I have a question I'd like to ask, but I'm not sure if it fits within the Android Enthusiasts policy, so I thought I'd post the question here to see if it is acceptable to post on the actual site.

There is a google documentation spec that defines what a device must be capable of in order to be granted the use of "Android (TM)" for compatibility.

I noticed that in Section 7.3.7 that devices should not have a thermometer, and if they do, it should only measure CPU temperature. It is not allowed in any way to measure any other temperature (ex body heat or ambient/room temperature).

Is there a reason Google forbids thermometers? Would this type of sensor be too inaccurate and thus bring the perceived quality of Android down (likened to a neighborhood ordinance to keep all lawns mowed)?"

Referenced question that talks about the spec (but not why): https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6985396/is-there-any-android-api-to-find-sense-room-temperature-programmatically-in-andr

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    From a link your linked SO question, support for an Ambient Temperature Sensor was added in API level 14 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Seems like it is supported, and isn't banned any more? So regardless of whether it would fit, the question seems redundant now?
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 17:20
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    As for the answer to your question, it's speculative, but I guess it is because there is a lost context here. The document the quote is taken from is a compatibility suite, in a section describing an API for getting the temperature of the device. It is probably meant to prevent manufacturer from abusing it for ambient temperature instead, which will create a compatibility nightmare (and possibly even damaging the device). In short, the documentation forbids the use of this particular API for reporting ambient temperature, not forbidding ambient temperature sensor in general.
    – Lie Ryan
    Commented Feb 17, 2013 at 8:56
  • @LieRyan That sounds very plausible. It makes much more sense that they would want the API to have a specific function, as opposed to what I thought (google dictating that Android smartphones must never ever have external thermometers).
    – Stephen S
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


No, you should ask Google. We can only help you with end-user questions, not speculate about Google's internal decisions.

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