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Support for long-running workers

WorkManager 2.3.0-alpha02 adds first-class support for long running workers. In such cases, WorkManager can provide a signal to the OS that the process should be kept alive if possible while this work is executing. These Workers can run longer than 10 minutes. Example use-cases for this new feature include bulk uploads or downloads (that cannot be chunked), crunching on an ML model locally, or a task that's important to the user of the app.

Under the hood, WorkManager manages and runs a foreground service on your behalf to execute the WorkRequest, while also showing a configurable notification.

ListenableWorker now supports the setForegroundAsync() API, and CoroutineWorker supports a suspending setForeground() API. These APIs allow developers to specify that this WorkRequest is important (from a user perspective) or long-running.

Starting with 2.3.0-alpha03, WorkManager also allows you to create a PendingIntent, which can be used to cancel workers without having to register a new Android component using the createCancelPendingIntent() API. This approach is especially useful when used with the setForegroundAsync() or setForeground() APIs, which can be used to add a notification action to cancel the Worker.

Creating and managing long-running workers

You'll use a slightly different approach depending on whether you are coding in Kotlin or Java.

Java

Developers using a ListenableWorker or a Worker can call the setForegroundAsync() API, which returns a ListenableFuture<Void>. You can also call setForegroundAsync(), to update an ongoing Notification.

Here is a simple example of a long running worker that downloads a file. This Worker keeps track of progress to update an ongoing Notification which shows the download progress.

public class DownloadWorker extends Worker {
    private static final String KEY_INPUT_URL = "KEY_INPUT_URL";
    private static final String KEY_OUTPUT_FILE_NAME = "KEY_OUTPUT_FILE_NAME";

    private NotificationManager notificationManager;

    public DownloadWorker(
        @NonNull Context context,
        @NonNull WorkerParameters parameters) {
            super(context, parameters);
            notificationManager = (NotificationManager)
                context.getSystemService(NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
    }

    @NonNull
    @Override
    public Result doWork() {
        Data inputData = getInputData();
        String inputUrl = inputData.getString(KEY_INPUT_URL);
        String outputFile = inputData.getString(KEY_OUTPUT_FILE_NAME);
        // Mark the Worker as important
        String progress = "Starting Download";
        setForegroundAsync(createForegroundInfo(progress));
        download(inputUrl, outputFile);
        return Result.success();
    }

    private void download(String inputUrl, String outputFile) {
        // Downloads a file and updates bytes read
        // Calls setForegroundInfoAsync() periodically when it needs to update
       // the ongoing Notification
    }

    @NonNull
    private ForegroundInfo createForegroundInfo(@NonNull String progress) {
        // Build a notification using bytesRead and contentLength

        Context context = getApplicationContext();
        String id = context.getString(R.string.notification_channel_id);
        String title = context.getString(R.string.notification_title);
        String cancel = context.getString(R.string.cancel_download);
        // This PendingIntent can be used to cancel the worker
        PendingIntent intent = WorkManager.getInstance(context)
                .createCancelPendingIntent(getId());

        if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.O) {
            createChannel();
        }

        Notification notification = new NotificationCompat.Builder(context, id)
                .setContentTitle(title)
                .setTicker(title)
                .setSmallIcon(R.drawable.ic_work_notification)
                .setOngoing(true)
                // Add the cancel action to the notification which can
                // be used to cancel the worker
                .addAction(android.R.drawable.ic_delete, cancel, intent)
                .build();

        return new ForegroundInfo(notification);
    }

    @RequiresApi(Build.VERSION_CODES.O)
    private void createChannel() {
        // Create a Notification channel
    }
}

Kotlin

Kotlin developers should use CoroutineWorker. Instead of using setForegroundAsync(), you can use the suspending version of that method, setForeground().

class DownloadWorker(context: Context, parameters: WorkerParameters) :
    CoroutineWorker(context, parameters) {

    private val notificationManager =
        context.getSystemService(Context.NOTIFICATION_SERVICE) as
                NotificationManager

    override suspend fun doWork(): Result {
        val inputUrl = inputData.getString(KEY_INPUT_URL)
                       ?: return Result.failure()
        val outputFile = inputData.getString(KEY_OUTPUT_FILE_NAME)
                       ?: return Result.failure()
        // Mark the Worker as important
        val progress = "Starting Download"
        setForeground(createForegroundInfo(progress))
        download(inputUrl, outputFile)
        return Result.success()
    }

    private fun download(inputUrl: String, outputFile: String) {
        // Downloads a file and updates bytes read
        // Calls setForegroundInfo() periodically when it needs to update
        // the ongoing Notification
    }
    // Creates an instance of ForegroundInfo which can be used to update the
    // ongoing notification.
    private fun createForegroundInfo(progress: String): ForegroundInfo {
        val id = applicationContext.getString(R.string.notification_channel_id)
        val title = applicationContext.getString(R.string.notification_title)
        val cancel = applicationContext.getString(R.string.cancel_download)
        // This PendingIntent can be used to cancel the worker
        val intent = WorkManager.getInstance(applicationContext)
                .createCancelPendingIntent(getId())

        // Create a Notification channel if necessary
        if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.O) {
            createChannel()
        }

        val notification = NotificationCompat.Builder(applicationContext, id)
            .setContentTitle(title)
            .setTicker(title)
            .setContentText(progress)
            .setSmallIcon(R.drawable.ic_work_notification)
            .setOngoing(true)
            // Add the cancel action to the notification which can
            // be used to cancel the worker
            .addAction(android.R.drawable.ic_delete, cancel, intent)
            .build()

        return ForegroundInfo(notification)
    }

    @RequiresApi(Build.VERSION_CODES.O)
    private fun createChannel() {
        // Create a Notification channel
    }

    companion object {
        const val KEY_INPUT_URL = "KEY_INPUT_URL"
        const val KEY_OUTPUT_FILE_NAME = "KEY_OUTPUT_FILE_NAME"
    }
}

Add a foreground service type to a long-running worker

If your app targets Android 10 (API level 29) or higher and contains a long-running worker that requires access to location, indicate that the worker uses a foreground service type of location. Also, if your app targets Android 11 (API level 30) or higher and contains a long-running worker that requires access to camera or microphone, declare the camera or microphone foreground service types, respectively.

To add these foreground service types, complete the steps described in the following sections.

Declare foreground service types in app manifest

Declare the worker's foreground service type in your app's manifest. In the following example, the worker requires access to location and microphone:

AndroidManifest.xml

<service
    android:name="androidx.work.impl.foreground.SystemForegroundService"
    android:foregroundServiceType="location|microphone"
    tools:node="merge" />

Specify foreground service types at runtime

When you call setForeground() or setForegroundAsync(), specify a foreground service type of FOREGROUND_SERVICE_TYPE_LOCATION, FOREGROUND_SERVICE_TYPE_CAMERA, or FOREGROUND_SERVICE_TYPE_MICROPHONE, as shown in the following code snippet.

MyLocationAndMicrophoneWorker

Kotlin

private fun createForegroundInfo(progress: String): ForegroundInfo {
    // ...
    return ForegroundInfo(NOTIFICATION_ID, notification,
            FOREGROUND_SERVICE_TYPE_LOCATION or FOREGROUND_SERVICE_TYPE_MICROPHONE)
}

Java

@NonNull
private ForegroundInfo createForegroundInfo(@NonNull String progress) {
    // Build a notification...
    Notification notification = ...;
    return new ForegroundInfo(NOTIFICATION_ID, notification,
            FOREGROUND_SERVICE_TYPE_LOCATION | FOREGROUND_SERVICE_TYPE_MICROPHONE);
}