Android Guides | Samples

Android.Content.BroadcastReceiver Class

Base class for code that will receive intents sent by sendBroadcast().

See Also: BroadcastReceiver

Syntax

[Android.Runtime.Register("android/content/BroadcastReceiver", DoNotGenerateAcw=true)]
public abstract class BroadcastReceiver : Object

Remarks

Base class for code that will receive intents sent by sendBroadcast().

If you don't need to send broadcasts across applications, consider using this class with NoType:android/support/v4/content/LocalBroadcastManager;Href=../../../reference/android/support/v4/content/LocalBroadcastManager.html instead of the more general facilities described below. This will give you a much more efficient implementation (no cross-process communication needed) and allow you to avoid thinking about any security issues related to other applications being able to receive or send your broadcasts.

You can either dynamically register an instance of this class with Context.RegisterReceiver(BroadcastReceiver,IntentFilter) or statically publish an implementation through the NoType:android/R$styleable;Href=../../../reference/android/R.styleable.html#AndroidManifestReceiver tag in your AndroidManifest.xml.

Note:    If registering a receiver in your Activity.OnResume implementation, you should unregister it in Activity.OnPause. (You won't receive intents when paused, and this will cut down on unnecessary system overhead). Do not unregister in Activity.OnSaveInstanceState(Bundle), because this won't be called if the user moves back in the history stack.

There are two major classes of broadcasts that can be received:

Even in the case of normal broadcasts, the system may in some situations revert to delivering the broadcast one receiver at a time. In particular, for receivers that may require the creation of a process, only one will be run at a time to avoid overloading the system with new processes. In this situation, however, the non-ordered semantics hold: these receivers still cannot return results or abort their broadcast.

Note that, although the Intent class is used for sending and receiving these broadcasts, the Intent broadcast mechanism here is completely separate from Intents that are used to start Activities with Context.StartActivity(Intent). There is no way for a BroadcastReceiver to see or capture Intents used with startActivity(); likewise, when you broadcast an Intent, you will never find or start an Activity. These two operations are semantically very different: starting an Activity with an Intent is a foreground operation that modifies what the user is currently interacting with; broadcasting an Intent is a background operation that the user is not normally aware of.

The BroadcastReceiver class (when launched as a component through a manifest's NoType:android/R$styleable;Href=../../../reference/android/R.styleable.html#AndroidManifestReceiver tag) is an important part of an application's overall lifecycle.

Topics covered here:

Developer Guides

For information about how to use this class to receive and resolve intents, read the Intents and Intent Filters developer guide.

Security

Receivers used with the Context APIs are by their nature a cross-application facility, so you must consider how other applications may be able to abuse your use of them. Some things to consider are:

  • The Intent namespace is global. Make sure that Intent action names and other strings are written in a namespace you own, or else you may inadvertently conflict with other applications.
  • When you use Context.RegisterReceiver(BroadcastReceiver,IntentFilter), any application may send broadcasts to that registered receiver. You can control who can send broadcasts to it through permissions described below.
  • When you publish a receiver in your application's manifest and specify intent-filters for it, any other application can send broadcasts to it regardless of the filters you specify. To prevent others from sending to it, make it unavailable to them with android:exported="false".
  • When you use Context.SendBroadcast(Intent) or related methods, normally any other application can receive these broadcasts. You can control who can receive such broadcasts through permissions described below. Alternatively, starting with NoType:android/os/Build$VERSION_CODES;Href=../../../reference/android/os/Build.VERSION_CODES.html#ICE_CREAM_SANDWICH, you can also safely restrict the broadcast to a single application with Intent.SetPackage(String)

None of these issues exist when using NoType:android/support/v4/content/LocalBroadcastManager;Href=../../../reference/android/support/v4/content/LocalBroadcastManager.html, since intents broadcast it never go outside of the current process.

Access permissions can be enforced by either the sender or receiver of a broadcast.

To enforce a permission when sending, you supply a non-null permission argument to Context.SendBroadcast(Intent,String) or Context.SendOrderedBroadcast(Intent,String,String,String,String,String,String). Only receivers who have been granted this permission (by requesting it with the NoType:android/R$styleable;Href=../../../reference/android/R.styleable.html#AndroidManifestUsesPermission tag in their AndroidManifest.xml) will be able to receive the broadcast.

