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java – Running code in main thread from another thread

Posted by: admin March 10, 2020 Leave a comment

Questions:

In an android service I have created thread(s) for doing some background task.

I have a situation where a thread needs to post certain task on main thread’s message queue, for example a Runnable.

Is there a way to get Handler of the main thread and post Message/Runnable to it from my other thread ?

Thanks,

How to&Answers:

NOTE: This answer has gotten so much attention, that I need to update it. Since the original answer was posted, the comment from @dzeikei has gotten almost as much attention as the original answer. So here are 2 possible solutions:

1. If your background thread has a reference to a Context object:

Make sure that your background worker threads have access to a Context object (can be the Application context or the Service context). Then just do this in the background worker thread:

// Get a handler that can be used to post to the main thread
Handler mainHandler = new Handler(context.getMainLooper());

Runnable myRunnable = new Runnable() {
    @Override 
    public void run() {....} // This is your code
};
mainHandler.post(myRunnable);

2. If your background thread does not have (or need) a Context object

(suggested by @dzeikei):

// Get a handler that can be used to post to the main thread
Handler mainHandler = new Handler(Looper.getMainLooper());

Runnable myRunnable = new Runnable() {
    @Override 
    public void run() {....} // This is your code
};
mainHandler.post(myRunnable);

Answer:

As a commenter below pointed correctly, this is not a general solution for services, only for threads launched from your activity (a service can be such a thread, but not all of those are).
On the complicated topic of service-activity communication please read the whole Services section of the official doc – it is complex, so it would pay to understand the basics:
http://developer.android.com/guide/components/services.html#Notifications

The method below may work in simpliest cases.

If I understand you correctly you need some code to be executed in GUI thread of the application (cannot think about anything else called “main” thread).
For this there is a method on Activity:

someActivity.runOnUiThread(new Runnable() {
        @Override
        public void run() {
           //Your code to run in GUI thread here
        }//public void run() {
});

Doc: http://developer.android.com/reference/android/app/Activity.html#runOnUiThread%28java.lang.Runnable%29

Hope this is what you are looking for.

Answer:

There is another simple way, if you don’t have an access to the Context.

1). Create a handler from the main looper:

Handler uiHandler = new Handler(Looper.getMainLooper());

2). Implement a Runnable interface:

Runnable runnable = new Runnable() { // your code here }

3). Post your Runnable to the uiHandler:

uiHandler.post(runnable);

That’s all 😉 Have fun with threads, but don’t forget to synchronize them.

Answer:

If you run code in a thread, e.g. do delaying some action, then you need to invoke runOnUiThread from the context. For example, if your code is inside MainActivity class then use this:

MainActivity.this.runOnUiThread(new Runnable() {
    @Override
    public void run() {
        myAction();
    }
});

If your method can be invoked either from main (UI thread) or from other threads you need a check like:

public void myMethod() {
   if( Looper.myLooper() == Looper.getMainLooper() ) {
       myAction();
   }
   else {

}

Answer:

A condensed code block is as follows:

   new Handler(Looper.getMainLooper()).post(new Runnable() {
       @Override
       public void run() {
           // things to do on the main thread
       }
   });

This does not involve passing down the Activity reference or the Application reference.

Kotlin Equivalent:

    Handler(Looper.getMainLooper()).post(Runnable {
        // things to do on the main thread
    })

Answer:

Kotlin versions

When you are on an activity, then use

runOnUiThread {
    //code that runs in main
}

When you have activity context, mContext then use

mContext.runOnUiThread {
    //code that runs in main
}

When you are in somewhere where no context available, then use

Handler(Looper.getMainLooper()).post {  
    //code that runs in main
}

Answer:

More precise Kotlin code using handler :

Handler(Looper.getMainLooper()).post {  
 // your codes here run on main Thread
 }

Answer:

One method I can think of is this:

1) Let the UI bind to the service.
2) Expose a method like the one below by the Binder that registers your Handler:

public void registerHandler(Handler handler) {
    mHandler = handler;
}

3) In the UI thread, call the above method after binding to the service:

mBinder.registerHandler(new Handler());

4) Use the handler in the Service’s thread to post your task:

mHandler.post(runnable);

Answer:

The simplest way especially if you don’t have a context, if you’re using RxAndroid you can do:

AndroidSchedulers.mainThread().scheduleDirect {
    runCodeHere()
}

Answer:

HandlerThread is better option to normal java Threads in Android .

