The Android Application Life Cycle

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Unlike most traditional environments, Android applications have limited control over their own life cycles. Instead, application components must listen for changes in the application state and react accordingly, taking particular care to be prepared for untimely termination.

By default, each Android application runs in its own process, each of which is running a separate instance of Dalvik. Memory and process management is handled exclusively by the run time.

While it's uncommon, it's possible to force application components within the same application to run in different processes or to have multiple applications share the same process using the android:process attribute on the affected component nodes within the manifest.

Android aggressively manages its resources, doing whatever it takes to ensure that the device remains responsive. This means that processes (and their hosted applications) will be killed, without warning in some cases, to free resources for higher-priority applications — generally those interacting directly with the user at the time. The prioritization process is discussed in the next section.


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