How to Add an Android Header in a Calling App (With User Location)

This tutorial demonstrates how to make a Sinch app-to-app call with a header. In this app, I’ll send the location of the person calling so the recipient can see where the other user is calling from.

screenshot of finished app

The app is built on top of the sinch-rtc-sample-calling sample included in the Android SDK, and the finished code can be found on our GitHub.


  1. Create a free Sinch developer account
  2. Create an app in the Developer Dashboard
  3. Download the Sinch Android SDK
  4. Add your app key and secret to the sinch-rtc-sample-calling app included in the SDK (in

Update SinchServiceInterface

Sinch allows you to make an app-to-app call and send along a Map<String, String> of headers. First, extend the SinchServiceInterface in to support this method:

public Call callUser(String userId, Map<String, String> headers) {
    return mSinchClient.getCallClient().callUser(userId, headers);

Get location and make the call

You’ll need the following permission to access the device’s location:

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION"/>

Now, in callButtonClicked in, you can get the latitude and longitude of the last known location:

LocationManager locationManager = (LocationManager) getSystemService(Context.LOCATION_SERVICE);
Location lastLoc = locationManager.getLastKnownLocation(LocationManager.NETWORK_PROVIDER);
Double longitude = lastLoc.getLongitude();
Double latitude = lastLoc.getLatitude();

Note: This is definitely not a production-ready way of getting an accurate location. First of all, your app will crash if the user doesn’t have any “last location.” You could also use the ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION permission, since you don’t need to know their exact location. Regardless, there are several location strategies and I suggest doing some research if you want to send a current location in your production app.

Use a Geocoder object to turn the latitude and and longitude into a human-readable address:

Geocoder geocoder = new Geocoder(this, Locale.getDefault());
List<Address> addresses = null;
try {
    addresses = geocoder.getFromLocation(latitude, longitude, 1);
} catch (IOException e) {

I chose to send the city/state/zipcode of the location as the header:

Map<String, String> headers = new HashMap<String, String>();
headers.put("location", addresses.get(0).getAddressLine(0));

You can add as many items as you like to the headers like so:

headers.put("key", "value");

Finally, change this line that makes the call:

Call call = getSinchServiceInterface().callUser(userName);

to this:

Call call = getSinchServiceInterface().callUser(userName, headers);

Display header value on incoming call

In SinchCallClientListener#onIncomingCall in, get the location value from the headers, and pass it along in the intent:

intent.putExtra("location", call.getHeaders().get("location"));

Then, in, you can get the location from the intent like so:

String location = getIntent().getStringExtra(SinchService.LOCATION);

I chose to create a TextView with ID remoteUserLocation in incoming.xml, so I could set it to the location from the header in onServiceConnected (right where the remoteUserId TextView is set).

TextView remoteUserLocation = (TextView) findViewById(;
remoteUserLocation.setText("Calling from " + mCallLocation);

That’s all! Rinse and repeat for any data you want to send along with an app-to-app call.