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In many Android applications which I have found online or written myself, there is an application class like this:

public class MyApp extends Application {
    private static MyApp instance;

    public MyApp() {
        instance = this;

    public static MyApp getInstance() {
        return instance;

This pattern provides an easy access to application context and all application data from every point of our code. Because this pattern is widespread why don't Android framework developers make Application class a singleton by default?

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closed as off topic by Jeff Vanzella, Brian Reichle, Trevor Pilley, Glenn Rogers, svick Nov 24 '12 at 0:34

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Hi, this should really be posted on Programmers or StackOverflow. It doesn't fit the format for CodeReview (see the FAQ –  Trevor Pilley Nov 23 '12 at 13:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Application cannot be a singleton because there are more than one applications running at the same time. Even if you have access to only one Application instance, it doesn't mean there is only one.

EDIT: On Android OS, every application is running in its own VM instance - true, but there is a difference between API architecture and OS architecture. While Android OS designers decided that every application will be running in its own Dalvik instance for security (or other) reasons, why should API designers rely on that? What if some future system version changes this behavior?

The API architecture should always follow logic. android.app.Application class represents an application on the device. Logic says there won't be only one application, therefore singleton pattern is not used.

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Could you explain in more details what do you mean under "there are more than one applications running at the same time"? Because every application runs in their own Dalvik instance, therefore inside this JVM it is a singleton –  Dmitriy Tarasov Nov 23 '12 at 12:26
@DmitriyTarasov edited the answer. –  Sulthan Nov 23 '12 at 14:55

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