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android – How to call methods of a Service from activity?

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


I simply want to call methods of a local service from my activity. How can i do that ?

How to&Answers:

One way to do this is by defining an interface with Android’s AIDL and making use of the Binder subsystem to perform IPC. There is a great set of instructions at the link I posted. I’d start there and then post here if you have questions. Despite being a pretty complex topic (IPC) Android and the Binder do a really good job of making it pretty dead simple (at least to get started, I’m sure you could make it complicated if you wanted to 😉 )

Edit As pointed out in the comments, this is unnecessary if the Service and the client are running in the same process. Unless you specify otherwise, this is the default. However, it still works regardless, it just adds a bit more complexity.


Here is an example that might help

package com.example.bindservice.binder;

import java.text.SimpleDateFormat;
import java.util.Date;

import android.app.Service;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.os.Binder;
import android.os.IBinder;

public class Server extends Service {

    IBinder mBinder = new LocalBinder();

    public IBinder onBind(Intent intent) {
        return mBinder;

    public class LocalBinder extends Binder {
        public Server getServerInstance() {
            return Server.this;

    public String getTime() {
        SimpleDateFormat mDateFormat = new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss");
        return mDateFormat.format(new Date());


package com.example.bindservice.binder;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.ComponentName;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.content.ServiceConnection;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.os.IBinder;
import android.view.View;
import android.view.View.OnClickListener;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.TextView;
import android.widget.Toast;

import com.example.bindservice.binder.Server.LocalBinder;

public class Client extends Activity {

    boolean mBounded;
    Server mServer;
    TextView text;
    Button button;

    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        text = (TextView)findViewById(R.id.text);
        button = (Button) findViewById(R.id.button);
        button.setOnClickListener(new OnClickListener() {
            public void onClick(View v) {

    protected void onStart() {

        Intent mIntent = new Intent(this, Server.class);
        bindService(mIntent, mConnection, BIND_AUTO_CREATE);

    ServiceConnection mConnection = new ServiceConnection() {
        public void onServiceDisconnected(ComponentName name) {
            Toast.makeText(Client.this, "Service is disconnected", 1000).show();
            mBounded = false;
            mServer = null;

        public void onServiceConnected(ComponentName name, IBinder service) {
            Toast.makeText(Client.this, "Service is connected", 1000).show();
            mBounded = true;
            LocalBinder mLocalBinder = (LocalBinder)service;
            mServer = mLocalBinder.getServerInstance();

    protected void onStop() {
        if(mBounded) {
            mBounded = false;


There is sample code for this right in the Service documentation, under “Local Service Sample”:


Also for those people suggesting aidl — if your service and client are all part of your own .apk and running in the same process (the default behavior), there is no need for aidl; it is just additional complexity that doesn’t give you anything.


How do you call a normal Java method?

A obj = new A();

Service is a Java class. So how would you call a service method?


Now the real question is how do you create a Service object?

Service serviceObj = new Service();

Definitely not.

In Android, Service is a System component that is created, destroyed and managed by Android OS.
For creating a service object you need IBinder.

This is how you can get a Service object from IBinder.

enter image description here

Once you have a hold of serviceObject. It will work like any normal Java object.
The above thing explained in the figure is called Binding a Service.

Binding makes possible to observe a background service from an Activity. With binding, we can communicate in both ways ie Activity<—>Service.
Prateek Yadav has already provided an excellent code snippet. You can use that.

Few things to keep in mind

  • Never forget to unbind the service else you will lead to ResourceLeak.
  • You can call startService(intent) and bindService(mIntent, mConnection, BIND_AUTO_CREATE) in any order. Binding and Starting a service are two independent things.


I don’t know where your problem is, please post some code.
Using a Binder, the Activity can have access to the service object. See the examples in the API for creating a connection between activity and service.

Having the service object in your activity, you can simply call:
We could help you a lot better if you would exactly describe your problem and as I said, post some snippets.


the Equivalent code for Kotlin


private var mBounded = false

private var foregroundService: ForegroundService? = null

 override fun onPostCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {

    btn_start_service.setOnClickListener { startMyService(); }

    btn_stop_service.setOnClickListener { stopMyService(); }

    mConnection = object : ServiceConnection {
        override fun onServiceDisconnected(name: ComponentName) {
            Toast.makeText([email protected], "Service is disconnected", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT)
            mBounded = false
            foregroundService = null

        override fun onServiceConnected(name: ComponentName, service: IBinder) {
            Toast.makeText([email protected], "Service is connected", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show()
            mBounded = true
            val mLocalBinder = service as LocalBinder
            foregroundService = mLocalBinder.getServerInstance()

    val startIntent = Intent(this, ForegroundService::class.java)
    bindService(startIntent, mConnection as ServiceConnection, Context.BIND_AUTO_CREATE);

private fun startMyService() {
    foregroundService!!.startService(this, "sdds")


  private fun stopMyService() {
    if (mBounded) {
        mConnection?.let { unbindService(it) };
        mBounded = false;
    val stopIntent = Intent(this, ForegroundService::class.java)


class ForegroundService : Service() {

private val CHANNEL_ID = "ForegroundService Kotlin"

var mBinder: IBinder = LocalBinder()

fun startService(context: Context, message: String) {
    val startIntent = Intent(context, ForegroundService::class.java)
    startIntent.putExtra("inputExtra", message)
    ContextCompat.startForegroundService(context, startIntent)

fun stopService(context: Context) {
    val stopIntent = Intent(context, ForegroundService::class.java)

override fun onBind(intent: Intent?): IBinder? {
    return mBinder

class LocalBinder : Binder() {
    fun getServerInstance(): ForegroundService? {
        return ForegroundService()