added in version 27.1.0
belongs to Maven artifact


public class AsyncListDiffer
extends Object


Helper for computing the difference between two lists via DiffUtil on a background thread.

It can be connected to a RecyclerView.Adapter, and will signal the adapter of changes between sumbitted lists.

For simplicity, the ListAdapter wrapper class can often be used instead of the AsyncListDiffer directly. This AsyncListDiffer can be used for complex cases, where overriding an adapter base class to support asynchronous List diffing isn't convenient.

The AsyncListDiffer can consume the values from a LiveData of List and present the data simply for an adapter. It computes differences in list contents via DiffUtil on a background thread as new Lists are received.

Use getCurrentList() to access the current List, and present its data objects. Diff results will be dispatched to the ListUpdateCallback immediately before the current list is updated. If you're dispatching list updates directly to an Adapter, this means the Adapter can safely access list items and total size via getCurrentList().

A complete usage pattern with Room would look like this:

 interface UserDao {
     @Query("SELECT * FROM user ORDER BY lastName ASC")
     public abstract LiveData<List<User>> usersByLastName();

 class MyViewModel extends ViewModel {
     public final LiveData<List<User>> usersList;
     public MyViewModel(UserDao userDao) {
         usersList = userDao.usersByLastName();

 class MyActivity extends AppCompatActivity {
     public void onCreate(Bundle savedState) {
         MyViewModel viewModel = ViewModelProviders.of(this).get(MyViewModel.class);
         RecyclerView recyclerView = findViewById(;
         UserAdapter adapter = new UserAdapter();
         viewModel.usersList.observe(this, list -> adapter.submitList(list));

 class UserAdapter extends RecyclerView.Adapter<UserViewHolder> {
     private final AsyncListDiffer<User> mDiffer = new AsyncListDiffer(this, DIFF_CALLBACK);
     public int getItemCount() {
         return mDiffer.getCurrentList().size();
     public void submitList(List<User> list) {
     public void onBindViewHolder(UserViewHolder holder, int position) {
         User user = mDiffer.getCurrentList().get(position);
     public static final DiffUtil.ItemCallback<User> DIFF_CALLBACK
             = new DiffUtil.ItemCallback<User>() {
         public boolean areItemsTheSame(
                 @NonNull User oldUser, @NonNull User newUser) {
             // User properties may have changed if reloaded from the DB, but ID is fixed
             return oldUser.getId() == newUser.getId();
         public boolean areContentsTheSame(
                 @NonNull User oldUser, @NonNull User newUser) {
             // NOTE: if you use equals, your object must properly override Object#equals()
             // Incorrectly returning false here will result in too many animations.
             return oldUser.equals(newUser);


Public constructors

AsyncListDiffer(Adapter adapter, ItemCallback<T> diffCallback)

Convenience for AsyncListDiffer(new AdapterListUpdateCallback(adapter), new AsyncDifferConfig.Builder().setDiffCallback(diffCallback).build());

AsyncListDiffer(ListUpdateCallback listUpdateCallback, AsyncDifferConfig<T> config)

Create a AsyncListDiffer with the provided config, and ListUpdateCallback to dispatch updates to.

Public methods

List<T> getCurrentList()

Get the current List - any diffing to present this list has already been computed and dispatched via the ListUpdateCallback.

void submitList(List<T> newList)

Pass a new List to the AdapterHelper.

Inherited methods

From class java.lang.Object