How to make Android app recover from pause and resume gracefully

I am very familiar with the Android activity lifecycle, but I feel like I am missing something that should be pretty obvious here.

I have a multi-activity Android app; it uses static variables (in the application class) to keep a handle on the various objects that are used across the different views. The problem occurs when the app is paused (exited) and Android (presumably) cleans up memory to maintain foreground processes. When the user resumes the app, it occasionally (not always) seems to come back and resume in the Activity that the user left, but with the static variables nulled. Even worse, the activity sometimes seems to resume with the static variables still present, but with internal variables in objects nulled.

I eventually implemented a simple sanity check, which checks that the statics are not nulled (and also the most vital inner variables of relevant objects) and returns the app to start if it fails. This did cut down on a lot on the problems, but I still see the occasional issues with this, as it is simply not practical to check everything for every resume().

What I really need is for the app to restart from scratch if the Android OS decides it needs to clean anything non-GC from memory while the app is inactive. I feel there should be a graceful way to do this, but haven't noticed anything in the documentation.

Any thoughts? How do others avoid this problem?


Using the Application class for preserving state can result in unexpected behaviour if Android decides to kill your process completely. Check out this answer to a similar question i.e. you should probably use some sort of persistence (SharedPreferences or some DB) in your Activity lifecycle callbacks.

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