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Difference Between Foreground Service vs Activity in Android

Last Updated : 14 Sep, 2022
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A Service is a component of an application that may conduct long-running activities in the background. It does not have a graphical user interface. A service that has been started may continue to run for some time after the user changes to another program. A component can also bind to a service in order to communicate with it and even execute interprocess communication (IPC). A service, for example, can conduct network transactions, play music, execute file I/O, and communicate with a content provider in the background. Let’s understand it further in a more granular manner:

Difference Table

Foreground service


A foreground service executes an action that is visible to the user. A foreground service, for example, would be used by an audio app to play an audio track. A single, concentrated item that the user may accomplish is referred to as an activity.
A Notification must be displayed by foreground services. Even when the user is not interacting with the app, foreground services continue to execute. All the activities enlisted in the android manifest are meant to be used by the user and hence they are in front while being executed. 
You must give notice when utilizing a foreground service so that users are aware that the service is functioning. This is done through notifications that are not dismissible When using an activity for your android app, there is no need to provide notification as it resides as full glanceable content. 
This message will not go away unless the service is either terminated or removed from the foreground. The activities in android can also be used in mini modes and can be resizable. 
When a service is launched, it has its own lifecycle that is unrelated to the component that launched it. Even if the component that launched it is removed, the service can continue to operate in the background indefinitely. Activity stacks are used to manage activities in the system. When a new activity is launched, it is usually added to the top of the existing stack and becomes an active activity.
A service that has been launched must manage its own lifetime. That is unless the system needs to recover system memory, the system does not terminate or delete the service, and the service continues to operate after onStartCommand(). An activity need not manage its own lifecycle as the Android system could actually manage it if it needs more memory
When another component uses startService, the service is created (). The service will then continue indefinitely and must be stopped by using stopSelf () The startActivity(Intent) function is used to launch a new activity, which is added to the top of the activity stack. It only accepts one parameter, an Intent that describes the action to be performed.


Services are a unique component in Android that allows an application to run in the background to execute long-running operation activities, on the other hand, an activity, like a window or a frame in Java, represents a single screen with a user interface. The Android activity class is a subclass of the ContextThemeWrapper class.

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