Monday, December 27, 2010

Finding hardware/software properties at runtime

Right now I am working in an app that needs to detect hardware properties at runtime to change it's behavior.
Some possible examples:
  • We might want to add some arrow keys to our screen if the used doesn't have a way to navigate.
  • We need to know user's locale.
  • We are doing a game and we want to provide some in screen controls if the user doesn't have a keyboard.

For this kind of needs Android provides a class called Configuration.
Let's say we want to detect which kind of navigation the user has in his device.

We will get the device's value doing:


and then we need to compare it against the different constants in the Configuration class.
public static final int NAVIGATION_UNDEFINED = 0;
public static final int NAVIGATION_NONAV = 1;
public static final int NAVIGATION_DPAD = 2;
public static final int NAVIGATION_TRACKBALL = 3;
public static final int NAVIGATION_WHEEL = 4;

Some examples in different devices:

Motorola Droid: navigation=2 (NAVIGATION_DPAD)
Nexus One: navigation=3 (NAVIGATION_TRACKBALL)
Galaxy S: navigation=1 (NAVIGATION_NONAV)

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