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Android BroadcastReceiver Example Tutorial

Published on August 3, 2022
Default avatar
By Anupam Chugh
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.
Android BroadcastReceiver Example Tutorial

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Today we’ll discuss and implement Android BroadcastReceiver that is a very important component of Android Framework.

Android BroadcastReceiver

Android BroadcastReceiver is a dormant component of android that listens to system-wide broadcast events or intents. When any of these events occur it brings the application into action by either creating a status bar notification or performing a task. Unlike activities, android BroadcastReceiver doesn’t contain any user interface. Broadcast receiver is generally implemented to delegate the tasks to services depending on the type of intent data that’s received. Following are some of the important system wide generated intents.

  1. android.intent.action.BATTERY_LOW : Indicates low battery condition on the device.
  2. android.intent.action.BOOT_COMPLETED : This is broadcast once, after the system has finished booting
  3. android.intent.action.CALL : To perform a call to someone specified by the data
  4. android.intent.action.DATE_CHANGED : The date has changed
  5. android.intent.action.REBOOT : Have the device reboot
  6. android.net.conn.CONNECTIVITY_CHANGE : The mobile network or wifi connection is changed(or reset)

Broadcast Receiver in Android

To set up a Broadcast Receiver in android application we need to do the following two things.

  1. Creating a BroadcastReceiver
  2. Registering a BroadcastReceiver

Creating a BroadcastReceiver

Let’s quickly implement a custom BroadcastReceiver as shown below.

public class MyReceiver extends BroadcastReceiver {
    public MyReceiver() {
    }
 
    @Override
    public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {
      
        Toast.makeText(context, "Action: " + intent.getAction(), Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
    }
}

BroadcastReceiver is an abstract class with the onReceiver() method being abstract. The onReceiver() method is first called on the registered Broadcast Receivers when any event occurs. The intent object is passed with all the additional data. A Context object is also available and is used to start an activity or service using context.startActivity(myIntent); or context.startService(myService); respectively.

Registering the BroadcastReceiver in android app

A BroadcastReceiver can be registered in two ways.

  1. By defining it in the AndroidManifest.xml file as shown below.
<receiver android:name=".ConnectionReceiver" >
             <intent-filter>
                 <action android:name="android.net.conn.CONNECTIVITY_CHANGE" />
             </intent-filter>
</receiver>

Using intent filters we tell the system any intent that matches our subelements should get delivered to that specific broadcast receiver.3. By defining it programmatically Following snippet shows a sample example to register broadcast receiver programmatically.

IntentFilter filter = new IntentFilter();
intentFilter.addAction(getPackageName() + "android.net.conn.CONNECTIVITY_CHANGE");
 
MyReceiver myReceiver = new MyReceiver();
registerReceiver(myReceiver, filter);

To unregister a broadcast receiver in onStop() or onPause() of the activity the following snippet can be used.

@Override
protected void onPause() {
    unregisterReceiver(myReceiver);
    super.onPause();
}

Sending Broadcast intents from the Activity

The following snippet is used to send an intent to all the related BroadcastReceivers.

Intent intent = new Intent();
      intent.setAction("com.journaldev.CUSTOM_INTENT");
      sendBroadcast(intent);

Don’t forget to add the above action in the intent filter tag of the manifest or programmatically. Let’s develop an application that listens to network change events and also to a custom intent and handles the data accordingly.

BroadcastReceiver in Android Project Structure

android broadcastreceiver example, BroadcastReceiver in Android

Android BroadcastReceiver Code

The activity_main.xml consists of a button at the centre that sends a broadcast intent.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="https://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:paddingBottom="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"
    android:paddingLeft="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
    android:paddingRight="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
    android:paddingTop="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"
    tools:context="com.journaldev.broadcastreceiver.MainActivity">

    <Button
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:id="@+id/button"
        android:text="Send Broadcast"
        android:layout_centerVertical="true"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true" />
</RelativeLayout>

The MainActivity.java is given below.

package com.journaldev.broadcastreceiver;

import android.content.Intent;
import android.content.IntentFilter;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.util.Log;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;

import butterknife.ButterKnife;
import butterknife.InjectView;
import butterknife.OnClick;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {
    ConnectionReceiver receiver;
    IntentFilter intentFilter;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