  1. Create a HandlerThread and start it
  2. Create a Handler with Looper from HandlerThread :requestHandler
  3. post a Runnable task on requestHandler

Communication with UI Thread from HandlerThread

  1. Create a Handler with Looper for main thread : responseHandler and override handleMessage method
  2. Inside Runnable task of other Thread ( HandlerThread in this case), call sendMessage on responseHandler
  3. This sendMessage result invocation of handleMessage in responseHandler.
  4. Get attributes from the Message and process it, update UI

Example: Update TextView with data received from a web service. Since web service should be invoked on non-UI thread, created HandlerThread for Network Operation. Once you get the content from the web service, send message to your main thread (UI Thread) handler and that Handler will handle the message and update UI.

Sample code:

HandlerThread handlerThread = new HandlerThread("NetworkOperation");
handlerThread.start();
Handler requestHandler = new Handler(handlerThread.getLooper());

final Handler responseHandler = new Handler(Looper.getMainLooper()) {
    @Override
    public void handleMessage(Message msg) {
        txtView.setText((String) msg.obj);
    }
};

Runnable myRunnable = new Runnable() {
    @Override
    public void run() {
        try {
            Log.d("Runnable", "Before IO call");
            URL page = new URL("http://www.your_web_site.com/fetchData.jsp");
            StringBuffer text = new StringBuffer();
            HttpURLConnection conn = (HttpURLConnection) page.openConnection();
            conn.connect();
            InputStreamReader in = new InputStreamReader((InputStream) conn.getContent());
            BufferedReader buff = new BufferedReader(in);
            String line;
            while ((line = buff.readLine()) != null) {
                text.append(line + "\n");
            }
            Log.d("Runnable", "After IO call:"+ text.toString());
            Message msg = new Message();
            msg.obj = text.toString();
            responseHandler.sendMessage(msg);


        } catch (Exception err) {
            err.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
};
requestHandler.post(myRunnable);

Useful articles:

handlerthreads-and-why-you-should-be-using-them-in-your-android-apps

android-looper-handler-handlerthread-i

Answer:

I know this is an old question, but I came across a main thread one-liner that I use in both Kotlin and Java. This may not be the best solution for a service, but for calling something that will change the UI inside of a fragment this is extremely simple and obvious.

Java (8):

 getActivity().runOnUiThread(()->{
      //your main thread code
 });

Kotlin:

this.runOnUiThread {
     //your main thread code
}

Answer:

Follow this method. Using this way you can simply update the UI from a background thread. runOnUiThread work on the main(UI) thread . I think this code snippet is less complex and easy, especially for beginners.

AsyncTask.execute(new Runnable() {
            @Override
            public void run() {

            //code you want to run on the background
            someCode();

           //the code you want to run on main thread
 MainActivity.this.runOnUiThread(new Runnable() {

                    public void run() {

/*the code you want to run after the background operation otherwise they will executed earlier and give you an error*/
                        executeAfterOperation();

                   }
                });
            }
        });

in the case of a service

create a handler in the oncreate

 handler = new Handler();

then use it like this

 private void runOnUiThread(Runnable runnable) {
        handler.post(runnable);
    }

Answer:

So most handy is to do sort of:

import android.os.AsyncTask
import android.os.Handler
import android.os.Looper

object Dispatch {
    fun asyncOnBackground(call: ()->Unit) {
        AsyncTask.execute {
            call()
        }
    }

    fun asyncOnMain(call: ()->Unit) {
        Handler(Looper.getMainLooper()).post {
            call()
        }
    }
}

And after:

Dispatch.asyncOnBackground {
    val value = ...// super processing
    Dispatch.asyncOnMain { completion(value)}
}

Answer:

public void mainWork() {
    new Handler(Looper.getMainLooper()).post(new Runnable() {
        @Override
        public void run() {
            //Add Your Code Here
        }
    });
}

This can also work in a service class with no issue.

Answer:

for Kotlin, you can use Anko corountines:

update

doAsync {
   ...
}

deprecated

async(UI) {
    // Code run on UI thread
    // Use ref() instead of [email protected]
}

Answer:

With Kotlin, it is just like this inside any function:

runOnUiThread {
   // Do work..
}