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Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (Big Nerd Ranch Guides) Paperback – April 7, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0321804334 ISBN-10: 0321804333 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Big Nerd Ranch Guides
  • Paperback: 580 pages
  • Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides; 1 edition (April 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321804333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321804334
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

BILL PHILLIPS is a senior Android instructor and software engineer at Big Nerd Ranch. He developed the materials for Big Nerd Ranch's acclaimed five-day Android Bootcamp alongside Brian Hardy. Bill has a passion for understanding things deeply and helping others do the same. In his spare time, Bill likes to read and play piano.

BRIAN HARDY is a lead software engineer and instructor at Big Nerd Ranch, where he has developed training materials for Android, iOS and Ruby courses. When not teaching or building mobile apps for consulting clients, Brian enjoys riding bicycles and playing records from his extensive collection.


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Customer Reviews

The book is very easy to follow.
Edmundas Geguzis
You will be writing code every step of the way with this book... What sets this book aside from any other app development book is that the book really "talks" to YOU.
James
I highly recommend this book for anyone starting off in Android development.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think the other reviewers sum it up pretty well. The author does a solid job of teaching you the fundamentals of Android and tells you EXACTLY what do to get the projects working.

However...

I'm reading this book in May of 2013, so the book is completely relevant. Android 4.2 is the current OS and the current version of Eclipse is the same the author is using. I am very happy about this.

I gave up on the Nerd Ranch iPhone book because the latest version of XCode was too different than the author's. Half the time I was trying to translate what the author was doing to the new Xcode way. Android doesn't change as much. However, there are little things like "fill_parent" that are used in books like Hello Android which is now deprecated. So if you learned from that book, you would be using a deprecated value for who knows how long! Hello Android is excellent too, but that was written before Honeycomb which changed everything!

So if it's mid 2013, I recommend this book. But don't let it sit on the shelf. Start it immediately. Books about mobile platforms become outdated very quickly.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By codemonkey on May 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first review I have ever written for a book.

The book claims to be "an introductory Android book for programmers with Java experience" and it does exactly what it says on the tin. This is what I liked most about the book:

1. the style is readable. I found myself actually enjoying the book. Many other technical programming books are simply too dry to read except as a reference. This book is a cover-to-cover read.
2. explanation is given. Instead of just presenting facts, the authors develop understanding through explanation.
3. real applications are developed. The authors introduce new material through real world examples that the reader follows along to. Similarly to the words of another reviewer here, occasionally it feels as if the reader is really in a course with the authors instructing in real time.

I am looking forward to further texts of this quality and style on more advanced Android programming from the authors.

There is a lot of rubbish out there. If you are looking to get into developing on Android then buy this book.

[ PS: An idiot reviewer here gave this book one star. He purchased a book that describes itself as an introductory text, then complained that the book was introductory. Please. ]
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By James on April 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book deserves 6/5 stars. I had high expectations for this book and upon reading and using the book it has blown those expectations away! For starters the book is portioned into easy bite size bits to help you learn android development from the ground up. Starting with what android actually is and finishing up with using maps in your mobile application (for more information look at the table of contents for the book). You will be writing code every step of the way with this book...

What sets this book aside from any other app development book is that the book really "talks" to YOU. Reading this book is almost like having a personal tutor at your disposal.

The book tells you exactly what to do AND goes over WHY you're doing what you're doing. Right about now you're probably saying "Jeez, I don't want to be told what to do, I'm a rebel..." or "Sheesh, how the hell are you supposed to learn if you're being told exactly what to do?".. well for starters practice and repetition will help you learn for when you come across problems on your own, AND ALSO, at the end of every section there is a "Challenge" where the authors ask you to do specific things (i.e. add to the app, fix something in the app) that make you think on your own, do your own research, and actually write code without being told what to do...

If you are trying to learn android development get this book, it walks you though everything and gives you exactly what you need to get started on your journey through mobile app development on the android platform. There is also an online forum for the book that you can go to, to ask questions, the authors are almost always on the forum so you can get help directly from the source.

Buy this book, it's the best Android How-to book on the market, you will not be disappointed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By petunia on July 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At this point I am only about halfway through the book, but will be updating this review as I progress.

Layout:
I find the layout of the book to be very helpful. Each chapter either creates or builds on an app from the previous chapters. YOU START BUILDING APPS and it is rewarding and energizing to see the fruits of your labor immediately. Code to be added or deleted is clearly labelled too, which is an advantage compared to other books. There are also plenty of screenshots to guide the reader as they progress and challenges that help more fully understand the code.

Explanations:
Although they say some experience required, explanations are (very much unfortunately) underdeveloped for the book. Quite a bit of experience is required. The book explains how the code is written, but doesn't contain a lot about why a certain method or class is used. Unless you are familiar with mid-level coding, a lot of time will be spent online looking for additional help. There is a forum on their website and "answer code" (i.e. the code copied from the book) that can be downloaded, but other than that there is little explanation beyond what's written. That being said, the code they do write is very clean and elegant and has really improved my own coding.

So far my biggest beef is that some chapters are very underdeveloped. It seems like they were either rushed or done with little thought, which can be incredibly frustrating.
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