Open another application from your own (intent)


I know how to update my own programs, and I know how to open programs using the a predefined Uri (for sms or email for example)

I need to know how I can create an Intent to open MyTracks or any other application that I don't know what intents they listen to.

I got this info from DDMS, but I havn't been succesful in turning this to an Intent I can use. This is taken from when opening MyTracks manually.

Thanks for your help

05-06 11:22:24.945: INFO/ActivityManager(76): Starting activity: Intent { act=android.intent.action.MAIN cat=[android.intent.category.LAUNCHER] flg=0x10200000 bnds=[243,338][317,417] }
05-06 11:22:25.005: INFO/ActivityManager(76): Start proc for activity pid=1176 uid=10063 gids={3003, 1015}
05-06 11:22:26.995: INFO/ActivityManager(76): Displayed activity 1996 ms (total 1996 ms)
5/6/2010 10:47:08 AM

Accepted Answer

Firstly, the concept of "application" in Android is slightly an extended one.

An application - technically a process - can have multiple activities, services, content providers and/or broadcast listeners. If at least one of them is running, the application is up and running (the process).

So, what you have to identify is how do you want to "start the application".

Ok... here's what you can try out:

  1. Create an intent with action=MAIN and category=LAUNCHER
  2. Get the PackageManager from the current context using context.getPackageManager
  3. packageManager.queryIntentActivity(<intent>, 0) where intent has category=LAUNCHER, action=MAIN or packageManager.resolveActivity(<intent>, 0) to get the first activity with main/launcher
  4. Get theActivityInfo you're interested in
  5. From the ActivityInfo, get the packageName and name
  6. Finally, create another intent with with category=LAUNCHER, action=MAIN, componentName = new ComponentName(packageName, name) and setFlags(Intent.FLAG_ACTIVITY_NEW_TASK)
  7. Finally, context.startActivity(newIntent)
4/13/2015 9:39:38 PM

I have work it like this,

/** Open another app.
 * @param context current Context, like Activity, App, or Service
 * @param packageName the full package name of the app to open
 * @return true if likely successful, false if unsuccessful
public static boolean openApp(Context context, String packageName) {
    PackageManager manager = context.getPackageManager();
    try {
        Intent i = manager.getLaunchIntentForPackage(packageName);
        if (i == null) {
            return false;
            //throw new ActivityNotFoundException();
        return true;
    } catch (ActivityNotFoundException e) {
        return false;

Example usage:

openApp(this, "");

Hope it helps someone.

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