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Hello Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform

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Published by: Pragmatic Bookshelf
ISBN: 1934356565

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One Minute Bottom Line

Mobile application development is the hot topic at the moment, and Android, as an open alternative to iOS, is the framework of choice for Java developers. This book provides an excellent introduction to the framework, bringing you all the way from installation to deploying your application on the Android marketplace. An example is used throughout the book - a Sudoko game - and shows off the core concepts that you'll need to understand to write the next great Android application.


This book had a huge challenge: I've never developed an Android application before reading it, and my knowledge of the framework was fairly limited. I found this book to be one of the best at introducing a novice to a framework. It's written in a very reader-friendly manner: I read the first 100 pages of the book in an hour, away from my computer, and felt that I already have a much better understanding of Android development.

The book is divided into four main parts: Introducing Android, Android Basics, Beyond The Basics and The Next Generation. Chapter 3, Quick Start, gets you up and running with Android in no time, showing how to install the developer toos and use the emulator. The following chapter gives you a better idea of the architecture behind Android: the lifecycle of an application and the basic idea behind activities, intents, services and content providers. 

Android Basics covers how to design the user interface including using 2D graphics. All the way through the Sudoko example is used to give practical examples of using the framework. This part also covers playing audio and video and including sound in the same Sudoko application. This part ends up with a section on storing local data, so your application has the ability to remember it's state and resume. 

From there some more advanced concepts are covered, including 3D Graphics in Open GL, using SQL and utilizing location aware services. I found the location services section really useful, as it shows how to use the OpenIntents library to simulate sensor capabilities that you will (probably) not have on your local PC.

Towards the end of the book you see how to publish your application to the Android marketplace. You'll see a good listing of lessons that Ed has learnt from publishing applications to the Android marketplace. There's also a really useful appendice that covers the key differences between regular Java and Android. Experienced Java developers will find this to be extremely useful. 

All through the book, it's obvious that the author has solid development experience behind him, and a great understanding of Android.

As a side note, I read this as an ePub on my iPad. This book translates very well to the format, and was a joy to read on the iPad. 



Michael Dorf replied on Fri, 2011/02/18 - 12:12am

I totally agree about your point on the novice to framework. It’s a really great book for an experienced Java programmer who is also novice in Android. If you are interested, I just published my own review of the third edition of the book here: http://www.learncomputer.com/hello-android-book-review/

Thanks again, great review and awesome book!


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