[FIXED] Android: Using WebView outside an Activity context

Issue

I am trying to achieve Web Scraping through a background IntentService that periodically scrape a website without a view displaying on the users phone.

  • Since I have to do call some javascript on the loaded page I cannot use any HttpGet’s etc.
  • I therefore have to use a WebView instance which can only run on an UI thread.
  • Any attempts to start an Activity that use a WebView results in a View coming into the phones foreground (as per Android’s design of Activities)
  • Any attempts to use a WebView outside of an Activity context resulted in error pointing to the fact that you cannot use WebView on a non-UI thread.
  • For various complexity reasons I cannot consider using libraries such as Rhino for UI-less web scraping.

Is there any way of working around this problem?

Solution

Correct me if I am wrong but the correct answer to this question is that there is NO possible way to use a WebView in the background while the user is doing other things on the phone without interrupting the user by means of an Activity.

I have applied both Randy and Code_Yoga’s suggestions: Using an activity with “Theme.NoDisplay” to launch a background service with a WebView to do some work. However even though no view is visible the switching to that activity for that second to start the services interrupts the user (ex. like pausing a running game that was being played).

Totally disastrous news for my app so I am still hoping someone will give me a way to use a WebView that does not need an Activity (or a substitute for a WebView that can accomplish the same)

Answered By – Pierre

Answer Checked By – Cary Denson (Easybugfix Admin)

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