Chapter 10: Designing for Hardware Buttons, Input Methods, and Sensors

The ways users control their Android devices are many. Hundreds of different Android devices ship with different hardware configurations. Android devices in different categories are used in different ways. The way users use their Android smartphones and tablets is very different from the way they use their Android-powered TVs.

The differences don’t stop there. Nearly all Android devices can connect into external devices that add more control and input mechanisms. Different keyboards, mice, trackpads, and other devices add even more variety to the controller selection of Android.

However, don’t fret. Not every app needs to build support for every control mechanism out there. The typical app doesn’t benefit from most of them. Many of them are also supported pretty much automatically and are transparent to the apps. It is, however, good to know about these devices and understand the opportunities they provide.

Designing for the Touch screen

All Android phones and tablets have touch screens as their primary control mechanism. There are two different prominent touch screen technologies that are being used in devices right now—capacitive touch screens and resistive touch screens. The difference is in the technology but this also has implications for users.

Most of this book concentrates on the touch screen part of the user interface and how to work with the touch screen in the right way. This section covers the ...

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