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Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach (Deitel Developer Series) [Paperback]

Paul J. Deitel , Harvey M. Deitel , Abbey Deitel , Michael Morgano
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 3, 2011 0132121360 978-0132121361 1
The professional programmer’s Deitel® guide to Android™ smartphone and tablet app development and the Eclipse IDE with the Android Development Tools (ADT) plug-in


Billions of apps have been downloaded from Android Market! This book gives you everything you’ll need to start developing great Android apps quickly and getting them published on Android Market. The book uses an app-driven approach—each new technology is discussed in the context of 16 fully tested Android apps, complete with syntax coloring, code walkthroughs and sample outputs. Apps you’ll develop include:

  • SpotOn Game
  • Slideshow
  • Flag Quiz
  • Route Tracker
  • Favorite Twitter® Searches
  • Address Book
  • Tip Calculator
  • Doodlz
  • Weather Viewer
  • Cannon Game
  • Voice Recorder
  • Pizza Ordering 

Practical, example-rich coverage of:

  • Smartphone and Tablet Apps, Android Development Tools (ADT) Plug-In for Eclipse
  • Activities, Intents, Content Providers
  • GUI Components, Menus, Toasts, Resource Files, Touch and Gesture Processing
  • Tablet Apps, ActionBar and AppWidgets
  • Tweened Animations, Property Animations
  • Camera, Audio, Video, Graphics, OpenGL ES
  • Gallery and Media Library Access
  • SharedPreferences, Serialization, SQLite
  • Handlers and Multithreading, Games
  • Google Maps, GPS, Location Services, Sensors
  • Internet-Enabled Apps, Web Services, Telephony, Bluetooth®
  • Speech Synthesis and Recognition
  • Android Market, Pricing, Monetization
  • And more…

PLUS:  Register your product at for additional online chapters that cover Android Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4), including a complete, working Ice Cream Sandwich app!


  • For information on Deitel’s Dive Into® Series instructor-led programming language training courses offered at customer sites worldwide visit or write to
  • Download code examples
  • Check out the growing list of programming Resource Centers
  • Join the Deitel Twitter (@deitel) and Facebook ( communities
  • To receive updates for this book, subscribe to the free Deitel ® Buzz Online e-mail newsletter at

Frequently Bought Together

Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach (Deitel Developer Series) + Professional Android 4 Application Development + Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides)
Price for all three: $84.04

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Editorial Reviews


“I really love what you’re doing with the book. It has the potential to become the best Android book on themarket. It’s impressive to see so many well-explained useful examples of Android patterns. The coverage of recent Honeycomb-specific APIs such as ViewPropertyAnimator and resizeable AppWidgets makes this work especially current.”

—Dan Galpin, Android Advocate and author of Intro to Android Application Development


“I really like that this is aiming to stay up-to-date with Android 3 and be the most current book possible by covering key Android 3 features such as property animation, fragments, the ActionBar, tabbed navigation and more. I haven’t seen any other books cover app publishing so well and the links provided throughout are an impressive collection that I think would be valuable to anyone getting started. You get full applications that show multiple parts of the APIs working together. I wish this book had been around when I started developing on Android.”

—Douglas Jones, Senior Software Engineer, Fullpower Technologies


“This is the book for developers interested in starting Android application development. While the target of Android for Programmers is people with some development experience, even novices will find this book an interesting read and it will speed their immersion into Android development. The book starts by describing the Android development environment. Then each chapter introduces a core aspect of the Android platform by briefly explaining the topic, then illustrating the capability with working code. The sample apps demonstrate the topics of each chapter, which easily can be applied to your own projects. By far, this is the quickest way to get comfortable writing applications for the #1 smartphone operating system. I really enjoy the book.”

—Eric J. Bowden, COO, Safe Driving Systems, LLC


“Takes the ideal approach of teaching you the Android SDK through actual use. Rather than regurgitate the API documentation, this book shows you how to write an app in every chapter, explaining each aspect of the SDK as it’s encountered. Some apps are built from scratch; others expand on the apps in previous chapters, iterating on the code to implement new functionality. The full source code is available, so you can see how the SDK is really used. Teaches you all the Android essentials from layouts to sensors and even on to features added in Honeycomb such as property animation, tabbed navigation with the ActionBar, fragments and web services with JsonReader. Whether you’ve never touched Android or you have some apps under your belt already, this book is definitely worth picking up.”

—Ian G. Clifton, Independent Contractor and Android App Developer


“With the increasing scope of Android, getting up to speed can be a challenge. This book addresses a compelling set of topics, presenting them in self-contained packages that are fun and instructive. The coverage of key Android 3 features such as fragments, resizable App Widgets and the Action Bar is interesting. For tablet-oriented app development, familiarity with these tools is essential. Creates UI/layouts with a depth of detail I’ve not seen elsewhere.”

