Using Internet Resources

Android offers several ways to leverage Internet resources.

At one extreme you can use a WebView to include a WebKit-based browser View within an Activity. At the other extreme you can use client-side APIs such as Google's GData APIs to interact directly with server processes. Somewhere in between, you can process remote XML feeds to extract and process data using a Java-based XML parser such as sax or the more efficient XmlPullParser.

Detailed instructions for parsing XML and interacting with specific web services are outside the scope of this book. That said, the Earthquake example, included later in this chapter, gives a fully worked example of parsing an XML feed using the SAX parser.

If you're using Internet resources in your applicatoin, remember that your users' data connections are dependent on the communications technology available to them. EDGE and GSM connections are notoriously low-bandwidth, while a Wi-Fi connection may be unreliable in a mobile setting.

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Optimize the user experience by limiting the quantity of data being transmitted, and ensure that your application is robust enough to handle network outages and bandwidth limitations.

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