The previous post of the Android Activities and Tasks series explained the concept of Android’s intents. We have seen how to use them to launch activities and how to utilize intent flags to customize the behavior of the launch to our needs.
In this post, we focus on activities themselves and explain the properties we can set on an activity or task to influence the activity launch behavior on the receiver side. In detail:
- activity launch modes
- task attributes
- task affinities of activities
The previous post of the Activities and Tasks series gave an introduction to the concepts behind activities and tasks. We have seen that activities correspond to visible screens in the UI, that activities are grouped as stacks within tasks, and tasks are sent to the background and foreground as atomic units. In this post of the series, we focus on Android’s intent concept and address the following questions:
- What are intents?
- How do we use them to launch activities?
- What options (flags) does Android provide to customize this launch? (e.g. in terms of target task or activity instance creation)
With Android, Google implemented its very own UI component model, introducing various new terms and concepts probably unfamiliar to most developers. Although well designed and powerful, it is unconventional, has a high learning curve and, in some respects, lacks sufficient documentation. Basic use cases may be quick to implement, but in order to develop more complex applications, a thorough understanding of Android’s UI component model is essential.
This series aims at providing this understanding while focusing on the UI related concepts of activities and tasks.