Create a Simple Service

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last updated: 2016-12

This recipe shows how to create a service.


This recipe will demonstrate how to start and stop an Android service using an explicit Intent.

  1. Create a new Xamarin.Android application named SimpleService.
  2. Add a new class named SimpleService, setting its base class to Android.App.Service.
  3. Replace the code in the SimpleService with the following:
using System;
using System.Threading;
using Android.App;
using Android.Content;
using Android.OS;
using Android.Util;

namespace SimpleService

    public class SimpleStartedService : Service
        static readonly string TAG = "X:" + typeof(SimpleStartedService).Name;
        static readonly int TimerWait = 4000;
        Timer timer;
        DateTime startTime;
        bool isStarted = false;

        public override void OnCreate()

        public override StartCommandResult OnStartCommand(Intent intent, StartCommandFlags flags, int startId)
            Log.Debug(TAG, $"OnStartCommand called at {startTime}, flags={flags}, startid={startId}");
            if (isStarted)
                TimeSpan runtime = DateTime.UtcNow.Subtract(startTime);
                Log.Debug(TAG, $"This service was already started, it's been running for {runtime:c}.");
                startTime = DateTime.UtcNow;
                Log.Debug(TAG, $"Starting the service, at {startTime}.");
                timer = new Timer(HandleTimerCallback, startTime, 0, TimerWait);
                isStarted = true;
            return StartCommandResult.NotSticky;

        public override IBinder OnBind(Intent intent)
            // This is a started service, not a bound service, so we just return null.
            return null;

        public override void OnDestroy()
            timer = null;
            isStarted = false;

            TimeSpan runtime = DateTime.UtcNow.Subtract(startTime);
            Log.Debug(TAG, $"Simple Service destroyed at {DateTime.UtcNow} after running for {runtime:c}.");

        void HandleTimerCallback(object state)
            TimeSpan runTime = DateTime.UtcNow.Subtract(startTime);
            Log.Debug(TAG, $"This service has been running for {runTime:c} (since ${state})." );

This code will use an Timer to write a message to the application log every four seconds.

Additional Information

Android services are well suited to long running tasks such as completing a web upload, playing background audio and receiving location updates.

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