Chapter 10

Utilizing System Hardware


  • An overview of smartphone hardware
  • Accessing the microphone
  • Accessing the camera
  • Using sensors
  • Utilizing FM radio and Bluetooth

This chapter discusses a few system hardware components that are frequently used by popular mobile applications. These peripherals include microphone, camera, resistive and capacitive touch controller, and various sensors such as accelerometer, light sensor, magnetic sensor, and so on.

Before you delve into the details, it’s important to obtain an architectural overview of the common hardware architecture across the three software systems: iOS, Android, and WP7. Then the chapter will discuss general methods and required APIs surrounding the following four topics on the three platforms: accessing microphone, accessing camera, accessing sensors, and utilizing FM radio and Bluetooth.


Mobile devices have revolutionized the way the world communicates. More and more people use mobile devices for their communication and entertainment needs on a daily basis — needs which are primarily fulfilled by a variety of mobile applications.

One of the main driving forces behind this revolution is the mass of new sensors and peripherals. People can use mobile devices to take pictures, record videos, and play games that leverage an accelerometer, a digital compass (magnetic sensor), and a Global Positioning System (GPS) module. Some devices have a frequency modulation (FM) radio ...

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