Android Creating an unbound service


The first thing to do is to add the service to AndroidManifest.xml, inside the <application> tag:

<application ...>


        <!--"enabled" tag specifies Whether or not the service can be instantiated by the system — "true" -->
        <!--if it can be, and "false" if not. The default value is "true".-->
        <!--exported tag specifies Whether or not components of other applications can invoke the -->
        <!--service or interact with it — "true" if they can, and "false" if not. When the value-->
        <!--is "false", only components of the same application or applications with the same user -->
        <!--ID can start the service or bind to it.-->
        android:exported="false" />


If your intend to manage your service class in a separate package (eg: .AllServices.RecordingService) then you will need to specify where your service is located. So, in above case we will modify:




or the easiest way of doing so is to specify the full package name.

Then we create the actual service class:

public class RecordingService extends Service {
    private int NOTIFICATION = 1; // Unique identifier for our notification

    public static boolean isRunning = false;
    public static RecordingService instance = null;

    private NotificationManager notificationManager = null;

    public IBinder onBind(Intent intent) {
        return null;

    public void onCreate(){
        instance = this;
        isRunning = true;

        notificationManager = (NotificationManager) getSystemService(NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);


    public int onStartCommand(Intent intent, int flags, int startId){
        // The PendingIntent to launch our activity if the user selects this notification
        PendingIntent contentIntent = PendingIntent.getActivity(this, 0, new Intent(this, MainActivity.class), 0);

        // Set the info for the views that show in the notification panel.
        Notification notification = new NotificationCompat.Builder(this)
                .setSmallIcon(R.mipmap.ic_launcher)        // the status icon
                .setTicker("Service running...")           // the status text
                .setWhen(System.currentTimeMillis())       // the time stamp
                .setContentTitle("My App")                 // the label of the entry
                .setContentText("Service running...")      // the content of the entry
                .setContentIntent(contentIntent)           // the intent to send when the entry is clicked
                .setOngoing(true)                          // make persistent (disable swipe-away)

        // Start service in foreground mode
        startForeground(NOTIFICATION, notification);

        return START_STICKY;

    public void onDestroy(){
        isRunning = false;
        instance = null;

        notificationManager.cancel(NOTIFICATION); // Remove notification


    public void doSomething(){
        Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(), "Doing stuff from service...", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();


All this service does is show a notification when it's running, and it can display toasts when its doSomething() method is called.

As you'll notice, it's implemented as a singleton, keeping track of its own instance - but without the usual static singleton factory method because services are naturally singletons and are created by intents. The instance is useful to the outside to get a "handle" to the service when it's running.

Last, we need to start and stop the service from an activity:

public void startOrStopService(){
    if( RecordingService.isRunning ){
        // Stop service
        Intent intent = new Intent(this, RecordingService.class);
    else {
        // Start service
        Intent intent = new Intent(this, RecordingService.class);

In this example, the service is started and stopped by the same method, depending on it's current state.

We can also invoke the doSomething() method from our activity:

public void makeServiceDoSomething(){
    if( RecordingService.isRunning )