In my Application I am not having any UI part, so I need to start a Service as soon as the Applicaton gets installed on the Device. I saw many links from which the answer was that its not possible but I guess it is surely possible. Just have a look at PlanB Application on the Android Market that does fulfil my requirement. Below is my Manifest file how I tried, but the Service was not called at all. So, let me know what is the best possible way to start a Service when the Application gets Installed.


I also tried using android.intent.action.PACKAGE_ADDED it works fine for detecting the Package for the other Applications but not for itself.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android=""
    android:versionName="1.0" >

    <uses-sdk android:minSdkVersion="8" />
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED"/>

        android:icon="@drawable/ic_launcher" >

        <service android:name=".MyService">
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />
                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />

        <receiver android:name=".BootUpReceiver">
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.BOOT_COMPLETED"/>
                <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT"/>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.PACKAGE_INSTALL" />
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.PACKAGE_ADDED" />
                <data android:scheme="package"/>

Solution 1

Fortunately, Plan B does not work on Android 3.1+, as tested on a XOOM and a Galaxy Nexus.

What Plan B does is exploit a security hole that could be used by drive-by malware, which is specifically why Android prevents it from happening anymore.


To clarify: As inazaruk posted and I put into comments on other answers, all applications, upon installation, are placed in a "stopped" state. This is the same state that the application winds up in after the user force-stops the app from the Settings application. While in this "stopped" state, the application will not run for any reason, except by a manual launch of an activity. Notably, no BroadcastReceviers will be invoked, regardless of the event for which they have registered, until the user runs the app manually.

This block covers the Plan B scenario of remote-install-and-run, which they were taking advantage of previously. After all, with that, anyone with a hacked Google account would be at risk of having their device infected, hands-free as it were.

So, when the OP says:

I need to start a Service as soon as the Applicaton gets installed on the Device

the OP will be unsuccessful and will need to redesign the application to avoid this purported "need".

Solution 2

Applications installed on the /system partition are not subject to being placed into the "stopped" state after installation. If you have root, you can do,

$ adb root
$ adb remount
$ adb push your.apk /system/app

And it can immediately receive broadcast intents. This certainly doesn't provide a general purpose solution, but i wanted to mention it for completeness.

EDIT: Keep in mind that different versions of Android locate system APKs in different places. For example, Android 8 puts them under /system/app//.apk. Shell into your device and poke around and follow the same scheme used for other system APKs.

Solution 3

I agree with CommonsWare's answer to question: How to start android service on installation. In other words, you can't automatically start your service after you've just been installed.

One more thing about newer Android platforms: if you don't have UI at all, you'll have trouble starting your service even when using BOOT_COMPLETE intent on Android 3.1+.

That's because all installed applications are in stopped state. In this state applications will not receive ANY broadcast notifications.

In order to activate your application some other application (or user) needs to start your service or activity, or content provider. The usual workflow is when user clicks on your application's icon.

I've written a detailed explanations about this in my blog post.

Solution 4

Plan B does this launch by listening to the events which happen in the system. It uses a receiver which literally listenes to hundreds of events hoping that some of them will eventually fire up. So this is how you can do it. Otherwise, there are no built-in means to launch the application as soon as it gets installed.

Solution 5

I'm not sure what your constraints/purpose is, but if you can install another application that has an activity you can have it send an intent with the flag FLAG_INCLUDE_STOPPED_PACKAGES.

This will use your application for the intent resolution, even though it's in a stopped state. If the action of the intent matches one of your filters, it will also bring the package out of the stopped state.

Solution 6

I don't think so You can start service immediately after installed your application on device,

The application must first be invoked by the user through some sort of Activity.The only things you have to register some Broadcast Receiver with appropriate intents in manifest which invoke you service when something is happening on device but this remaing to Android 3.1 version.


After Android 3.1+ onwards you can not use any Broadcast for starting your application, because all application remains in inactive state after completion of device boot and to launch the application the user have to invoke it.(By touching the app icon).

Solution 7

As stated by CommonsWare in the answer to this question (which I suppose you have all ready seen, but chose to ignore) starting a Service on install is not possible - it is simply not a thing that is implemented into the platform.

Starting it automaticly at the next boot is however possible.

As stated in the Technical Details for PlanB:

Plan B will attempt to launch as soon as it downloads, but in some cases you will need to send an SMS to get it started.

My guess is that on a rooted phone you might be able to start the Service on install - but there's no guarantee that the phone is rooted, which is why PlanB will require recieving a text in some cases because that can be registered by the IntentFilter of the app and then used to start the Service.

Solution 8

there is an app on google play Android Lost which invoke the registration service for google push messages via an incoming sms without launching the app even once for version 3.0+.

Solution 9

Perhaps the best way to accomplish this (and now I'm speaking to the specific intent of the OP, a program that gets installed in order to retrieve a stolen phone, not the general question) is social engineering, not software engineering.

So, an icon with text like "Password List" or "My Bank Accounts" which suddenly appeared on the home screen would undoubtedly be clicked on. Look at the success of all sorts of other phishing, and here you would be targeting a thief, who's already motivated to continue nefarious activity. Let the thief start it for you. :)

Solution 10

HEY I think using a BroadcastRecivier to automatically start the app on restart of device hence it will automatically start on device start.Hope this will help