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How to access a variable of a service from an activity

I understand that in order to access methods of a service from an activity, we should bind the service.

But if we just want to get the value of a variable in the service, can we just access it like so without binding?

int myActivityVar = myService.myServiceVar;

It works, but I’m not sure if it has any memory leak implications or any other issues.




  • The Activity will send a BroadcastReceiver to the Service to request getting the data.

  • The Service will register the BroadcastReceiver, when receiving a broadcast message from the Activity, it will prepare result data and send it back to the Activity by using ResultReceiver.


public class MyService extends Service {

    public static final String ACTION_GET_DATA = "ACTION_GET_DATA";
    public static final String EXTRA_RECEIVER = "EXTRA_RECEIVER";
    public static final String EXTRA_DATA = "EXTRA_DATA";

    public static final int RESULT_OK = 1;
    public static final int RESULT_FAILED = 0;

    // The data of the Service that the Activity want to access.
    private int myServiceVar = 100;

    private final BroadcastReceiver onGetDataReceiver = new BroadcastReceiver() {
        public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {
            // Send result data to the activity
            ResultReceiver receiver = intent.getParcelableExtra(EXTRA_RECEIVER);
            Bundle resultData = new Bundle();
            resultData.putInt(EXTRA_DATA, myServiceVar);
            receiver.send(RESULT_OK, resultData);

    public void onCreate() {
        registerReceiver(onGetDataReceiver, new IntentFilter(ACTION_GET_DATA));

    public int onStartCommand(Intent intent, int flags, int startId) {
        // TODO: Your code logic goes here.
        return Service.START_STICKY;

    public IBinder onBind(Intent intent) {
        return null;

private void getDataFromService() {
    Handler mainHandler = new Handler(Looper.getMainLooper());
    ResultReceiver receiver = new ResultReceiver(mainHandler) {
        protected void onReceiveResult(int resultCode, Bundle resultData) {
            if (resultCode == MyService.RESULT_OK) {
                int data = resultData.getInt(MyService.EXTRA_DATA);
                Log.i(TAG, "Received data = " + data);

    Intent intent = new Intent(MyService.ACTION_GET_DATA);
    intent.putExtra(MyService.EXTRA_RECEIVER, receiver);