Android Activity Lifecycle: A Developer's Guide


Android app development is a dynamic and multifaceted process, and understanding the Android Activity Lifecycle is fundamental to creating responsive and user-friendly applications. An Android activity is a crucial building block of an app, representing a single screen with a user interface. In this article, we will explore the intricacies of the Android Activity Lifecycle, shedding light on its stages, methods, and best practices.

1. The Basics: The Four Key Stages

a. Created — The activity is created but not yet visible to the user.

b. Started — The activity is visible, but it may not be in the foreground (partially obscured).

c. Resumed — The activity is in the foreground and actively interacting with the user.

d. Paused — The activity is partially visible but not in focus (e.g., a dialog overlay).

Understanding these stages is crucial because they determine which methods in your activity are called.

2. Lifecycle Callback Methods

Each stage of the Activity Lifecycle is associated with specific callback methods that you can override to execute custom code. Here are some of the most commonly used callback methods:

a. onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) - Called when the activity is first created. Initialization and setup tasks go here.

b. onStart() - Called when the activity becomes visible but may not be in the foreground. You can perform tasks like registering listeners.

c. onResume() - Called when the activity is in the foreground and ready to interact with the user. Start animations and acquire resources here.

d. onPause() - Called when the activity loses focus. Save user data and stop animations here.

e. onStop() - Called when the activity is no longer visible. Release resources and unregister listeners.

f. onDestroy() - Called when the activity is being destroyed. Perform cleanup tasks here

3. Handling Configuration Changes

One of the tricky aspects of Android Activity Lifecycle is handling configuration changes, such as screen rotations. By default, the system destroys and recreates the activity during a configuration change. You can use the onSaveInstanceState(Bundle savedInstanceState) method to save and restore important data to prevent data loss during these transitions.

4. Best Practices

To create robust and responsive Android apps, consider the following best practices related to the Activity Lifecycle:

a. Save State: Always save and restore your activity’s state to ensure a seamless user experience during configuration changes.

b. Resource Management: Be mindful of resource allocation and deallocation during the appropriate lifecycle methods to prevent memory leaks.

c. Performance Optimization: Optimize your app’s performance by loading and unloading resources based on the activity’s lifecycle state.

d. Testing: Thoroughly test your app’s behavior across different lifecycle scenarios to ensure it behaves as expected.

5. Real-World Example: Handling Network Requests

Let’s take a real-world example of handling network requests in the Activity Lifecycle:

protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

    // Initialize network request library
    networkManager = new NetworkManager();

    if (savedInstanceState == null) {
        // Perform initial network request

protected void onDestroy() {

    // Clean up network resources

In this example, we initialize and clean up network resources at appropriate stages of the Activity Lifecycle.


Mastering the Android Activity Lifecycle is essential for building robust, responsive, and user-friendly Android applications. By understanding the lifecycle stages and properly implementing the callback methods, you can create apps that gracefully handle user interactions, configuration changes, and resource management. Keep these principles and best practices in mind as you embark on your Android app development journey, and you’ll be well-equipped to deliver a seamless user experience

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