Starting tasks :Android tutorials

Starting tasks :Android tutorials
An activity is set up as the entry point for a task by giving it an intent filter with "android.intent.action.MAIN" as the specified action and "android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" as the specified category. (There's an example of this type of filter in the earlier Intent Filters section.) A filter of this kind causes an icon and label for the activity to be displayed in the application launcher, giving users a way both to launch the task and to return to it at any time after it has been launched.

This second ability is important: Users must be able to leave a task and then come back to it later. For this reason, the two launch modes that mark activities as always initiating a task, "singleTask" and "singleInstance", should be used only when the activity has a MAIN and LAUNCHER filter. Imagine, for example, what could happen if the filter is missing: An intent launches a "singleTask" activity, initiating a new task, and the user spends some time working in that task. The user then presses the HOME key. The task is now ordered behind and obscured by the home screen. And, because it is not represented in the application launcher, the user has no way to return to it.

A similar difficulty attends the FLAG_ACTIVITY_NEW_TASK flag. If this flag causes an activity to begin a new task and the user presses the HOME key to leave it, there must be some way for the user to navigate back to it again. Some entities (such as the notification manager) always start activities in an external task, never as part of their own, so they always put FLAG_ACTIVITY_NEW_TASK in the intents they pass to startActivity(). If you have an activity that can be invoked by an external entity that might use this flag, take care that the user has a independent way to get back to the task that's started.

For those cases where you don't want the user to be able to return to an activity, set the element's finishOnTaskLaunch to "true". See Clearing the stack, earlier.

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