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Rapid Android Development: Build Rich, Sensor-Based Applications with Processing


Cover image for Rapid Android Development

Rapid Android Development

Build Rich, Sensor-Based Applications with Processing


Create mobile apps for Android phones and tablets faster and more easily than you ever imagined. Use “Processing,” the free, award-winning, graphics-savvy language and development environment, to work with the touchscreens, hardware sensors, cameras, network transceivers, and other devices and software in the latest Android phones and tablets.

This comprehensive update to the book brings all the code examples up to the new Processing version 3 and Android Lollipop 5.0. The release of the Ketai library v11 makes new sensors available and extends the list significantly, also bringing the minimum Android requirement up to Android 4.0 ICS.

An extensive reference site available at has been launched to document all available Ketai classes and methods, along with additional examples. The Ketai source is now hosted on Github and library-related issues can be submitted there. All errata submitted by the readers have been addressed and fixed, and figures now illustrate apps running on the latest high-density displays.

The 3D chapter has been updated to reflect a texture-related method change. The Sharing and Publishing Applications chapter now includes the possibility to sign apps for the Play store from within the Processing IDE, and discusses an alternative JavaScript package for developing Web apps called p5.js.

Printed in full color.

About this Title

Pages: 384
Published: 2013-04-05
Release: P3.0 (2015-05-19)
ISBN: 978-1-93778-506-2

Whether you’re a student, teacher, hobbyist, or experienced developer, Rapid Android Development puts the fast-growing market for Android phone and tablet applications within your reach. Without needing to master the complexities of Java, Eclipse, or the Android SDK, you’ll find yourself writing dazzling graphics displays and location-aware programs in no time.

With more than 40 ready-to-run demos, applications, and games, you’ll find yourself diving deeper than you thought possible into the treasure trove of software and hardware packed into today’s Android devices. You’ll learn how to:

  • Access the Android touch screen, keyboard, and gestures to create eye-popping user experiences.
  • Tap into Android’s on-board sensors for orientation, location, motion, geolocation, and more to build environment-aware applications.
  • Use Android’s built-in networking devices to access the Internet, network with nearby Android devices, and interact with NFC-formatted RFID tags.
  • Create OpenGL accelerated 2D and 3D graphics.
  • Integrate camera images, video, and face-detection into your mobile apps.
  • Take selected apps cross-platform with new Processing support for HTML 5 and JavaScript.

And once the prototyping is done, you can easily move your work to Eclipse for debugging and deployment.

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What You Need

Install the pre-release of Processing 3 (currently 3.0a5) from This will offer you Android mode 3.0.1. Depending on your device, you might need to install a USB driver to run sketches on it, most will run right out of the box. You will also need to install Android. An Android phone or tablet is required to test most of the examples in the book.

Generally, all three required packages – Java, Android, and Processing – are moving on, requiring the typical updates we need when dealing with new versions of OS and devices.

Contents & Extracts

Full Table of Contents


  • Getting Started with the Touch Screen and Android Sensors
    • Getting Started
    • Working With The Touch Screen Display excerpt
    • Using Motion and Position Sensors
  • Working with Camera and Location Devices
    • Using Geolocation and Compass
    • Using Android Cameras excerpt
  • Using Peer-To-Peer Networking
    • Networking Devices with WiFi
    • Peer-To-Peer Networking Using Bluetooth and WiFi Direct
    • Using Near Field Communication (NFC) excerpt
  • Working with Data
    • Working With Data
    • Using SQLiteDatabases
  • Creating 3D Graphics and Cross-platform Apps
    • Creating 3D Graphics
    • Writing Cross-platform Apps In Processing.js


Daniel Sauter is an artist and educator with eight years of experience teaching Processing. His work has been shown internationally in numerous exhibitions in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Daniel is an Associate Professor of New Media Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and organizer of the Chicago Mobile Processing Conference.