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Fragments

A Fragment represents a reusable portion of your app's UI. A fragment defines and manages its own layout, has its own lifecycle, and can handle its own input events. Fragments cannot live on their own--they must be hosted by an activity or another fragment. The fragment’s view hierarchy becomes part of, or attaches to, the host’s view hierarchy.

Modularity

Fragments introduce modularity and reusability into your activity’s UI by allowing you to divide the UI into discrete chunks. Activities are an ideal place to put global elements around your app's user interface, such as a navigation drawer. Conversely, fragments are better suited to define and manage the UI of a single screen or portion of a screen.

Consider an app that responds to various screen sizes. On larger screens, the app should display a static navigation drawer and a list in a grid layout. On smaller screens, the app should display a bottom navigation bar and a list in a linear layout. Managing all of these variations in the activity can be unwieldy. Separating the navigation elements from the content can make this process more manageable. The activity is then responsible for displaying the correct navigation UI while the fragment displays the list with the proper layout.

Two versions of the same screen on different screen sizes.
Figure 1. Two versions of the same screen on different screen sizes. On the left, a large screen contains a navigation drawer that is controlled by the activity and a grid list that is controlled by the fragment. On the right, a small screen contains a bottom navigation bar that is controlled by the activity and a linear list that is controlled by the fragment.

Dividing your UI into fragments makes it easier to modify your activity's appearance at runtime. While your activity is in the STARTED lifecycle state or higher, fragments can be added, replaced, or removed. You can keep a record of these changes in a back stack that is managed by the activity, allowing the changes to be reversed.

You can use multiple instances of the same fragment class within the same activity, in multiple activities, or even as a child of another fragment. With this in mind, you should only provide a fragment with the logic necessary to manage its own UI. You should avoid depending on or manipulating one fragment from another.

Next steps

For more documentation and resources related to fragments, see the following.

Getting Started

Further topics

Videos