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JSON in Android - Tutorial

Lars Vogel

Version 1.2


Revision History
Revision 0.1 07.04.2011 Lars
Revision 0.2 - 1.2 08.04.2011 - 03.06.2013 Lars
bugfixes and enhancements

JSON with Android

This article describes how to process JSON within Android. It is based on Eclipse 3.6, Java 1.6 and Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread).

Table of Contents

1. Android and JSON
1.1. Android and JSON
1.2. JSON Example: Twitter
2. Reading JSON
3. Write JSON
4. Support this website
4.1. Thank you
4.2. Questions and Discussion
5. Links and Literature
5.1. Source Code
5.2. Android Resources
5.3. vogella Resources

1. Android and JSON

1.1. Android and JSON

JSON is a very condense data exchange format. See JSON tutorial for details. The Android platform includes the libraries which allow to work easily with JSON files.

1.2. JSON Example: Twitter

Twitter is a great source for JSON. You can just call a URI and retrieve JSON. Here are some examples:

Table 1. Twitter URIs

URI Description Get the timeline of user vogella. Search for the term "android" on Twitter.

Please note that some URIs return a JSONObject object while others return a JSONArray.

2. Reading JSON

Create a new Android project called with the package and the activity called ParseJSON.

Create the following coding for the activity. This will download the twitter feed for the Twitter user called vogella and write the number of entries and the text messages to the Android log file.



import org.apache.http.HttpEntity;
import org.apache.http.HttpResponse;
import org.apache.http.StatusLine;
import org.apache.http.client.ClientProtocolException;
import org.apache.http.client.HttpClient;
import org.apache.http.client.methods.HttpGet;
import org.apache.http.impl.client.DefaultHttpClient;
import org.json.JSONArray;
import org.json.JSONObject;

import android.os.Bundle;
import android.util.Log;

public class ParseJSON extends Activity {
/** Called when the activity is first created. */
@Override public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) { super.onCreate(savedInstanceState); # Just for testing, allow network access in the main thread # NEVER use this is productive code StrictMode.ThreadPolicy policy = new StrictMode. ThreadPolicy.Builder().permitAll().build(); StrictMode.setThreadPolicy(policy); setContentView(R.layout.main); String readTwitterFeed = readTwitterFeed(); try { JSONArray jsonArray = new JSONArray(readTwitterFeed); Log.i(ParseJSON.class.getName(), "Number of entries " + jsonArray.length()); for (int i = 0; i < jsonArray.length(); i++) { JSONObject jsonObject = jsonArray.getJSONObject(i); Log.i(ParseJSON.class.getName(), jsonObject.getString("text")); } } catch (Exception e) { e.printStackTrace(); } } public String readTwitterFeed() { StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder(); HttpClient client = new DefaultHttpClient(); HttpGet httpGet = new HttpGet(""); try { HttpResponse response = client.execute(httpGet); StatusLine statusLine = response.getStatusLine(); int statusCode = statusLine.getStatusCode(); if (statusCode == 200) { HttpEntity entity = response.getEntity(); InputStream content = entity.getContent(); BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(content)); String line; while ((line = reader.readLine()) != null) { builder.append(line); } } else { Log.e(ParseJSON.class.toString(), "Failed to download file"); } } catch (ClientProtocolException e) { e.printStackTrace(); } catch (IOException e) { e.printStackTrace(); } return builder.toString(); } }


The code example allows network access in the main thread to simplify the code snippet. In reality always ensure that network access is done in a background thread.

To run this example assign the uses-permission to your AndroidManifest.xml for "android.permission.INTERNET".

3. Write JSON

Writing JSON is very simple. Just create the JSONObject or JSONArray and use the toString() method.

public void writeJSON() {
  JSONObject object = new JSONObject();
  try {
    object.put("name", "Jack Hack");
    object.put("score", new Integer(200));
    object.put("current", new Double(152.32));
    object.put("nickname", "Hacker");
  } catch (JSONException e) {

4. Support this website

This tutorial is Open Content under the CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DE license. Source code in this tutorial is distributed under the Eclipse Public License. See the vogella License page for details on the terms of reuse.

Writing and updating these tutorials is a lot of work. If this free community service was helpful, you can support the cause by giving a tip as well as reporting typos and factual errors.

4.1. Thank you

Please consider a contribution if this article helped you.

Flattr this

4.2. Questions and Discussion

If you find errors in this tutorial, please notify me (see the top of the page). Please note that due to the high volume of feedback I receive, I cannot answer questions to your implementation. Ensure you have read the vogella FAQ as I don't respond to questions already answered there.

5. Links and Literature

5.1. Source Code

Source Code of Examples

5.3. vogella Resources

vogella Training Android and Eclipse Training from the vogella team

Android Tutorial Introduction to Android Programming

GWT Tutorial Program in Java, compile to JavaScript and HTML

Eclipse RCP Tutorial Create native applications in Java

JUnit Tutorial Test your application

Git Tutorial Put all your files in a distributed version control system