In This Chapter
Mobile devices have become powerful computing platforms and can therefore accommodate a wide range of hardware capabilities. New Android devices often have not only high-performance cameras but also built-in GPS and one or more sensors. Furthermore, Google wanted to make the Android platform as developer-friendly as possible so that developers would quickly create apps for it (and drive up Android's market share). Android also liberalized the policies around Android development — making them more open than the policies that governed older mobile devices and their platforms.
Thus, the Android SDK makes all capabilities available on the device accessible from a program. You can write apps that control the camera to take photographs, communicate via the device's phone to make calls and send text messages, and record and play audio and video. (Though we don't cover it in this book, you can also write programs that communicate in custom ways over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.) Finally, not only can you incorporate all this functionality in your app, but the Android SDK makes programming apps that use these capabilities much easier than other platforms.
This chapter shows you two broad methods to incorporate these capabilities ...