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Android Apps for Absolute Beginners [Paperback]

Wallace Jackson
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 28, 2011 1430234466 978-1430234463 1

Anybody can start building simple apps for the Android platform, and this book will show you how! Android Apps for Absolute Beginners takes you through the process of getting your first Android applications up and running using plain English and practical examples. It cuts through the fog of jargon and mystery that surrounds Android application development, and gives you simple, step-by-step instructions to get you started. 

  • Teaches Android application development in language anyone can understand, giving you the best possible start in Android development
  • Provides simple, step-by-step examples that make learning easy, allowing you to pick up the concepts without fuss
  • Offers clear code descriptions and layout so that you can get your apps running as soon as possible

What you’ll learn

  • Get yourself and your computer set up for Android apps development
  • Use the Eclipse programming environment to make your Android development efficient and straightforward
  • Follow steps in plain English to build simple apps and get them working immediately
  • Style your application so that it appeals to potential users
  • Make use of the Android’s touch screen
  • Use shortcuts and cheat sheets to create apps the easy way
  • Use the basics of Java and XML to move onto more advanced apps

Who this book is for

If you have a great idea for an Android app, but have never programmed before, then this book is for you. You don’t need to have any previous computer programming skills—as long as you have a desire to learn, and you know which end of the mouse is which, the world of Android apps development awaits!

Table of Contents

  1. Preliminary Information: Before We Get Started
  2. What’s Next? Our Road Ahead
  3. Setting Up an Open Source Android Development  Environment
  4. An Introduction to Java, XML and How Android Works
  5. An Overview of the Android Application Framework
  6. Screen Layout Design: Views, ViewGroups and Layout Types
  7. User Interface Design: Buttons, Menus, Dialogs and Alerts
  8. Designing Graphics for Android: 2D Images & Animation
  9. Adding Interactivity: Handling UI Events
  10. Understanding Content Providers
  11. Understanding Intents and Intent Filters
  12. The Future: 3D, Widgets, Bluetooth, Maps, Search, and More

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Android Apps for Absolute Beginners + Learn Java for Android Development + Beginning Android Games
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wallace Jackson has been writing for leading multimedia publications about his work in new media content development since the advent of Multimedia Producer Magazine nearly two decades ago, when he wrote about computer processor architectures for centerfolds (removable "mini-issue" insert) distributed at SIGGRAPH. Since then, Wallace has written for several other publications about his work in interactive 3D and new media advertising campaign design, including 3D Artist, Desktop Publishers Journal, CrossMedia, AVvideo and Kiosk Magazine.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (March 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430234466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430234463
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wallace Jackson is a Multimedia Producer at Mind Taffy Design in Santa Barbara, California. Over his two decades producing new media content for some of the worlds largest Consumer Electronics industry brands, including Sony, Samsung, Mitsubishi, Nokia, IBM, Epson, TEAC, Compaq (now HP), DEC, ViewSonic, Tyco, Sun (now Oracle), SGI, EIZO, KDS, Christie Digital, CTX, Western Digital, and many more, Mr. Jackson has delivered leading-edge i3D rich media content for Digital Signage, Websites, Smartphones, Tablets, iTV Sets, e-Book e-Readers, PCs, Laptops and many other types of popular Consumer Electronics devices worldwide.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for a beginner May 7, 2011
By Cohoman
Format:Paperback
I've been writing and selling mobile apps since 2002 when I started with the Microsoft Pocket PC devices. When the first Android phone appeared (T-Mobile G1) I was excited to jump to that platform. My previous experience had been programming in C, so I didn't have any experience with Object Oriented Programming (OOP). Thus, I bought two Java programming beginner books and the only two Android programming books available at that time. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to understand the concepts of Java programming and the Android books just weren't written for a beginner Java programmer. In the end, I abandoned my attempt at writing Android apps and moved on to other platforms (Microsoft Windows Mobile, Palm WebOS, and Microsoft Windows Phone 7).

As time moved on, I began to learn and understand the concepts of OOP when I started studying Objective-C (for iPhone app development) and C# (for Microsoft Windows Phone 7). I watched some free online video tutorials as well as read several books on the subject. Finally it clicked and I understood the power of using classes in OOP. I'm not an expert, but I do think I made it over the learning hump and was ready to tackle Android programming again. Fortunately for me, there now exists several books on the subject of Android programming to choose from.

