I highly recommend this book; there is no other text on Processing and Android quite like it on the market. It is extremely exhaustive and well structured, and it avoids the pitfalls of preaching to the converted or assuming too much prior knowledge. It is not a small thing to write for experienced creative coders and n00bs alike. Daniel Sauter clearly knows his stuff.

Jesse Scott, Adjunct Faculty, Interaction Design and Smartphone Development, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and Langara College

Rapid Android Development successfully aims at a wide audience—from beginners to experienced developers. I recommend it to anyone who wants to use Processing to develop Android apps, especially creative coders who will be inspired by the diverse techniques for mobile development that fill this book.

Andrés Colubri, Computational Researcher, Harvard University and Fathom Information Design

Even if you think you know Processing for Android, this book will still teach you something new, be it 3D, data storage methods, or networking techniques. It provides a solid framework from which aspiring Android developers can launch into developing apps, all while being enjoyable to read.

William Smith, Moderator, Processing Forum

Daniel Sauter's Rapid Android Development provides a serious guide to using the platform for creative coding that Processing provides for leveraging the full potential of Android devices. Advanced graphics, gestures and sensors are only the tip of the iceberg, and you will find yourself diving into sophisticated sensor-based applications, games and art-ware, learning a host of techniques for coding and even publishing them in Google’s Play market. This book is invaluable!

Jesus Duran, Artist, educator, and CTO of Ketai LLC

Whether used for education, application prototyping or just plain fun, Processing for Android is easy to learn and can produce truly stunning visual results. If you don't have time or interest to learn the intricacies of Android OpenGL, radios and sensor programming, but want to benefit from all the magic that these technologies have to offer, this book provides the shortest and most informative path toward achieving that goal.

Mike Riley, Author, Programming Your Home


Processing was hand-rolled at MIT 12 years ago, by Ben Fry and Casey Reas, conceived originally as a programming environment for media artists. Really, it had two purposes. First, it was supposed to be quick and painless to create and compile a program. Second, it was built to be teachable—the commands and structures made sense, and (most of) the things that usually make programming painful were tucked away so that the user didn't have to think about them. In the years that have passed since its birth, Processing has been used for a dizzying array of projects, from robotics to architecture to dance to science to gaming and beyond. But these two core principles, ease-of-use and ease-of-learning, still guide the project and how it is developed.

With Processing for Android, and with Daniel's work on KETAI, these core philosophies are alive and breathing in the world of mobile devices. In a matter of minutes (really!), we can create real working applications on Android. Instead of being limited by the offerings in online "app marketplaces," we can build our own tools, focused on markets as large or as small as we want them to be. Want to make an app to track the time you spend with your kids? Build it in Android. Want to sample colors on your trip to the botanical gardens? Make an app, in minutes. Have an idea for the next big mobile game? Sketch it in Processing, and test it on your phone and tablet, with a single click.

Casey Reas has said that Processing was built to have a very low floor and a very high ceiling. It is meant to be both easy to use, and extremely functional. This core principle applies neatly to Processing for Android, which is at the same time very easy to learn, and extraordinarily powerful. With Daniel's book, readers will be quickly building and deploying simple projects to their Android devices. By working through the well-crafted examples and taking advantage of the code samples and libraries, they will easily be able to progress toward building more advanced apps, incorporating sensors and databases and all sorts of other useful and amazing things.

The central metaphor for Processing has for years been the sketchbook. Now this computational sketchbook is no longer tethered to our desks in an unwieldy box. We can take it with us into the world. A digital sketchbook, in our pocket. What an amazing idea.

Jer Thorp, Co-founder, The Office for Creative Research (March 2013)


I'd like to acknowledge the following individuals who have contributed to this project and thank them deeply for their support:

First and foremost, Jesus Duran, CTO of Ketai LLC, without whom the Ketai library used in this book would neither have come to existence nor contain the comprehensive list of features that it has today—his talent and rigor have been essential to bringing Android features within Processing's reach in a timely and reliable way;

John Osborn, my editor, whose valuable feedback and recommendations were always right on target and instrumental to completing a book that could be useful and clear to diverse audiences;

Casey Reas, Processing cofounder, whose guidance and friendship are what brought me to Processing in the first place—I consider Processing to be not only one of the most versatile teaching and production tools available to solve problems but also the subject of the most generous community of creative coders out there;

Ben Fry, Processing cofounder, who has relentlessly guided Processing through its countless updates while maintaining a particular sense of humor that helped form the popular multimodal development environment into what it is today;

Andres Colubri, whose four-dimensional genius has produced a significant OpenGL and video overhaul for Processing and who has made major contributions to the Android mode;

Joshua Albers, Jon Buckley, Andres Colubri, Paulo Guerra, Riley Hoonan, Stephen Mendez, Jaskirat Singh Randhawa, Michael Riley, Andreas Schlegel, Jesse Scott, and William Smith for their thorough technical reviews of the book and their valuable feedback;

The University of Illinois at the Chicago School of Art and Design, supporting me to launch the Mobile Processing Conference in Chicago from 2010 to 2013;

The New School in New York City for supporting some of the comprehensive online reference; and

Irena Haiduk, my wife, on whom I rely for the critical judgment and daily joy that is required to write a book.


Rapid Android Development by Daniel Sauter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Source Code

You can fork and download the source code for the more than 40 example projects in this book at

The source code is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, Version 2.1.