Updating data in an Android RecyclerView

This is a repost of an answer I wrote on Stack Overflow.

There are two main things that I find helpful when exploring a new API: seeing examples (especially ones with pictures) and just trying out all the possibilities. This post will hopefully help you with that as you are learning how to update the adapter data in an Android RecyclerView. If you need help setting up the RecyclerView itself, then see this post or scroll down to the Code section below.

Overview

  1. Update the data set
  2. Notify the adapter of the change

The following examples will show how to do that.

Insert single item

String item = "Pig";
int insertIndex = 2;
data.add(insertIndex, item);
adapter.notifyItemInserted(insertIndex);

Insert multiple items

ArrayList<String> items = new ArrayList<>();
items.add("Pig");
items.add("Chicken");
items.add("Dog");
int insertIndex = 2;
data.addAll(insertIndex, items);
adapter.notifyItemRangeInserted(insertIndex, items.size());

Remove single item

int removeIndex = 2;
data.remove(removeIndex);
adapter.notifyItemRemoved(removeIndex);

Remove multiple items

int startIndex = 2; // inclusive
int endIndex = 4; // exclusive
int count = endIndex - startIndex; // 2 items will be removed
data.subList(startIndex, endIndex).clear();
adapter.notifyItemRangeRemoved(startIndex, count);

Remove all items

data.clear();
adapter.notifyDataSetChanged();

Replace old list with new list

// clear old list
data.clear();
// add new list
ArrayList<String> newList = new ArrayList<>();
newList.add("Lion");
newList.add("Wolf");
newList.add("Bear");
data.addAll(newList);
// notify adapter
adapter.notifyDataSetChanged();

The adapter has a reference to data, so it is important that I didn't set data to a new object. Instead I cleared the old items from data and then added the new ones.

Update single item

String newValue = "I like sheep.";
int updateIndex = 3;
data.set(updateIndex, newValue);
adapter.notifyItemChanged(updateIndex);

Move single item

int fromPosition = 3;
int toPosition = 1;
// update data array
String item = data.get(fromPosition);
data.remove(fromPosition);
data.add(toPosition, item);
// notify adapter
adapter.notifyItemMoved(fromPosition, toPosition);

Code

MainActivity.java

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity implements MyRecyclerViewAdapter.ItemClickListener {    List<String> data;
MyRecyclerViewAdapter adapter;
@Override
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);
// data to populate the RecyclerView with
data = new ArrayList<>();
data.add("Horse");
data.add("Cow");
data.add("Camel");
data.add("Sheep");
data.add("Goat");
// set up the RecyclerView
RecyclerView recyclerView = findViewById(R.id.rvAnimals);
LinearLayoutManager layoutManager = new LinearLayoutManager(this);
recyclerView.setLayoutManager(layoutManager);
DividerItemDecoration dividerItemDecoration = new DividerItemDecoration(recyclerView.getContext(),
layoutManager.getOrientation());
recyclerView.addItemDecoration(dividerItemDecoration);
adapter = new MyRecyclerViewAdapter(this, data);
adapter.setClickListener(this);
recyclerView.setAdapter(adapter);
}
@Override
public void onItemClick(View view, int position) {
Toast.makeText(this, "You clicked " + adapter.getItem(position) + " on row number " + position, Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
}
public void onButtonClick(View view) {
insertSingleItem();
}
private void insertSingleItem() {
String item = "Pig";
int insertIndex = 2;
data.add(insertIndex, item);
adapter.notifyItemInserted(insertIndex);
}
private void insertMultipleItems() {
ArrayList<String> items = new ArrayList<>();
items.add("Pig");
items.add("Chicken");
items.add("Dog");
int insertIndex = 2;
data.addAll(insertIndex, items);
adapter.notifyItemRangeInserted(insertIndex, items.size());
}
private void removeSingleItem() {
int removeIndex = 2;
data.remove(removeIndex);
adapter.notifyItemRemoved(removeIndex);
}
private void removeMultipleItems() {
int startIndex = 2; // inclusive
int endIndex = 4; // exclusive
int count = endIndex - startIndex; // 2 items will be removed
data.subList(startIndex, endIndex).clear();
adapter.notifyItemRangeRemoved(startIndex, count);
}
private void removeAllItems() {
data.clear();
adapter.notifyDataSetChanged();
}
private void replaceOldListWithNewList() {
// clear old list
data.clear();
// add new list
ArrayList<String> newList = new ArrayList<>();
newList.add("Lion");
newList.add("Wolf");
newList.add("Bear");
data.addAll(newList);
// notify adapter
adapter.notifyDataSetChanged();
}
private void updateSingleItem() {
String newValue = "I like sheep.";
int updateIndex = 3;
data.set(updateIndex, newValue);
adapter.notifyItemChanged(updateIndex);
}
private void moveSingleItem() {
int fromPosition = 3;
int toPosition = 1;
// update data array
String item = data.get(fromPosition);
data.remove(fromPosition);
data.add(toPosition, item);
// notify adapter
adapter.notifyItemMoved(fromPosition, toPosition);
}
}

Notes

  • Check out DiffUtil if you are making large or complex changes to a list.

Further study

A Flutter and Dart developer. Follow me on Twitter @suragch1 to get updates of new articles.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store