        ButterKnife.inject(this);

        receiver = new ConnectionReceiver();
        intentFilter = new IntentFilter("com.journaldev.broadcastreceiver.SOME_ACTION");

    }

    @Override
    protected void onResume() {
        super.onResume();
        registerReceiver(receiver, intentFilter);

    }

    @Override
    protected void onDestroy() {
        super.onDestroy();

        unregisterReceiver(receiver);
    }

    @OnClick(R.id.button)
    void someMethod() {

        Intent intent = new Intent("com.journaldev.broadcastreceiver.SOME_ACTION");
        sendBroadcast(intent);
    }
}

In the above code we’ve registered another custom action programmatically. The ConnectionReceiver is defined in the AndroidManifest.xml file as below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="com.journaldev.broadcastreceiver">

    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE" />

    <application
        android:allowBackup="true"
        android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher"
        android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:supportsRtl="true"
        android:theme="@style/AppTheme">
        <activity android:name=".MainActivity">
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
            </intent-filter>
        </activity>

        <receiver android:name=".ConnectionReceiver">
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.net.conn.CONNECTIVITY_CHANGE" />
            </intent-filter>
        </receiver>

    </application>
</manifest>

The ConnectionReceiver.java class is defined below.

public class ConnectionReceiver extends BroadcastReceiver {
    @Override
    public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {

        Log.d("API123",""+intent.getAction());

        if(intent.getAction().equals("com.journaldev.broadcastreceiver.SOME_ACTION"))
            Toast.makeText(context, "SOME_ACTION is received", Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();

        else {
            ConnectivityManager cm =
                    (ConnectivityManager) context.getSystemService(Context.CONNECTIVITY_SERVICE);

            NetworkInfo activeNetwork = cm.getActiveNetworkInfo();
            boolean isConnected = activeNetwork != null &&
                    activeNetwork.isConnectedOrConnecting();
            if (isConnected) {
                try {
                    Toast.makeText(context, "Network is connected", Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
                } catch (Exception e) {
                    e.printStackTrace();
                }
            } else {
                Toast.makeText(context, "Network is changed or reconnected", Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
            }
        }
    }

}

In the above code we check the intent action that triggers the onReceive() method and based on that display the toast. Note: To make the broadcast receiver unavailable to external applications, add the attribute android:exported=false in the manifest. When we send a broadcast, it is possible for the external applications too to receive them. This can be prevented by specifying this limitation. The output app in action is given below. android broadcast receiver app This brings an end android BroadcastReceiver tutorial. You can download the final BroadcastReceivers project from the link below.

Download Android BroadcastReceiver Project

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About the authors
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Developer and author at DigitalOcean.

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LocalBroadcastManager is deprecated in androidx. How to register and unregister broadcast receiver if is not from a activity or service ? developer document says … LocalBroadcastManager is an application-wide event bus and embraces layer violations in your app: any component may listen events from any other. You can replace usage of LocalBroadcastManager with other implementation of observable pattern, depending on your usecase suitable options may be LiveData or reactive streams. do we have any example for on how to migrate LocalBroadcastManager based code to LiveData or reactive stream with minimal changes ?

- hg hm

    Thank you for filling in the knowledge gaps on this tutorial.

    - J Felix

      Hi Anupam, Firstly good work in articulating this content on the web. Is there a property off which I can capture the time a message or broadcast was sent and received?

      - Evan

        Hello guys i am gaurav, this code is working well before nougat, after that it will not work so please check the changes by google about broadcast recievers.

        - GauravKohara

          this project is very helpful to us

          - rajkumar prajapati

            thank you for all your work!

            - worku

              Seems the whole tutorial wont work on Android Oreo versions.

              - Ryan Darren Morales

                Please change the onReceiver() method to onReceive() method above as it is not correct.

                - Ashwath Rao B

                  Cool article man!

                  - Ivan Kravchuk

                    receiver is not firing when i change the networkconnection(Internet) state. I’m using this ==== > android:name=“android.net.conn.CONNECTIVITY_CHANGE” but this is not working when targetSdkVersion=“26” could you please help me to solve this.

                    - prashanth yejje