Specifying Required Device Features

Not all Android devices support every Android feature. Put another way: There are a number of APIs (and related hardware) that Android devices may optionally include. For example, not all Android devices have multi-touch ability or a camera flash.

The <uses-feature> tag can be used to specify which Android features the application requires to run properly. These settings are for informational purposes only—the Android operating system does not enforce these settings, but publication channels such as the Android Market use this information to filter the applications available to a given user.

If your application requires multiple features, you must create a <uses-feature> tag for each. For example, an application that requires both a light and proximity sensor requires two tags:

<uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.sensor.light" /> <uses-feature android:name="android.hardware.sensor.proximity" />

One common reason to use the <uses-feature> tag is for specifying the OpenGL ES versions supported by your application. By default, all applications function with OpenGL ES 1.0 (which is a required feature of all Android devices). However, if your application requires features available only in later versions of OpenGL ES, such as 2.0, then you must specify this feature in the Android manifest file. This is done using the android:glEsVersion attribute of the <uses-feature> tag. Specify the lowest version of OpenGL ES that the application requires. If the application works with 1.0 and 2.0, specify the lowest version (so that the Android Market allows more users to install your application).

For more information about the <uses-feature> tag of the Android manifest file, see the Android SDK reference.

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