Friday, 3 July 2015

Device Descriptor - How your device describes itself to Android!

This app simply lists the detailed attributes of a device as it reveals itself to Android. What your device says to Android, when you are not listening, as it were.

Listing detailed technical attributes and functions, it also lists the relevant Android API calls that retrieve such information. A handy reference.

Download the app from Google Play »

The small, light-weight app is purely descriptive! It requires permission to read states of the device but does not set any value, or interfere in any way, with your device. It's read-only! You can see that in the permissions required by the app - for example, ACCESS_WIFI_STATE, not CHANGE_WIFI_STATE....

Categories covered include:
  • Build
  • Display
  • Sensors
  • Battery
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Telephony
For example, it lists all the sensors within your device, giving information on the maker and model, the type of sensor, the power used by the sensor in operation, its resolution or accuracy, etc.

Another example: it lists information on all cells within reach of the radios within the device, as supplied by Android.

Basically, an interesting insight into the details of your phones innards, complete with links to the associated Android API documentation for each attribute displayed. Interesting in its own right and potentially very useful for Android developers.

The app is free and requires no permissions to run on your smartphone or tablet.

It requires Android 5.0+ due to the requirements of some of its API calls.

Have I missed anything you would have liked to see? Let me know the attribute and it may be possible to include it in future versions -

Note: The app was developed as part of the 'Build your own Android app' series of posts in 'Eyes on Android', a blog on Electronics Weekly. See

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