Translucent Activity window background is displayed as black

Update: the issue has been closed and the fix will be available in future Android releases (specific version not provided).

This is an issue I had to deal with while I was working on one of our applications at Sysmosoft.

The use case is not so common, but it’s not also impossible that you will face this problem while developing your application: starting two activities one after the other, with the second one (which will be displayed on “top”) being set as translucent.

Here are the results:

  • on pre-API Level 23 devices, everything works fine, the transparent part of the top Activity lets you see the other one.


  • on API Level 23 devices (Android 6.0), the transparent part of the top Activity is shown as black, not translucent.


This only happens when two Activities are started in sequence or passing the two  Intents  to the  startActivities(...)  method. In fact, starting the translucent Activity alone on top of another one, also on API Level 23 devices, the transparent part of the layout is correctly rendered.

I have implemented a sample application for the Android guys in order to reproduce the issue easily – this can be found in this GitHub repository:

It’s important to note both  compileSdkVersion and  targetSdkVersion are set to 23. But the issue is also reproducible compiling using version 22.

All Activities extend from  AppCompatActivity .

The issue has been reported on the Android Issue Tracker here: hopefully it will be resolved in a future release.

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