Exit Button In Android App

Android Exit

A lot of developers wondering about the exit button and how they can apply it efficiently, well there are many discussions on stackoverflow or other forums suggest to use this piece of code.

This code will only “finish” the current activity and never finishes the rest of the activities or take them to the finalize stage.

So is there a way to exit an android app completely ?

the answer is very simple: never and never allow the user to exit the app on his own.

WHY ?

That’s against Android nature and best practices, and yet the system handles this automatically. That’s what the activity lifecycle (especially onPause/onStop/onDestroy) is for. No matter what you do, do not put a “close” or “exit” application button.

Do Users Really Want It?

Let me posit this assertion: no they don’t.

Of the apps that ship with the device (Gmail, Contacts, Maps, Gallery, etc.) exactly none of them include an exit button, and most users are comfortable with that. Nonetheless many developers are adamant, “I added it after users demanded it!”.
if you have to add this button, try not to, just explain why to whom ever demands this functionality, as I’m trying to do always when this case comes around, and it always works.

Here’s a good video which explains the case:

If you think something is wrong please feel free to comment :)
  1. Fred says:

    Exit buttons are good. A lot of apps keep running processes in the background, which can’t be killed easily. Take UberHype for example, this app needs an exit button that closes the app and stops the music. But there isn’t an exit button, so what happens when you want to stop the music? Just keep clicking back button? Nope, that doesn’t stop the music, so how do you stop it? You must “open” the app again and navigate to the page where the controls are located for the currently playing song, then stop it. Sorry, but there a lot of good UX reasons why an exit button makes a lot of sense. Users don’t care about the “Android stack” and whatever other techno babble you come up with to deny them a simple and easy to understand function: “END THIS APP AND ITS PROCESSES NOW”.

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  2. shine says:

    @Fred I agree with Hatem BTW, exit buttons just aren’t Android. Look at all the ‘official’ apps, the ones defining standars. Even lately with material design, exit buttons just don’t exist.

    There are some exceptions consisting of apps requesting two ‘taps on back’ to exit, but almost all of them do this in the ‘main’ Activity, so that it’s actually an obstacle closing the app as normally a single ‘back’ tap would do.

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  3. First of all Android sucks in comparison to even Windows 8. Windows, being an os that is embedded in the majority of people’s way of computing, should not be totally disregarded by those who are believers in the clunky, unclear process steps and lack of configuration that Android torments users with, users who know how they want app(lication)s to function with.

    Why not acknowledge people’s preferences rather than be all high and mighty and dominate them with your Android ways? Why not make Android more like the best that Windows can offer? Or do you prefer your renegade self-foolishness, thinking you know better than users regarding what they should want?

    What about users who want to return an app back to its starting status without having to press back numerous times, who want to be able to exit it to its starting state?

    You make a lot of sense, but you miss the point. If your philosophy is to supply users with a smooth, friendly navigation among apps, you would work on promoting some kind of simple exit option.

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    • I think my name says it all begging to differ.
      In relation to this article, I very much dislike an app that doesnt have an exit button. I am always going into Apps to force close the app that was runnig. Some of them linger in the background and even keep their icon on the notification bar. No exit button… annoying app.

      Reply