Thread-safe methods : Android Tutorials
In a few contexts, the methods you implement may be called from more than one thread, and therefore must be written to be thread-safe.
This is primarily true for methods that can be called remotely — as in the RPC mechanism discussed in the previous section. When a call on a method implemented in an IBinder object originates in the same process as the IBinder, the method is executed in the caller's thread. However, when the call originates in another process, the method is executed in a thread chosen from a pool of threads that Android maintains in the same process as the IBinder; it's not executed in the main thread of the process. For example, whereas a service's onBind() method would be called from the main thread of the service's process, methods implemented in the object that onBind() returns (for example, a Stub subclass that implements RPC methods) would be called from threads in the pool. Since services can have more than one client, more than one pool thread can engage the same IBinder method at the same time. IBinder methods must, therefore, be implemented to be thread-safe.
Similarly, a content provider can receive data requests that originate in other processes. Although the ContentResolver and ContentProvider classes hide the details of how the interprocess communication is managed, ContentProvider methods that respond to those requests — the methods query(), insert(), delete(), update(), and getType() — are called from a pool of threads in the content provider's process, not the main thread of the process. Since these methods may be called from any number of threads at the same time, they too must be implemented to be thread-safe.