—Sebastian Nykopp, Chief Architect, Reaktor


“The Welcome app looks solid; great to see the integration of the new layout editor. The Tip Calculator app is a pretty cool example and definitely a useful app; I love the deeper coverage of the lifecycle. The Favorite Twitter Searches app is a good way to demonstrate ScrollView. The Flag Quiz app is one of my favorites, covering delayed events, View animations and string arrays; I like the use of the AssetManager for the flags. The XML declaration and explanation of the tweened flag-shake animation is nicely done. The SpotOn Game app is one of my favorites; it does an excellent job in covering the new Honeycomb+ property animations, and uses them in a creative way to build a surprisingly fun little game. Nice job of keeping the database queries out of the UI thread in the Address Book app. It’s great how the Route Tracker app chapter puts so much useful MapView information in one place. Slideshow is a beautiful app.”

—Dan Galpin, Android Advocate and author of Intro to Android Application Development


“The Welcome app does a great job illustrating the Visual Layout Editor; I liked the approach of building visual components without code; this makes it easy to experiment with other properties to customize the look of the app. There’s a lot of time spent on the Tip Calculator app UI in the Visual Layout Editor—the line-by-line explanations of the code are extremely valuable; this is a solid introduction to how Android works. Favorite Twitter Searches taught me things I didn’t know. The Flag Quiz app is a great chapter; clearly written, and I particularly appreciated the completeness of the code comments. The Cannon Game app is a nice introduction to animation. The SpotOn Game app did a great job introducing Android 3+; in a lot of ways, Google has separated Android 2.x and 3.x by intended use (i.e. phone vs. tablet); this chapter introduces some of those concepts and helps the software developer understand some of the SDK differences. The Doodlz app chapter uses great examples to illustrate the concepts. The Address Book app is a good introduction to SQLite databases. The introduction to the camera in the Enhanced Slideshow app chapter is valuable information.”

—Eric J. Bowden, COO, Safe Driving Systems, LLC


“The Intro chapter gives a solid overview of Android. The Welcome app chapter is a nice intro to layouts, keeping it simple, while still using a common layout (RelativeLayout) and explaining the resulting XML. Favorite Twitter Searches app is a great chapter that introduces a lot of new (core) concepts. The app descriptions give a clear understanding of what is being built and the technologies overviews are particularly nice; the colored highlighting is helpful. The SpotOn Game app is a great intro to 3.x animation and produces a fun game without a lot of code. Doodlz is a great app—anyone can identify with it and it gives readers a chance to learn about Android. The Address Book app is a good intro to some key aspects of Android programs (in particular, launching other Activities and utilizing a SQLite database). The Route Tracker app chapter is excellent.”

—Ian G. Clifton, Independent Contractor and Android App Developer


“One of the most comprehensive intro chapters I have read, especially the number and variety of links to outside sources. I like the Welcome app as a way to get the reader’s feet wet; it breaks them into Eclipse and it gets them making something without Java code. TheTip Calculator app UI highlights the tricky cases of TableLayout and TableRow. The Favorite Twitter Searches app does a good job of introducing important UI skills, especially using the LayoutInflater and the ScrollView to programmatically add UI elements. The Flag Quiz app chapter does a good job of showing a variety of tools, such as collections, DialogBuilder options and animations; the method used to handle all the data is a good one. Those property animators sure make the SpotOn Game app code straightforward; well done. The Route Tracker is a solid example of a location and map app. The Slideshow app reinforces list handling and adapters. I like the intro to serialization in the Enhanced Slideshow app.”

—Douglas Jones, Senior Software Engineer, Fullpower Technologies


“Good intro to overall Android, Java and OO concepts.”

—Ronan “Zero” Schwarz (CIO, OpenIntents)


“A good intro to Android platform capabilities and online resources for getting into Android development; a valuable timesaver, particularly with the increasing amount of available Android information; the walkthrough for getting an app running in the emulator is easy to follow. The Flag Quiz app chapter is easy to follow and quite enjoyable; clear description of key UI elements; good that the distinction between assets/ and res/ is presented; nice that View animation is included in an example relevant to the app (adds a professional touch); the yellow code highlighting works well. The Address Book app chapter is a good introduction to CRUD [create, read, update and delete] apps. The Route Tracker app chapter is an easy introduction to location tracking. The Enhanced Slideshow app is a straightforward demonstration on how to use the camera and display video in an application.”

—Sebastian Nykopp, Chief Architect, Reaktor

About the Author

Paul Deitel, Abbey Deitel and Harvey Deitel are from Deitel & Associates, Inc., the internationally recognized programming languages authoring and corporate-training organization. Over a million people worldwide have used Deitel books to master Java™, iPhone app development, C#, C++, C, Internet and web programming, JavaScript, XML, Visual Basic®, Visual C++®, Perl, Python and more. Michael Morgano is a professional Android developer with Imerj.

