I am writing an Android app, finally (yay me) and for this app I need persistant, but user closeable, network sockets (yes, more than one). I decided to try my hand at writing my own version of an IRC Client.
My design issue however, is I'm not sure how to run the Socket connectivity itself. If I put the sockets at the Activity level, they keeps getting closed shortly after the Activity becomes non-visible (also a problem that needs solving...but I think i figured that one out)...but if I run a "connectivity service", I need to find out if I can have multiple instances of it running (the service, that is...one per server/socket). Either that or a I need a way to Thread the sockets themselves and have multiple threads running that I can still communicate with directly (ID system of some sort).
Thus the question: Is it a 'better', or at least more "proper" design pattern, to put the Socket and networking in a service, and have the Activities consume said service...or should I tie the sockets directly to some Threaded Process owned by the UI Activity and not bother with the service implementation at all? I do know better than to put the networking directly on the UI thread, but that's as far as I've managed to get.