Configuring the Android Manifest File

The Android application manifest file is a specially formatted XML file that must accompany each Android application. This file contains important information about the application's identity. Here you define the application's name and version information and what application components the application relies upon, what permissions the application requires to run, and other application configuration information.

The Android manifest file is named AndroidManifest.xml and must be included at the top level of any Android project.The information in this file is used by the Android system to

■ Install and upgrade the application package.

■ Display the application details such as the application name, description, and icon to users.

■ Specify application system requirements, including which Android SDKs are supported, what hardware configurations are required (for example, d-pad navigation), and which platform features the application relies upon (for example, uses multi-touch capabilities).

■ Launch application activities.

■ Manage application permissions.

■ Configure other advanced application configuration details, including acting as a service, broadcast receiver, or content provider.

■ Enable application settings such as debugging and configuring instrumentation for application testing.

When you use Eclipse with the Android Plug-In for Eclipse (ADT), the Android Project Wizard creates the initial AndroidManifest.xml file for you. If you are not using Eclipse, then the android command-line tool creates the Android manifest file for you as well.

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