Android - Service (background operation without UI interaction)

Card Puncher Data Processing


A Service is a component that performs operations in the background without a user interface. (such as download a file)

You start a service by passing an intent.


Default Services have a higher priority that background activity.

A service has its own context.

To wake it self up, you need to implement a broadcast receiver. It will receive a PendingIntent (Intent with permission) from the Alarm Manager.


Priority Activity Type Service Type
Critical Active Foreground
High Visible Running (Default)
Low Background Na

Any background app will be killed as needed from older to newer.


public class MyService extends Service {

    public void onCreate() { ....} 
    public int onStartCommand(Intent intent, int flags, int startId) {
         // Set the service as a foreground activity, 
         // therefore increasing its priority 
         // and decreasing its chance to be killed (mainly impossible)
        // TODO: Initiate background Task
        return Service;
    public void onDestory() { .... }
    public IBinder onBind(Intent intent) {
        return null;



Service run on the main thread then you need to use a background running thread to do what you want to do within your service.

The IntentService class implements a background thread pattern with a intent queue. The service start when an intent is received and stop when the queue is empty.

  • Adding a intent to the services queue
Intent intent = new Intent(getActivity(), myService.class);
// Pass a value to the service that can be retrieved with intent.getStringExtra(KEY_VALUE);
// Start the service (ie place the intent in the service queue)
  • Implementing the service
public class MyIntentService extends IntentService
    protected void onHandleIntent(Intent intent) {
        // TODO: Task to be performed


Performing data sync operations. See Android - Sync Manager Framework (SyncAdapter)


As a service is a component, it must be declared in the AndroidManifest.xml file

<service android:name="com.example.myapp.service.myService"/>

Documentation / Reference

Discover More
Card Puncher Data Processing

When you create an app with Studio, it will create an initial activity class that will start when the app is launched. The default name of this activity is MainActivity. Activities can contain one or...
Card Puncher Data Processing
Android - AsyncTask

The class android/os/AsyncTaskAsyncTask simplify background thread creation. The AsyncTask is not tied to the activity lifecycle. The virtual machine will hold the AsyncTask alive as long as the AsyncTask...
Card Puncher Data Processing
Android - Broadcast Receiver

A Broadcast Receiver is a component. In the manifest In a UI element, an activity or a forecast In the service class as an inner class The onReceive method will get triggered when a Broadcast...
Card Puncher Data Processing
Android - Intent (Start Activity, Service and Deliver Broadcast)

An Intent is a messaging object you can use to request an action from an app component. There are three fundamental use-cases: To To To To start an activity , pass an Intent to android/content/ContextstartActivity()....
Android Account Sunshine
Android - Sync Manager Framework (SyncAdapter)

Introduced in Android Level 5. SyncAdapters are meant to keep local data on the device (a cache) in sync with data on the web with the goal of: fast load times, offline functionality and not...
Card Puncher Data Processing
Android - Thread (Background Operations)

Main Thread = UI Thread = All user input and output = Activity or fragment All long operation must not be done on the Main Thread. The class AsyncTask simplify background thread creation coupled to...

Share this page:
Follow us:
Task Runner