[Android SDK] java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Service Intent must be explicit – on Android 5.0 Lollipop

[Refloated post from 2014, treasure from the past]

I just noticed that one of my Apps is getting continous crash reports on Google Play. The crashes are related to IAPs (In-App Purchases, Billing library), exactly on this line:

Intent serviceIntent = new Intent(“com.android.vending.billing.InAppBillingService.BIND”);
mContext.bindService(explicitIntent, mServiceConnection, Context.BIND_AUTO_CREATE);

According to this SO question, there are two possible solutions:

1.- Turning the implicit intent (the serviceIntent var above) into an explicit intent

1.1.- Copy this code for createExplicitFromImplicitIntent() method found in android-develop blog:

* Android L (lollipop, API 21) introduced a new problem when trying to invoke implicit intent,
* "java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Service Intent must be explicit"
* If you are using an implicit intent, and know only 1 target would answer this intent,
* This method will help you turn the implicit intent into the explicit form.
* Inspired from SO answer: http://stackoverflow.com/a/26318757/1446466
* @param context
* @param implicitIntent - The original implicit intent
* @return Explicit Intent created from the implicit original intent
public static Intent createExplicitFromImplicitIntent(Context context, Intent implicitIntent) {
// Retrieve all services that can match the given intent
PackageManager pm = context.getPackageManager();
List resolveInfo = pm.queryIntentServices(implicitIntent, 0);

// Make sure only one match was found
if (resolveInfo == null || resolveInfo.size() != 1) {
return null;

// Get component info and create ComponentName
ResolveInfo serviceInfo = resolveInfo.get(0);
String packageName = serviceInfo.serviceInfo.packageName;
String className = serviceInfo.serviceInfo.name;
ComponentName component = new ComponentName(packageName, className);

// Create a new intent. Use the old one for extras and such reuse
Intent explicitIntent = new Intent(implicitIntent);

// Set the component to be explicit

return explicitIntent;

1.2.- Add this line to your IabHelper implementation:

Intent serviceIntent = new Intent("com.android.vending.billing.InAppBillingService.BIND");
Intent explicitIntent = createExplicitFromImplicitIntent(mContext, serviceIntent);
mContext.bindService(explicitIntent, mServiceConnection, Context.BIND_AUTO_CREATE);

2.- Setting the intent’s package name

Add this line


Choose the one of your preference, then re-submit your app to Google Play. This should fix the crash reports!

Thanks to the authors of both solutions. Have a nice coding day!


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