Can someone elaborate with an example?
What are the types of it, and why we are using it in Android?
Why is it so important in Android?
Intents are a way of telling Android what you want to do. In other words, you describe your intention. Intents can be used to signal to the Android system that a certain event has occurred. Other components in Android can register to this event via an intent filter.
Following are 2 types of intents
used to call a specific component. When you know which component you want to launch and you do not want to give the user free control over which component to use. For example, you have an application that has 2 activities. Activity A and activity B. You want to launch activity B from activity A. In this case you define an explicit intent targeting activityB and then use it to directly call it.
used when you have an idea of what you want to do, but you do not know which component should be launched. Or if you want to give the user an option to choose between a list of components to use. If these Intents are send to the Android system it searches for all components which are registered for the specific action and the data type. If only one component is found, Android starts the component directly. For example, you have an application that uses the camera to take photos. One of the features of your application is that you give the user the possibility to send the photos he has taken. You do not know what kind of application the user has that can send photos, and you also want to give the user an option to choose which external application to use if he has more than one. In this case you would not use an explicit intent. Instead you should use an implicit intent that has its action set to ACTION_SEND and its data extra set to the URI of the photo.
An explicit intent is always delivered to its target, no matter what it contains; the filter is not consulted. But an implicit intent is delivered to a component only if it can pass through one of the component's filters
If an Intents is send to the Android system, it will determine suitable applications for this Intents. If several components have been registered for this type of Intents, Android offers the user the choice to open one of them.
This determination is based on IntentFilters. An IntentFilters specifies the types of Intent that an activity, service, orBroadcast Receiver can respond to. An Intent Filter declares the capabilities of a component. It specifies what anactivity or service can do and what types of broadcasts a Receiver can handle. It allows the corresponding component to receive Intents of the declared type. IntentFilters are typically defined via the AndroidManifest.xml file. For BroadcastReceiver it is also possible to define them in coding. An IntentFilters is defined by its category, action and data filters. It can also contain additional metadata.
If a component does not define an Intent filter, it can only be called by explicit Intents.
Following are 2 ways to define a filter
If you define the intent filter in the manifest, your application does not have to be running to react to the intents defined in it’s filter. Android registers the filter when your application gets installed.
If you want your broadcast receiver to receive the intent only when your application is running. Then you should define your intent filter during run time (programatically). Keep in mind that this works for broadcast receivers only.
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