commit() writes the data synchronously (blocking the thread its called from). It then informs you about the success of the operation.
apply() schedules the data to be written asynchronously. It does not inform you about the success of the operation.
If you save with apply() and immediately read via any getX-method, the new value will be returned!
If you called apply() at some point and it’s still executing, any calls to commit() will block until all apply-calls and its own commit are finished.
Unlike commit(), which writes its preferences out to persistent storage synchronously, apply() commits its changes to the in-memory SharedPreferences immediately but starts an asynchronous commit to disk and you won’t be notified of any failures. If another editor on this SharedPreferences does a regular commit() while a apply() is still outstanding, the commit() will block until all async commits are completed as well as the commit itself. As SharedPreferences instances are singletons within a process, it’s safe to replace any instance of commit() with apply() if you were already ignoring the return value.