Android: Difference between Parcelable and Serializable?


Question

Why does Android provide 2 interfaces for serializing objects? Do Serializable objects interopt with Android Binder and AIDL files?

1
280
4/12/2018 12:53:24 PM

In Android we cannot just pass objects to activities. To do this the objects must either implement Serializable or Parcelable interface.

Serializable

Serializable is a standard Java interface. You can just implement Serializable interface and add override methods. The problem with this approach is that reflection is used and it is a slow process. This method creates a lot of temporary objects and causes quite a bit of garbage collection. However, Serializable interface is easier to implement.

Look at the example below (Serializable):

// MyObjects Serializable class

import java.io.Serializable;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.TreeMap;

import android.os.Parcel;
import android.os.Parcelable;

public class MyObjects implements Serializable {

    private String name;
    private int age;
    public ArrayList<String> address;

    public MyObjects(String name, int age, ArrayList<String> address) {
        super();
        this.name = name;
        this.age = age;
        this.address = address;
    }

    public ArrayList<String> getAddress() {
        if (!(address == null))
            return address;
        else
            return new ArrayList<String>();
    }

    public String getName() {
        return name;
    }

    public String getAge() {
        return age;
    }
}
// MyObjects instance
MyObjects mObjects = new MyObjects("name", "age", "Address array here");

// Passing MyObjects instance via intent
Intent mIntent = new Intent(FromActivity.this, ToActivity.class);
mIntent.putExtra("UniqueKey", mObjects);
startActivity(mIntent);
// Getting MyObjects instance
Intent mIntent = getIntent();
MyObjects workorder = (MyObjects)    mIntent.getSerializableExtra("UniqueKey");

Parcelable

Parcelable process is much faster than Serializable. One of the reasons for this is that we are being explicit about the serialization process instead of using reflection to infer it. It also stands to reason that the code has been heavily optimized for this purpose.

Look at the example below (Parcelable):

// MyObjects Parcelable class

import java.util.ArrayList;

import android.os.Parcel;
import android.os.Parcelable;

public class MyObjects implements Parcelable {

    private int age;
    private String name;
    private ArrayList<String> address;

    public MyObjects(String name, int age, ArrayList<String> address) {
        this.name = name;
        this.age = age;
        this.address = address;
    }

    public MyObjects(Parcel source) {
        age = source.readInt();
        name = source.readString();
        address = source.createStringArrayList();
    }

    @Override
    public int describeContents() {
        return 0;
    }

    @Override
    public void writeToParcel(Parcel dest, int flags) {
        dest.writeInt(age);
        dest.writeString(name);
        dest.writeStringList(address);
    }

    public int getAge() {
        return age;
    }

    public String getName() {
        return name;
    }

    public ArrayList<String> getAddress() {
        if (!(address == null))
            return address;
        else
            return new ArrayList<String>();
    }

    public static final Creator<MyObjects> CREATOR = new Creator<MyObjects>() {
        @Override
        public MyObjects[] newArray(int size) {
            return new MyObjects[size];
        }

        @Override
        public MyObjects createFromParcel(Parcel source) {
            return new MyObjects(source);
        }
    };
}
// MyObjects instance
MyObjects mObjects = new MyObjects("name", "age", "Address array here");

// Passing MyOjects instance
Intent mIntent = new Intent(FromActivity.this, ToActivity.class);
mIntent.putExtra("UniqueKey", mObjects);
startActivity(mIntent);
// Getting MyObjects instance
Intent mIntent = getIntent();
MyObjects workorder = (MyObjects) mIntent.getParcelableExtra("UniqueKey");

You can pass ArrayList of Parcelable objects as below:

// Array of MyObjects
ArrayList<MyObjects> mUsers;

// Passing MyOjects instance
Intent mIntent = new Intent(FromActivity.this, ToActivity.class);
mIntent.putParcelableArrayListExtra("UniqueKey", mUsers);
startActivity(mIntent);
// Getting MyObjects instance
Intent mIntent = getIntent();
ArrayList<MyObjects> mUsers = mIntent.getParcelableArrayList("UniqueKey");

Conclusion

  1. Parcelable is faster than Serializable interface
  2. Parcelable interface takes more time to implement compared to Serializable interface
  3. Serializable interface is easier to implement
  4. Serializable interface creates a lot of temporary objects and causes quite a bit of garbage collection
  5. Parcelable array can be passed via Intent in android
404
12/17/2018 10:30:44 AM

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