This document is intended to support Android app developers who would like to add Wacom tablet-aware capabilities to their Android applications so as to support the acquisition and display of tablet pen and touch data.
The Android API was originally designed with touch input in mind. With recent releases, Google has worked to expand the API to be more accommodating of other input devices such as styli. Targeting apps for these more-recent releases can provide access to nearly the full complement of available pen data (e.g. eraser, side-switches, tilt, etc.).
API Level 12 (Android 3.1: Honeycomb MR1) was Google’s first release of Android to be targeted for tablet use. In version 3.1, Android gained the ability for apps to track a stylus even as it hovers above the screen. Apps can use this information to draw a cursor under the pen, display tooltips, or otherwise inform the user of what will occur should they tap the screen.
API Levels 14 and 16 added Tilt and Distance, as well as other stylus specific features to the API. An improved version of Bluetooth Stylus support was introduced to API Level 23 (Android 6). Users can pair and connect a compatible Bluetooth stylus with their Android phone or tablet.
We recommend app developers to check Android Releases | Android Developers for the specific API level of your Android version to get the exact set of APIs that work for you.
Types of Applications You Can Write With Android API
The Android API supports the ability to create applications that run on Android and Chrome OS. Below is a list of the types of applications that are in use:
- Graphics and rendering applications targeted for creative users
- Signature capture applications for the business community
- CAD-type applications that perform drawing measurement functions
- Collaborative apps with coworkers online or offline across the world
Android API Supported Tablets
Android API is supported by all Wacom tablets that generate ink and touch data. These include the following tablet families:
- Pen and/or Touch Computers
- Pen and/or Touch Display Tablets
- Pen and/or Touch Tablets
Android API Supported Platforms
Android 3.1 or later with Wacom kernel driver included.
Note, not all of Android systems include Wacom kernel driver in their OS.
Android API Sample Code
A set of demo applications can be found on the Android API Sample Code page.
Basics – Details on tablet specific Android API
Reference – Links to the complete Android API packages and classes
FAQs – Useful Android programming tips
Sample Code – Full Android API demo sample