RxJava: Creating Observable

Posted by Shawn Duan on April 21, 2016

Ways to create Observable


Create an Observable from scratch by means of a function defining the rule/schedule (Observable.OnSubscribe) of event triggering. call() will be called once this Observable is subscribed.

Observable observable = Observable.create(new Observable.OnSubscribe<String>() {
    public void call(Subscriber<? super String> subscriber) {


Convert an object or several objects into an Observable that emits that object or those objects (one to nice objects are allowed.) The returned Observable is gonna emit these objects in the same order as they are given in the parameter list, once it is subscribed.

Observable observable = Observable.just("Hello", "Hi", "Aloha");


Convert an Iterable, a Future, or an Array into an Observable that emits the containing objects in order.

String[] words = {"Hello", "Hi", "Aloha"};
Observable observable = Observable.from(words);

Notice: These three examples creating Observables are equivalent.


The Defer operator waits until an observer subscribes to it, and then it generates an fresh Observable on each subscription, typically with an Observable factory function.

Key words: defer until subscribing; fresh observable; Observable factory function.

Observable.defer(new Func0<Observable<Provider.AccountInfo>>() {	// observable factory function
            public Observable<Provider.AccountInfo> call() {
                try {
                    return Observable.just(getAccountInfo(lyveCloudProvider));
                } catch (Provider.ProviderException e) {
                    return null;

Notice: Nest Observable.just()/from() in Observable.defer() is a way to generate an observable, and in the meantime, make sure this observable is not generated too early before it’s actually been subscribed.

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