Android Animate data change


RecyclerView will perform a relevant animation if any of the "notify" methods are used except for notifyDataSetChanged; this includes notifyItemChanged, notifyItemInserted, notifyItemMoved, notifyItemRemoved, etc.

The adapter should extend this class instead of RecyclerView.Adapter.


import java.util.List;

public abstract class AnimatedRecyclerAdapter<T, VH extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder>
        extends RecyclerView.Adapter<VH> {
    protected List<T> models;
    protected AnimatedRecyclerAdapter(@NonNull List<T> models) {
        this.models = models;

    //Set new models.
    public void setModels(@NonNull final List<T> models) {

    //Remove an item at position and notify changes.
    private T removeItem(int position) {
        final T model = models.remove(position);
        return model;

    //Add an item at position and notify changes.
    private void addItem(int position, T model) {
        models.add(position, model);

    //Move an item at fromPosition to toPosition and notify changes.
    private void moveItem(int fromPosition, int toPosition) {
        final T model = models.remove(fromPosition);
        models.add(toPosition, model);
        notifyItemMoved(fromPosition, toPosition);

    //Remove items that no longer exist in the new models.
    private void applyAndAnimateRemovals(@NonNull final List<T> newTs) {
        for (int i = models.size() - 1; i >= 0; i--) {
            final T model = models.get(i);
            if (!newTs.contains(model)) {

    //Add items that do not exist in the old models.
    private void applyAndAnimateAdditions(@NonNull final List<T> newTs) {
        for (int i = 0, count = newTs.size(); i < count; i++) {
            final T model = newTs.get(i);
            if (!models.contains(model)) {
                addItem(i, model);

    //Move items that have changed their position.
    private void applyAndAnimateMovedItems(@NonNull final List<T> newTs) {
        for (int toPosition = newTs.size() - 1; toPosition >= 0; toPosition--) {
            final T model = newTs.get(toPosition);
            final int fromPosition = models.indexOf(model);
            if (fromPosition >= 0 && fromPosition != toPosition) {
                moveItem(fromPosition, toPosition);

You should NOT use the same List for setModels and List in the adapter.

You declare models as global variables. DataModel is a dummy class only.

private List<DataModel> models;
private YourAdapter adapter;

Initialize models before pass it to adapter. YourAdapter is the implementation of AnimatedRecyclerAdapter.

models = new ArrayList<>();
//Add models
models.add(new DataModel());
//Do NOT pass the models directly. Otherwise, when you modify global models, 
//you will also modify models in adapter.
//adapter = new YourAdapter(models); <- This is wrong.
adapter = new YourAdapter(new ArrayList(models));

Call this after you have updated your global models.

adapter.setModels(new ArrayList(models));

If you do not override equals, all the comparison is compared by reference.

Example using SortedList

Android introduced the SortedList class soon after RecyclerView was introduced. This class handles all 'notify' method calls to the RecyclerView.Adapter to ensure proper animation, and even allows batching multiple changes, so the animations don't jitter.

import android.view.LayoutInflater;
import android.view.View;
import android.view.ViewGroup;

import java.util.List;

public class MyAdapter extends RecyclerView.Adapter<MyAdapter.ViewHolder> {

    private SortedList<DataModel> mSortedList;

    class ViewHolder extends RecyclerView.ViewHolder {

        TextView text;
        CheckBox checkBox;

        ViewHolder(View itemView){

            //Initiate your code here...


        void setDataModel(DataModel model) {
            //Update your UI with the data model passed here...

    public MyAdapter() {
        mSortedList = new SortedList<>(DataModel.class, new SortedListAdapterCallback<DataModel>(this) {
            public int compare(DataModel o1, DataModel o2) {
                //This gets called to find the ordering between objects in the array.
                if (o1.someValue() < o2.someValue()) {
                    return -1;
                } else if (o1.someValue() > o2.someValue()) {
                    return 1;
                } else {
                    return 0;

            public boolean areContentsTheSame(DataModel oldItem, DataModel newItem) {
                //This is to see of the content of this object has changed. These items are only considered equal if areItemsTheSame() returned true.

                //If this returns false, onBindViewHolder() is called with the holder containing the item, and the item's position.
                return oldItem.getText().equals(newItem.getText()) && oldItem.isChecked() == newItem.isChecked();

            public boolean areItemsTheSame(DataModel item1, DataModel item2) {
                //Checks to see if these two items are the same. If not, it is added to the list, otherwise, check if content has changed.
                return item1.equals(item2);

    public ViewHolder onCreateViewHolder(ViewGroup parent, int viewType) {
        View itemView = //Initiate your item view here.
        return new ViewHolder(itemView);

    public void onBindViewHolder(ViewHolder holder, int position) {
        //Just update the holder with the object in the sorted list from the given position
        DataModel model = mSortedList.get(position);
        if (model != null) {

    public int getItemCount() {
        return mSortedList.size();

    public void resetList(List<DataModel> models) {
        //If you are performing multiple changes, use the batching methods to ensure proper animation.

    //The following methods each modify the data set and automatically handles calling the appropriate 'notify' method on the adapter.
    public void addModel(DataModel model) {

    public void addModels(List<DataModel> models) {

    public void clear() {

    public void removeModel(DataModel model) {

    public void removeModelAt(int i) {