To enforce a permission when receiving, you supply a non-null permission when registering your receiver -- either when calling Context.RegisterReceiver(BroadcastReceiver,IntentFilter,IntentFilter,IntentFilter) or in the static NoType:android/R$styleable;Href=../../../reference/android/R.styleable.html#AndroidManifestReceiver tag in your AndroidManifest.xml. Only broadcasters who have been granted this permission (by requesting it with the NoType:android/R$styleable;Href=../../../reference/android/R.styleable.html#AndroidManifestUsesPermission tag in their AndroidManifest.xml) will be able to send an Intent to the receiver.

See the Security and Permissions document for more information on permissions and security in general.

Receiver Lifecycle

A BroadcastReceiver object is only valid for the duration of the call to BroadcastReceiver.OnReceive(Context,Intent). Once your code returns from this function, the system considers the object to be finished and no longer active.

This has important repercussions to what you can do in an BroadcastReceiver.OnReceive(Context,Intent) implementation: anything that requires asynchronous operation is not available, because you will need to return from the function to handle the asynchronous operation, but at that point the BroadcastReceiver is no longer active and thus the system is free to kill its process before the asynchronous operation completes.

In particular, you may not show a dialog or bind to a service from within a BroadcastReceiver. For the former, you should instead use the NotificationManager API. For the latter, you can use Context.StartService(Intent) to send a command to the service.

Process Lifecycle

A process that is currently executing a BroadcastReceiver (that is, currently running the code in its BroadcastReceiver.OnReceive(Context,Intent) method) is considered to be a foreground process and will be kept running by the system except under cases of extreme memory pressure.

Once you return from onReceive(), the BroadcastReceiver is no longer active, and its hosting process is only as important as any other application components that are running in it. This is especially important because if that process was only hosting the BroadcastReceiver (a common case for applications that the user has never or not recently interacted with), then upon returning from onReceive() the system will consider its process to be empty and aggressively kill it so that resources are available for other more important processes.

This means that for longer-running operations you will often use a Service in conjunction with a BroadcastReceiver to keep the containing process active for the entire time of your operation.

[Android Documentation]

Requirements

Namespace: Android.Content
Assembly: Mono.Android (in Mono.Android.dll)
Assembly Versions: 0.0.0.0
Since: Added in API level 1

The members of Android.Content.BroadcastReceiver are listed below.

See Also: Object

Public Constructors

Protected Constructors

A constructor used when creating managed representations of JNI objects; called by the runtime.

Public Properties

[read-only]
AbortBroadcastBoolean. Returns the flag indicating whether or not this receiver should abort the current broadcast.
DebugUnregisterBoolean. Return the last value given to BroadcastReceiver.DebugUnregister.
[read-only]
IsInitialStickyBroadcastBoolean. Returns true if the receiver is currently processing the initial value of a sticky broadcast -- that is, the value that was last broadcast and is currently held in the sticky cache, so this is not directly the result of a broadcast right now.
[read-only]
IsOrderedBroadcastBoolean. Returns true if the receiver is currently processing an ordered broadcast.
ResultCodeResult. Retrieve the current result code, as set by the previous receiver.
ResultDataString. Retrieve the current result data, as set by the previous receiver.

Protected Properties

[read-only]
override
ThresholdClassIntPtr. This API supports the Mono for Android infrastructure and is not intended to be used directly from your code.
[read-only]
override
ThresholdTypeType. This API supports the Mono for Android infrastructure and is not intended to be used directly from your code.

Public Methods

ClearAbortBroadcast()
Clears the flag indicating that this receiver should abort the current broadcast.
GetResultExtras(Boolean) : Bundle
Retrieve the current result extra data, as set by the previous receiver.
GoAsync() : BroadcastReceiver+PendingResult
This can be called by an application in BroadcastReceiver.OnReceive(Context,Intent) to allow it to keep the broadcast active after returning from that function.
InvokeAbortBroadcast()
Sets the flag indicating that this receiver should abort the current broadcast; only works with broadcasts sent through Context.SendOrderedBroadcast(Intent,String).
abstract
OnReceive(Context, Intent)
This method is called when the BroadcastReceiver is receiving an Intent broadcast.
PeekService(Context, Intent) : IBinder
Provide a binder to an already-running service.
SetOrderedHint(Boolean)
For internal use, sets the hint about whether this BroadcastReceiver is running in ordered mode.
SetResult(Result, String, Bundle)
Change all of the result data returned from this broadcasts; only works with broadcasts sent through Context.SendOrderedBroadcast(Intent,String).
SetResultExtras(Bundle)
Change the current result extras of this broadcast; only works with broadcasts sent through Context.SendOrderedBroadcast(Intent,String).