Product Details

  • Series: Deitel Developer Series
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (November 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132121360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132121361
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Overall, the book is very easy to follow with great examples. So far I'm on chapter 9. My only gripe is that there are seemingly editorial errors, missing bits of code here and there. The latest example being in chapter 9, when programming sensorEventListener. (Fig. 9.13) The explanation doesn't sync up with the code. The author mentions using a get method in line 110, when the code itself is actually used in 112. This is a nitpicky editorial error, but for the sake of transparency, these should be caught. An even larger error is that the author writes "In this case we set shakeDetected to true, then configure....Setting variable shakeDetected to true ensures that while the confirmation dialog is displayed, method...." The shakeDetected variable isn't in the code anywhere. (Neither shown in the code example in the book or in the downloadable samples) This is a bit confusing.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars organized colorful useful and error free December 5, 2011
I initially selected this book due to the multiple authors, hoping it would be more error free than other book I have read from single authors. So far that has been true, the more eyes in the review process really help not only catch errors but organize the material. Little things like all code snippets having line numbers and being high-lighted to follow the text really help. There are a good number of screen shots that make it easy to follow along with Eclipse on a windows or mac machine. I read so many posts on the internet saying Android has no GUI builder to layout widgets, and was very surprised, it wasn't until this book, I found out they are wrong. Adroid being what it is with Google behind it needs all the help with documentation and organization it can get. Google has that tendency to just leave it as-is, while their phD's make more hard to follow videos. The 16 apps they use as examples cover a nice range of UI, Services and libraries. The only negative is I'd prefer to not use Eclipse and would rather use my editor and a make file, but this isn't the authors faults, Android seems to be married to the ADT visual layout editor plugin and the ant build system. This book is for the rest of us that are normal C++ or C# or Java folks and can talk layman terms in getting the job done. The authors are to be commended for that alone!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to Android programming February 8, 2012
I have a stack of introductory Android books including the Dummies and 24 Hours titles. What I particularly like about this book is that it's built for people who learn by dissecting existing projects, so I've gained considerably more pulling apart the examples it covers than reading descriptive pages that often don't focus on the right topics.

There's a wide range of different applications included ranging from the very simple to the fairly complex. They cover a broad part of Android's object model. While reading this isn't going to make you a pro coder overnight (and which book can do that?) it will give you a fair knowledge of all the various components that you will need to start write apps. This isn't designed for beginners but I would argue that programming Java and Android requires a minimum of some familiarity with basic coding concepts and object oriented principles. I really enjoyed the format of this book and hope to see more like it.

PS - We're still waiting for four online chapters which are apparently coming soon - some reviewers have commented on this but since it's free content, I'm happy to be patient!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I have purchased at least 3 other Deitel books in the past, including Java How To Program, the book that literally launched my career in development. Deitel have always been at the top of my list for their technical precision, brevity and clarity when explaining concepts. To translate a computer programming language to English requires equal mastery of both languages, and this team has it.

That being said, this book is very frustrating. I learn by doing. And the "App-Driven Approach" in this book means that you'll be creating actual apps that work. The apps themselves are very well selected. Each one is non-trivial, and introduces a balance of new Android concepts. This is all good. BUT...

The methods of each app are introduced and explained in LINE NUMBER SEQUENCE, completely ignoring the FLOW OF CONTROL of the app you're working on. As such, if you're diligently following along and writing code, you'll regularly be either 1) calling methods you have not yet defined or 2) writing methods and waiting 5 pages to discover where that method is actually called/used. Put another way, nearly every method you write will contain one or more errors as you write it! Eclipse will throw warnings about your references you'll be left with questions which may not be answered for many pages, which makes for a very frustrating experience. Most importantly though, you'll feel a bit as though you're learning concepts in a vacuum, without enough context to make each concept stick. If the methods were written to follow the flow of control of the program instead, you would frequently be revisiting and updating existing methods as the program matures. And this is how programmers actually program.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gets you a good start
This is a good book for getting started quickly with Android development. However, you will need other sources to fully discover and learn what you can do with Android.
Published 6 months ago by Brooks Hagenow
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated.
This book (1st Edition) is outdated.

The examples are all using an ancient version of the Eclipse ADT UI. None of the examples work as described in the book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by K. Holroyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Professionally written
Love the author's books. This one has a complex sample codes, that are very clearly explained. The book has a lot of website links for references on Android programming and help.
Published 9 months ago by Edmundas Geguzis
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice!
Deitel is very famous in this IT books. This Android book comes with examples and a friendly read to you learn how to make some apps for Android devices!
Published 13 months ago by Fernando de Oliveira Júnior
3.0 out of 5 stars Good hands on practice.
It is a pain working in eclipse though. Once you get the hang of XML, I would just copy the book code into your project and focus on the logic.
Published 13 months ago by Brianhd71
3.0 out of 5 stars Good content and aproach
The aproach of being a book very hands on is excellent. However the only drawback is the content that is dynamic and has been outdated very fast.
Published 13 months ago by Rodrigo Dinis
5.0 out of 5 stars Step by Step Book
This book is perfect for the up and coming programmer. Every line of code is broken down and explained. Anyone looking to get into android programming should definitely get this.
Published 14 months ago by Andrew G. Manuele
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good resource
I'll make this quick; no Android book is perfect or contains everything you'd ever want to know, but if you're willing to read and learn, this book presents some detailed and... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Atlantic
4.0 out of 5 stars For Android beginners
This is good book written for Android beginners (it is expected that you have some knowledge of object oriented programming). Read more
Published 19 months ago by Anto Jurkovic
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed. Alot of information
To much to go through now I has alot of information. It is going to take some time to go through it. But is just what I needed.
Published 19 months ago by H8509
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