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android – PhoneGap camera restarts the application

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


I’m using PhoneGap’s navigator.camera.getPicture function to retrieve a photo from the device’s camera on Android.

function onSuccess(imageData) {

function onFail(message) {
    alert('Failed because: ' + message);

$(function() {
    $("button").tap(function() {
        navigator.camera.getPicture(onSuccess, onFail, { quality: 50 }); 

When I click the button, it does start the camera, but when I click OK on the camera app after taking a photo, it restarts the application.

I tried to:

  • use different source types.
  • use different destination types.
  • reduce quality.

Any ideas?

EDIT: I also started an issue at github.

How to&Answers:

This problem isn’t actually about Phonegap. It’s a common issue on native android apps too.

It occurs because when the camera is triggered, the android activity goes background (onStop state), waiting for the camera to take the picture. Then the GC comes and kills the activity to free memory before the conclusion of camera action, and when the camera is done your activity has already died. That is why the app is restarted.

It’s on Android Lifecycle docs (http://developer.android.com/reference/android/app/Activity.html ):

If an activity is completely obscured by another activity, it is stopped. It still retains all state and member information, however, it is no longer visible to the user so its window is hidden and it will often be killed by the system when memory is needed elsewhere.

The same occurs by acessing the media gallery or other resources that causes your activity to go background. Phonegap (now Cordova) team is already working to improve this ( https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CB-14 ).

We had this problem in our company and the solution was to natively develop a Phonegap plugin to use our customized camera, then our activity never go to onStop state. Follow the android API instructions on http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/media/camera.html#custom-camera and try it too.

See ya!

Edit 1:

We submited a Google Code project named Foreground Camera Plugin that fixes the problem of Android Camera restarting Phonegap applications. There is some orientation on how to use it too. Please see: http://code.google.com/p/foreground-camera-plugin/

Edit 2:

Since this problem happens with gallery too, we submited another Google Code project named Foreground Gallery Plugin that works with Cordova and fixes this issue. Please see: http://code.google.com/p/foreground-gallery-plugin/


Note that if you are testing this applications directly on your Android phone, there’s an option inside “Developer options” called “Don’t keep activities“. When this option is checked it eliminates the activity when you leave it. Specifically in the case of the camera (and other applications lunched from your activity) it will restart your activity.

Uncheck this and see if that helps.


I have a Samsung Galaxy Note II. I had the same problem. I changed this in the AndroidManifest.xml and now it works on Samsung and HTC Thunderbolt

<uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.camera" android:required="false"/>

<uses-sdk android:minSdkVersion="7" android:targetSdkVersion="10"/>

<activity  android:configChanges="orientation|keyboardHidden" />


Users won’t want to restart their phone to free up memory, or check a box in Settings. The user-friendly way I found to return to my app’s activity after leaving the camera, was to add the line:


in CameraLauncher.java of the camera cordova plugin right before this.cordova.startActivityForResult() attempts to pass back the camera result. This makes sure that the old activity is retrieved, rather than being garbage-collected and a new instance being launched. From the android Intent API:


“If set, and the activity being launched is already running in the
current task, then instead of launching a new instance of that
activity, all of the other activities on top of it will be closed and
this Intent will be delivered to the (now on top) old activity as a
new Intent.”


When Android relaunches the app after the picture has been taken, a resume event is sent to the app. The event contains the taken photo data. So, a possible workaround involves catching the event:

document.addEventListener('resume', function(evt) {
  if(evt.action === 'resume' && evt.pendingResult) {
    var r = evt.pendingResult;
    if(r.pluginServiceName === 'Camera' && r.pluginStatus === 'OK') {
      // r.result contains file:/// url or a base64 image.
}, false);

Of course, you also have to restore the state of the application. For that, save your state information to eg. localStorage before opening the camera.


For me it helped to use cordova background plugin: https://www.npmjs.com/package/cordova-plugin-background-mode

Include into config.xml:

<gap:plugin name="cordova-plugin-background-mode" source="npm"/>

Then trigger click event to start camera plugin and send app to background:

    cordova.plugins.backgroundMode.setDefaults({ text:'desc',title:'appname'});
    //do your camera stuff

Do not forget to disable background mode in case of success by camera plugin:


To be sure also disable it onResume and enable it onPause:

function onResume(){
function onPause(){


I am having a similar problem where even the full example provided at Camera Documentation crashes the application on an Android device (Samsung, Galaxy S). Here is a output of the log that I get:

enter image description here


I also had the same problem. I cleared all the data from the phone to increase the phone internal memory size. Then stopped all the running applications and restarted my app. This time when the capture event was called my app did not crash.

Basically this problem exists for phones with less internal memory. This will work fine in higher end phones.

Note: Also add these extra parameters to the image captured:

 navigator.camera.getPicture(onPhotoDataSuccess, onFail, {
                   quality: 20,
                   targetWidth: 200,
                   targetHeight: 200,
                   saveToPhotoAlbum : true


This is actually happening when your device activities are being killed by Garbage collector , when some of your app event is trigered, your default activity goes at background hence it is being killed.

To fix this you need to go to Developer Options There you will see the option Don’t Keep Activities , just uncheck that. restart your app and try camera now. it will work smoothly.