
        NavBackStackEntry backStackEntry = navController.getBackStackEntry(R.id.list_fragment)

        viewModel = new ViewModelProvider(backStackEntry).get(ListViewModel.class);
        viewModel.getFilteredList().observe(getViewLifecycleOwner(), list -> {
            // Update the list UI
        }
    }
}

For more information about scoping a ViewModel to a NavBackStackEntry, see Interact programmatically with the Navigation component.

Get results using the Fragment Result API

In some cases, you may want to pass a one-time value between two fragments or between a fragment and its host activity. For example, you might have a fragment that reads QR codes, passing the data back to a previous fragment. Starting with Fragment 1.3.0-alpha04, each FragmentManager implements FragmentResultOwner. This means that a FragmentManager can act as a central store for fragment results. This change allows components to communicate with each other by setting fragment results and listening for those results without requiring those components to have direct references to each other.

Pass results between fragments

To pass data back to fragment A from fragment B, first set a result listener on fragment A, the fragment that receives the result. Call setFragmentResultListener() on fragment A's FragmentManager, as shown in the following example:

Kotlin

override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
    // Use the Kotlin extension in the fragment-ktx artifact
    setFragmentResultListener("requestKey") { requestKey, bundle ->
        // We use a String here, but any type that can be put in a Bundle is supported
        val result = bundle.getString("bundleKey")
        // Do something with the result
    }
}

Java

@Override
public void onCreate(@Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    getParentFragmentManager().setFragmentResultListener("requestKey", this, new FragmentResultListener() {
        @Override
        public void onFragmentResult(@NonNull String requestKey, @NonNull Bundle bundle) {
            // We use a String here, but any type that can be put in a Bundle is supported
            String result = bundle.getString("bundleKey");
            // Do something with the result
        }
    });
}
fragment b sends data to fragment a using a FragmentManager
Figure 1. Fragment B sends data to fragment A using a FragmentManager.

In fragment B, the fragment producing the result, you must set the result on the same FragmentManager by using the same requestKey. You can do so by using the setFragmentResult() API:

Kotlin

button.setOnClickListener {
    val result = "result"
    // Use the Kotlin extension in the fragment-ktx artifact
    setFragmentResult("requestKey", bundleOf("bundleKey" to result))
}

Java

button.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
    @Override
    public void onClick(View v) {
        Bundle result = new Bundle();
        result.putString("bundleKey", "result");
        getParentFragmentManager().setFragmentResult("requestKey", result);
    }
});

Fragment A then receives the result and executes the listener callback once the fragment is STARTED.

You can have only a single listener and result for a given key. If you call setFragmentResult() more than once for the same key, and if the listener is not STARTED, the system replaces any pending results with your updated result. If you set a result without a corresponding listener to receive it, the result is stored in the FragmentManager until you set a listener with the same key. Once a listener receives a result and fires the onFragmentResult() callback, the result is cleared. This behavior has two major implications:

  • Fragments on the back stack do not receive results until they have been popped and are STARTED.
  • If a fragment listening for a result is STARTED when the result is set, the listener's callback is then fired immediately.

Test fragment results

Use FragmentScenario to test calls to setFragmentResult() and setFragmentResultListener(). Create a scenario for the fragment under test by using launchFragmentInContainer or launchFragment, and then manually call the method that is not being tested.

To test setFragmentResultListener(), create a scenario with the fragment that makes the call to setFragmentResultListener(). Next, call setFragmentResult() directly, and verify the result:

@Test
fun testFragmentResultListener() {
    val scenario = launchFragmentInContainer<ResultListenerFragment>()
    scenario.onFragment { fragment ->
        val expectedResult = "result"
        fragment.parentFragmentManager.setFragmentResult("requestKey", bundleOf("bundleKey" to expectedResult))
        assertThat(fragment.result).isEqualTo(expectedResult)
    }
}

class ResultListenerFragment : Fragment() {
    var result : String? = null
    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
        // Use the Kotlin extension in the fragment-ktx artifact
        setFragmentResultListener("requestKey") { requestKey, bundle ->
            result = bundle.getString("bundleKey")
        }
    }
}

To test setFragmentResult(), create a scenario with the fragment that makes the call to setFragmentResult(). Next, call setFragmentResultListener() directly, and verify the result:

@Test
fun testFragmentResult() {
    val scenario = launchFragmentInContainer<ResultFragment>()
    lateinit var actualResult: String?
    scenario.onFragment { fragment ->
        fragment.parentFragmentManager
                .setFragmentResultListener("requestKey") { requestKey, bundle ->
            actualResult = bundle.getString("bundleKey")
        }
    }
    onView(withId(R.id.result_button)).perform(click())
    assertThat(actualResult).isEqualTo("result")
}

class ResultFragment : Fragment(R.layout.fragment_result) {
    override fun onViewCreated(view: View, savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        view.findViewById(R.id.result_button).setOnClickListener {
            val result = "result"
            // Use the Kotlin extension in the fragment-ktx artifact
            setFragmentResult("requestKey", bundleOf("bundleKey" to result))
        }
    }
}

Pass results between parent and child fragments

To pass a result from a child fragment to a parent, the parent fragment should use getChildFragmentManager() instead of getParentFragmentManager() when calling setFragmentResultListener().

Kotlin

override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
    // We set the listener on the child fragmentManager
    childFragmentManager.setFragmentResultListener("requestKey") { key, bundle ->
        val result = bundle.getString("bundleKey")
        // Do something with the result
    }
}

Java

@Override
public void onCreate(@Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    // We set the listener on the child fragmentManager
    getChildFragmentManager()
        .setFragmentResultListener("requestKey", this, new FragmentResultListener() {
            @Override
            public void onFragmentResult(@NonNull String requestKey, @NonNull Bundle bundle) {
                String result = bundle.getString("bundleKey");
                // Do something with the result
            }
        });
}
a child fragment can use FragmentManager to send a result
            to its parent
Figure 2 A child fragment can use FragmentManager to send a result to its parent.

The child fragment sets the result on its FragmentManager. The parent then receives the result once the fragment is STARTED:

Kotlin

button.setOnClickListener {
    val result = "result"
    // Use the Kotlin extension in the fragment-ktx artifact
    setFragmentResult("requestKey", bundleOf("bundleKey" to result))
}

Java

button.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
    @Override
    public void onClick(View v) {
        Bundle result = new Bundle();
        result.putString("bundleKey", "result");
        // The child fragment needs to still set the result on its parent fragment manager
        getParentFragmentManager().setFragmentResult("requestKey", result);
    }
});

Receive results in the host activity

To receive a fragment result in the host activity, set a result listener on the fragment manager using getSupportFragmentManager().

Kotlin

class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity() {
    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
        supportFragmentManager
                .setFragmentResultListener("requestKey", this) { requestKey, bundle ->
            // We use a String here, but any type that can be put in a Bundle is supported
            val result = bundle.getString("bundleKey")
            // Do something with the result
        }
    }
}

Java

class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {
    @Override
    public void onCreate(@Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        getSupportFragmentManager().setFragmentResultListener("requestKey", this, new FragmentResultListener() {
            @Override
            public void onFragmentResult(@NonNull String requestKey, @NonNull Bundle bundle) {
                // We use a String here, but any type that can be put in a Bundle is supported
                String result = bundle.getString("bundleKey");
                // Do something with the result
            }
        });
    }
}