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

Chapter 8. Services

Services are among the main building blocks in Android. Unlike an activity, a service doesn’t have a user interface; it is simply a piece of code that runs in the background of your application.

Services are used for processes that should run independently of activities, which may come and go. Our Yamba application, for example, needs to create a service to periodically connect to the cloud and check for new statuses from the user’s friends. This service will be always on and always running, regardless of whether the user ever starts the activity.

Just like an activity, a service has a well-defined life cycle. You as the developer get to define what happens during transitions between states. Whereas an activity’s state is managed by the runtime’s ActivityManager, service state is controlled more by intents. Essentially, whenever an activity needs your service, it will invoke it through an intent that starts the service. An already running service can receive the start message repeatedly and at unanticipated times. You can also stop a service, which is also called destroying it.

A service can be bound or unbound. Bound services can provide more specific APIs to other applications via an interface called AIDL (Android Interface Definition Language; see Chapter 14). For now, we’ll focus on unbound services, where the life cycle of a service is not tied to the life cycle of the activities that started them. The only states for bound services are started and stopped ...

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