So with that background, I read through the "Android Apps for Absolute Beginners" book and found it to be an easy book to read and understand. It is designed for non-Java programmers, so it teaches the basics of Java, just enough to help you with learning Android programming. With each chapter you work several examples which illustrate the basic concepts of how to create and use buttons and other controls, dialog boxes, multiple "activity" screens, etc.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Programs don't work as layed out by author November 18, 2011
Format:Paperback
As somebody who honestly can be considered an Android beginner (only experience has been with C++), the book starts off well enough. You really do need to download the code and images used in the programs unless you want to take the extra time to create your own graphics and icons. But something really goes arwy in Chapter 7...maybe it's the way he put the program together, the fact that we go from easy concepts to advanced concepts in a few short pages, the fact that I spent more time trying to debug what he was having me type or the way he explains the concepts but the book takes a sudden turn here. The only way I could get the program working was to copy / paste the downloaded source code. Might want to look elsewhere.
Just wanted to add I'm into Chapter 8 and typing in each section of code as the author lays it out...the builds fail to compile properly. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why the program doesn't build, about ready to give up. Again...good review are probably coming from people not actually typing in code as the author want you to. Not good.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful to this beginner March 19, 2013
Format:Paperback
As someone looking for exposure to Android development, I thought this book was very helpful. I was developing small apps, on my own, within 2 weeks of starting the book. I could see how an experienced programmer (from any discipline) might be frustrated with this book, considering the author gets very elementary at times. There's a lot of hand-holding in this book. But, as the title suggests, it is geared toward a true beginner - which I am. The examples are good practice and illustrate the lessons well (when they work!).

Some of the criticism in the reviews is fair. There are examples of code provided, some of which has typos (even in the 2nd edition). I had to look closely at the screenshots for the correct code. There are steps missing from the frame-based animation example. The screenshots also appear to be from an older version of Eclipse, which can be confusing. I also wish the author would've stayed consistent with the actual coding of objects, instead of using the Graphical method. I don't think you're doing anyone any favors by having them learn the drag 'n drop method, as opposed to real programming. That's like showing someone how to use the microwave and calling that a cooking lesson.

My criticism aside, I think this book is a great launching point. You learn how to properly setup your IDE. You learn the fundamentals of XML and Java, as they pertain the Android development. You gain exposure to some of the most commonly used API's. Bottom line, I got what I needed from this book which was to understand the basics. If you are already versed in Java, XML and OOP, then you can probably skip this one altogether.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author uses Photoshop to modify some images and if you do not have Photoshop you cannot follow these examples. As I do not have any image-editing program I have to skip these parts.
I downloaded and updated the software according to the author's instructions and I have found that the screen shots in the book, while helpful, are not what I see on my screen. Maybe I am using more updated and recent software due to the update software instructions and prompts? It is very frustrating at times to follow along with his examples as the software I am using does not always match with his screen shots and some of his step by step instructions do not match with the software I am using.
In Chapter 7 "Adding an Image" the author asks us to "Go to the code bundle for this book and copy the two 32-bit image files named image1.png and image2.png...". My question is what code bundle? I have re-indexed my hard drive and searched for both files but cannot locate them. If anyone that reads this review knows where they are please post to let me know.
When writing code for the examples please remember to not put a blank line as the first line of code as this may generate an error message.
(Oct. 12 update)On the first physical page of this book it has the title "Android Apps for Absolute Beginners", turn the page over and at the bottom, it mentions that the source code for this book is available to readers at [...]. You must download this software or you will be unable to do the examples in Chapters 7 and 8. Not sure of the rest of the Chapters as I have only progressed to Chapter 8. I feel this is a major error on the authors part.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall solid
Much better than the PHP for beginners book I worked with prior to this...Simple walkthroughs, explanation and entry level prep.
Published 7 months ago by Books4nothin
4.0 out of 5 stars the book over all is good. It details all the steps that the beginners...
The book details all the steps that the beginners need. But the English is not smooth. in over all I liked it and I advice beginners to experience it.
Published 9 months ago by Rami EL HAJJ
2.0 out of 5 stars Cumbersome to use
Android apps for the absolute beginner is truly for the absolute beginner and I can see why someone with any amount of experience would find this far too elementary for them. Read more
Published 9 months ago by C. Drouganis
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money
This book did not say anything new - it was a total waste of money. It is not recommended for purchase.
Published 12 months ago by jacob hodges
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand
I was blocked from the first example .Because of an error that say " R cannot be resolved." After i import Android. Read more
Published 13 months ago by ceo2546
5.0 out of 5 stars This book teaches the principles of Android programming with text...
The text explains the reasons for every code example for a clear understanding of why each example is done to build a solid foundation for the next code sample until the reader... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ronald G.
1.0 out of 5 stars Practically unusable - Absolute beginners will cry
I have read and used books about programming for many years. In my retirement, I decided to try something new, Android Development. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Marty
1.0 out of 5 stars The structure sucks and examples not always correct
This book is really outdated. The eclipse and android SDK are completely outdated. A lot of things does not go as the book says.
Try to use eclipse 4.2.1 and android 4. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Hao Tien Chiang
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book
I read the first edition up to chapter 7 and was so made that the book didn't work I went into a Hulk rage and well I checked the Internet and saw that there was a newer edition. Read more
Published 16 months ago by ZeroAccess
5.0 out of 5 stars shiped on time and as expected
I still have not programmed anything successfully. So the instaltion of Java is confusing. I always understood that Jfk was to be installed in the start up manually... Read more
Published 17 months ago by jim
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