The following is the first few sections of a chapter from The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development, plus headings for the remaining major sections, to give you an idea about the content of the chapter.


Many, if not most, Android devices will be phones. As such, not only will users be expecting to place and receive calls using Android, but you will have the opportunity to help them place calls, if you wish.

Why might you want to?

  1. Maybe you are writing an Android interface to a sales management application (a la and you want to offer users the ability to call prospects with a single button click, and without them having to keep those contacts both in your application and in the phone’s contacts application
  2. Maybe you are writing a social networking application, and the roster of phone numbers that you can access shifts constantly, so rather than try to “sync” the social network contacts with the phone’s contact database, you let people place calls directly from your application
  3. Maybe you are creating an alternative interface to the existing contacts system, perhaps for users with reduced motor control (e.g., the elderly), sporting big buttons and the like to make it easier for them to place calls

Whatever the reason, Android has the means to let you manipulate the phone just like any other piece of the Android system.


Understanding this chapter requires that you have read the core chapters, particularly the chapter on working with multiple activities.

Report To The Manager

To get at much of the phone API, you use the TelephonyManager. That class lets you do things like:

  1. Determine if the phone is in use via getCallState(), with return values of CALL_STATE_IDLE (phone not in use), CALL_STATE_RINGING (call requested but still being connected), and CALL_STATE_OFFHOOK (call in progress)
  2. Find out the SIM ID (IMSI) via getSubscriberId()
  3. Find out the phone type (e.g., GSM) via getPhoneType() or find out the data connection type (e.g., GPRS, EDGE) via getNetworkType()

You Make the Call!

The preview of this section is out seeking fame and fortune as the Dread Pirate Roberts.

No, Really, You Make the Call!

The preview of this section was fed to a gremlin, after midnight.