Activity Launch Modes - A simple explanation in a table.

Monday, 27 December 2010

An Android Activity launch mode dictates to which Task an Activity is created and how it is instantiated. Its a tiny bit confusing to figure out exactly what launch mode you need from the official documentation so I've created a small table to help.

First of all here is a brief definition of some of the terms:

  • Task - A "stack of Activities" in your application. If an Activity is sent to the background (by pressing the HOME key whilst viewing it, for example) then the whole Task (and all the Activities inside it) will be sent back as well. If the user then clicks on your application, the task (and the order of its activities) come forward.

  • Root of a task - The first Activity in a Task. There is always one of these in a Task.