You are previewing Learning Android.

Learning Android

Cover of Learning Android by Marko Gargenta Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. Learning Android
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. A Note Regarding Supplemental Files
    3. Preface
      1. What’s Inside
      2. Conventions Used in This Book
      3. Using Code Examples
      4. Safari® Books Online
      5. How to Contact Us
      6. Acknowledgments
    4. 1. Android Overview
      1. Android Overview
      2. History
      3. Android Versions
      4. Summary
    5. 2. The Stack
      1. Stack Overview
      2. Linux
      3. Native Libraries
      4. Dalvik
      5. Application Framework
      6. Applications
      7. Summary
    6. 3. Quick Start
      1. Installing the Android SDK
      2. Hello, World
      3. The Emulator
      4. Summary
    7. 4. Main Building Blocks
      1. What Are Main Building Blocks?
      2. A Real-World Example
      3. Activities
      4. Intents
      5. Services
      6. Content Providers
      7. Broadcast Receivers
      8. Application Context
      9. Summary
    8. 5. Yamba Project Overview
      1. The Yamba Application
      2. Design Philosophy
      3. Project Design
      4. Part 1: Android User Interface
      5. Part 2: Preferences, Filesystem, Options Menu, and Intents
      6. Part 3: Android Services
      7. Part 4: Working with Databases
      8. Part 5: Lists and Adapters
      9. Part 6: Broadcast Receivers
      10. Part 7: Content Providers
      11. Part 8: System Services
      12. Summary
    9. 6. Android User Interface
      1. Two Ways to Create a User Interface
      2. Views and Layouts
      3. Starting the Yamba Project
      4. The StatusActivity Layout
      5. The StatusActivity Java Class
      6. Logging in Android
      7. Threading in Android
      8. Other UI Events
      9. Adding Color and Graphics
      10. Alternative Resources
      11. Optimizing the User Interface
      12. Summary
    10. 7. Preferences, the Filesystem, the Options Menu, and Intents
      1. Preferences
      2. The Options Menu
      3. Shared Preferences
      4. The Filesystem Explained
      5. Summary
    11. 8. Services
      1. The Yamba Application Object
      2. UpdaterService
      3. Looping in the Service
      4. Pulling Data from Twitter
      5. Summary
    12. 9. The Database
      1. About SQLite
      2. DbHelper
      3. First Example
      4. Update UpdaterService
      5. Refactoring Status Data
      6. Summary
    13. 10. Lists and Adapters
      1. TimelineActivity
      2. Basic TimelineActivity Layout
      3. About Adapters
      4. TimelineAdapter
      5. ViewBinder: A Better Alternative to TimelineAdapter
      6. Updating the Manifest File
      7. Base Activity
      8. Summary
    14. 11. Broadcast Receivers
      1. About Broadcast Receivers
      2. BootReceiver
      3. The TimelineReceiver
      4. Broadcasting Intents
      5. The Network Receiver
      6. Adding Custom Permissions to Send and Receive Broadcasts
      7. Summary
    15. 12. Content Providers
      1. Creating a Content Provider
      2. Using Content Providers Through Widgets
      3. Summary
    16. 13. System Services
      1. Compass Demo
      2. Location Service
      3. Updating Yamba to Use the Location Service
      4. Intent Service
      5. Sending Notifications
      6. Summary
    17. 14. The Android Interface Definition Language
      1. Implementing the Remote Service
      2. Implementing the Remote Client
      3. Summary
    18. 15. The Native Development Kit (NDK)
      1. What Is and Isn’t the NDK For?
      2. Problems Solved by the NDK
      3. An NDK Example: Fibonacci
      4. Summary
    19. Index
    20. About the Author
    21. Colophon
    22. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
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Threading in Android

A thread is a sequence of instructions executed in order. Although each CPU can process only one instruction at a time, most operating systems are capable of handling multiple threads on multiple CPUs, or interleaving them on a single CPU. Different threads need different priorities, so the operating system determines how much time to give each one if they have to share a CPU.

The Android operating system is based on Linux and as such is fully capable of running multiple threads at the same time. However, you need to be aware of how applications use threads in order to design your application properly.

Single Thread

By default, an Android application runs on a single thread. Single-threaded applications run all commands serially, meaning the next command is not completed until the previous one is done. Another way of saying this is that each call is blocking.

This single thread is also known as the UI thread because it’s the thread that processes all the user interface commands as well. The UI thread is responsible for drawing all the elements on the screen as well as processing all the user events, such as touches on the screen, clicks of the button, and so on. Figure 6-8 shows the execution of our code on a single UI thread.

Single-threaded execution

Figure 6-8. Single-threaded execution

The problem with running StatusActivity on the single thread is our network call to update the status. ...

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