Communicate with other fragments

In order to reuse the Fragment UI components, you should build each as a completely self-contained, modular 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.

Often you will want one Fragment to communicate with another, for example to change the content based on a user event. All Fragment-to-Fragment communication is done either through a shared ViewModel or through the associated Activity. Two Fragments should never communicate directly.

The recommended way to communicate between fragments is to create a shared ViewModel object. Both fragments can access the ViewModel through their containing Activity. The Fragments can update data within the ViewModel and if the data is exposed using LiveData the new state will be pushed to the other fragment as long as it is observing the LiveData from the ViewModel. To see how to implement this kind of communication, read the 'Share data between Fragments' section in the ViewModel guide.

If you are unable to use a shared ViewModel to communicate between your Fragments you can manually implement a communication flow using interfaces. However this ends up being more work to implement and it is not easily reusable in other Fragments.

Define an Interface

To allow a Fragment to communicate up to its Activity, you can define an interface in the Fragment class and implement it within the Activity. The Fragment captures the interface implementation during its onAttach() lifecycle method and can then call the Interface methods in order to communicate with the Activity.

Here is an example of Fragment to Activity communication:

HeadlinesFragment

public class HeadlinesFragment extends ListFragment {
    OnHeadlineSelectedListener mCallback;

    public void setOnHeadlineSelectedListener(Activity activity) {
        mCallback = activity;
    }

    // Container Activity must implement this interface
    public interface OnHeadlineSelectedListener {
        public void onArticleSelected(int position);
    }

    // ...
}

MainActivity

public static class MainActivity extends Activity
        implements HeadlinesFragment.OnHeadlineSelectedListener{
    // ...

    @Override
    public void onAttachFragment(Fragment fragment) {
        if (fragment instanceof HeadlinesFragment) {
            HeadlinesFragment headlinesFragment = (HeadlinesFragment) fragment;
            headlinesFragment.setOnHeadlineSelectedListener(this);
        }
    }
}

Now the fragment can deliver messages to the activity by calling the onArticleSelected() method (or other methods in the interface) using the mCallback instance of the OnHeadlineSelectedListener interface.

For example, the following method in the fragment is called when the user clicks on a list item. The fragment uses the callback interface to deliver the event to the parent activity.

    @Override
    public void onListItemClick(ListView l, View v, int position, long id) {
        // Send the event to the host activity
        mCallback.onArticleSelected(position);
    }

Implement the Interface

In order to receive event callbacks from the fragment, the activity that hosts it must implement the interface defined in the fragment class.

For example, the following activity implements the interface from the above example.

public static class MainActivity extends Activity
        implements HeadlinesFragment.OnHeadlineSelectedListener{
    ...

    public void onArticleSelected(int position) {
        // The user selected the headline of an article from the HeadlinesFragment
        // Do something here to display that article
    }
}

Deliver a Message to a Fragment

The host activity can deliver messages to a fragment by capturing the Fragment instance with findFragmentById(), then directly call the fragment's public methods.

For instance, imagine that the activity shown above may contain another fragment that's used to display the item specified by the data returned in the above callback method. In this case, the activity can pass the information received in the callback method to the other fragment that will display the item:

public static class MainActivity extends Activity
        implements HeadlinesFragment.OnHeadlineSelectedListener{
    ...

    public void onArticleSelected(int position) {
        // The user selected the headline of an article from the HeadlinesFragment
        // Do something here to display that article

        ArticleFragment articleFrag = (ArticleFragment)
                getSupportFragmentManager().findFragmentById(R.id.article_fragment);

        if (articleFrag != null) {
            // If article frag is available, we're in two-pane layout...

            // Call a method in the ArticleFragment to update its content
            articleFrag.updateArticleView(position);
        } else {
            // Otherwise, we're in the one-pane layout and must swap frags...

            // Create fragment and give it an argument for the selected article
            ArticleFragment newFragment = new ArticleFragment();
            Bundle args = new Bundle();
            args.putInt(ArticleFragment.ARG_POSITION, position);
            newFragment.setArguments(args);

            FragmentTransaction transaction = getSupportFragmentManager().beginTransaction();

            // Replace whatever is in the fragment_container view with this fragment,
            // and add the transaction to the back stack so the user can navigate back
            transaction.replace(R.id.fragment_container, newFragment);
            transaction.addToBackStack(null);

            // Commit the transaction
            transaction.commit();
        }
    }
}

To learn more about implementing Fragments, see Fragments. You can also learn more by exploring the relevant sample app.