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2.0.2 • Public • Published

Start an App Without Showing the Activity

The purpose of this plugin is to enable notifications, alarms, etc to re-start your app and fire callbacks without the app causing any visual cues to the user. In essense, it allows starting an app as an Android service, but does so without the use of an actual service.


Works on iOS and Android.

iOS values for resumeType limited to: '', 'launch', 'normal', 'normal-launch'


To see it in action, try the example app.

For how to create your own plugin that uses it, look at cordova-plugin-chrome-apps-notifications or cordova-plugin-chrome-apps-alarms

cordova.backgroundapp.resumeType (string)

After the deviceready event, this will either be:

  • '' - When started as a service.
  • 'launch' - When started normally.

After a resume event, this will be one of:

  • 'normal' - Triggered by an external intent (launcher / task switcher). App was running normally, but had been backgrounded.
  • 'normal-launch' - Triggered by an external intent (launcher / task switcher). App was running as a service.
  • 'programmatic' - Triggered by a call to BackgroundActivity.launchForeground(). App was running normally, but had been backgrounded.
  • 'programmatic-launch' - Triggered by a call to `BackgroundActivity. App was running as a service.

The normal way to use this plugin:

document.addEventListener("deviceready", function() {
    if (cordova.backgroundapp.resumeType == 'launch') {
}, false);
document.addEventListener("resume", function() {
    if (cordova.backgroundapp.resumeType == 'normal-launch') {
    } else if (cordova.backgroundapp.resumeType == 'programmatic-launch') {
        // You launched programatically (through perhaps)
        // so you should have already called renderUi() from where you called .show().
}, false);

Brings the app to the foreground. E.g. Call this in response to a user clicking on a notification.

This symbol will be null on iOS, since iOS has not yet implemented this functionality.

Implementation Details

The goal is ultimately to be able to run the app in an Android service, but because many plugins utilize CordovaInterface.getActivity(), a background Activity rather than a Service is more viable.

  • Uses gradle build rule to remove your default <intent-filter>
  • Uses a BackgroundLauncherActivity to recieve launch intent and start your main activity.
  • If you are an already shipping app, you should use an <activity-alias> to make your previous main activity point to BackgroundLauncherActivity, and then rename your main activity to not conflict with the alias. This is so that launcher shortcuts continue to function correctly.

Known Issues

  • When the app goes from not running -> running in background, if you are currently in the task switcher, the task switcher will close.
  • On Lollipop, backgrounded app shows in recents list when no other recents exists (fixed in MR1)

Release Notes

2.0.1 (May 13, 2015)

  • Fix cordova.backgroundapp.resumeType being 'launch' when running in background on Android
  • Added sample app to git repo

2.0.0 (April 29, 2015)

  • Introduced cordova.backgroundapp.resumeType and
  • Rewrote Android implementation to not require translucent theme
  • Minimal iOS support added (basic resumeType values only)

1.0.0 (March 2015)

  • Initial release


npm i cordova-plugin-background-app

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