Saturday, May 08, 2010

Android Programming - API's (Video)

This is the third video in the series of videos provided by Google on Android programming.



Index:
00:00 Introduction
00:16 Android API's
00:24 Location Manager
01:25 XMPP
02:42 Notification Manager
04:08 View System
06:00 Conclusion (Ends at 07:05)

My Takeaway:
In this video the speaker talks about API's provided on the Android platform to developers.

The LocationManager API allows an application to get the location of the device it is running on. This information can be used to register intents, which will inform the user if they are close to an interesting location such as a Ice Cream shop. I can also think of another use. If traffic information is available, then we can also use the location manager to inform us if we are getting close to a high traffic area. Interestingly this API uses whatever information it has to determine the location. If GPS information is available then it will use that, otherwise it will use cell tower information.

XMPP Service is used to send messages to a device. It can be used to send device to device messages, or server to device messages. I think this API can have very interesting uses. It can be used for multiplayer games, and it can probably also be used by trekkers to track each other.

The Notification Manager API provides applications the ability to send notifications to the user on the status bar. My impression is that this API is very well designed. The notification appears on the status bar, such that if a user selects it (using whatever input method available... touch, etc), it will display a preview about the application and notification. If the user is interested, they can further select the notification to go to the application which send it.

The View system provides several view controls help developers make their applications. Interesting controls include a Map control to embed location information in applications, and an HTML control to embed web pages in applications.

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