Tutorial :Android: When to use Dialog vs. Activity


When is it preferable to use a Dialog box as opposed to an Activity in Android? From my understanding, anything you can do with a Dialog box you can also accomplish with an Activity. Are there any tasks that can only be accomplished by an Activity or a Dialog?


Is what you're doing worth a new Activity? Do you need to be able to start it through an intent? Do you really need to create a new Java class for it?

If it's a straightforward dialog that displays a text and has simple hooks for positive/negative/dismissal functions, definitely use a dialog.

If you have something complex, you may want to go for a full-blown activity.


Well why exactly would you want to start a new activity just to ask the user "Are you sure? Y/N"? Dialogs generally run on top of the activity, and are usually smaller activities or notifications for the user. They also usually have something to do with the process of the app running. It helps make things simpler to open a dialog to prompt the user on top of your activity, than to start a new activity atop your current activity.


I went for Activities when I needed an user interaction that needs backstack, navigation, lifecycle and callable features.. else with dialogs. Being from the WebApp world I ask whether I would have needed a new server page or a pop window for an interaction and the decision in Andoird world becomes easier!

If newServer page then mostly Activity

elseIf popUpWindow then dialog


I created my android application in one fragment with nested alert dialog, so far my application still running well in handle those nested dialog, and I think dialog is less consuming memory than an activity

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