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Android Application Development For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Donn Felker, Michael Burton

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Hardware Tools

Google gives developers (even independent ones) the tools that are necessary to create top-notch, full-featured mobile apps. Google makes it simple to tap into, and make use of, all available hardware on a device.

To create a spectacular Android app, you should take advantage of all that the hardware has to offer. Don’t get us wrong — if you have an idea for an app that needs no hardware assistance, that’s okay, too.

Android devices come supplied with several hardware features that you can use to build apps. Table 1-1 describes the hardware features available on most Android devices.

Table 1-1 Android Device Hardware

Android Hardware Feature

What It Does

Accelerometer

Indicates whether the phone is moving

Bluetooth radio

Indicates whether a headset is connected

Built-in compass

Indicates in which direction the user is heading

Camera

Records video

GPS radio

Indicates the user’s location

Proximity sensor

Indicates whether the device is facing up or down

Most Android devices are released with the hardware discussed in the following four sections, but not all devices are created equal. Android is free for hardware manufacturers to distribute, so it’s used in a wide range of devices, including some made by small manufacturers overseas (and it isn’t uncommon for some of these devices to be missing a feature or two).

Android devices come in all shapes and sizes: phones, tablets, and e-book readers. You will find many other ...

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