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Chapter 3: An Android Potpourri > Making Phone Calls - Pg. 433

Chapter 3: An Android Potpourri In This Chapter Programming Android to make phone calls Working with text messages and device sensors Responding to multi-touch events Drawing things Distracting the user with a progress bar Putting Java threads to good use A potpourri is an assortment -- a little of this and a little of that. It's a mixture of pleasant things related in one way or another, but not depen- dent on one another. It's a medley of songs or a bunch of nice-smelling dried plants. It's a salmagundi with meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. It's a pastiche such as Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." It's a plate of gefilte fish with a mix of carp, pike, perch, salmon, mullet, whitefish, and other things whose odors form an orange haze that spreads throughout the house. But in this book, a potpourri is a collection of useful programming goodies. Making Phone Calls Before smartphones came along, the most techno-savvy people around car- ried personal digital assistants (PDAs). A PDA (a PalmPilot or an iPAQ with Windows CE) did many of the things that today's smartphones do. But the early PDAs didn't make phone calls. So they didn't catch on with the general public. An explosion in mobile device usage came when companies merged com- puting with telephony. In retrospect, it's not surprising. After all, communi- cation is a "killer app." People need to share. People talk to friends, arrange meetings, send photos, and post recommendations. Exchanging ideas is one of humanity's greatest strengths. This section puts the phone in smartphone.