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Android Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach [Paperback]

Dave Smith , Jeff Friesen
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Android Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach Android Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach 3.5 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

May 1, 2011 143023413X 978-1430234135 1

Android continues to be one of the leading mobile OS and development platforms driving today's mobile innovations and the apps ecosystem. Android appears complex, but offers a variety of organized development kits to those coming into Android with differing programming language skill sets.

Android Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach guides you step-by-step through a wide range of useful topics using complete and real-world working code examples.

In this book, you'll start off with a recap of Android architecture and app fundamentals, and then get down to business and build an app with Google’s Android SDK at the command line and Eclipse. Next, you'll learn how to accomplish practical tasks pertaining to the user interface, communications with the cloud, device hardware, data persistence, communications between applications, and interacting with Android itself. Finally, you'll learn how to leverage various libraries and Scripting Layer for Android (SL4A) to help you perform tasks more quickly, how to use the Android NDK to boost app performance, and how to design apps for performance, responsiveness, seamlessness, and more.

Instead of abstract descriptions of complex concepts, in Android Recipes, you'll find live code examples. When you start a new project, you can consider copying and pasting the code and configuration files from this book, then modifying them for your own customization needs. This can save you a great deal of work over creating a project from scratch!

What you’ll learn

  • Discover Android architecture and various Android-specific APIs
  • How to develop a unit conversion app in the context of command-line/Android SDK and Eclipse/Android SDK environments
  • How to accomplish various tasks related to the user interface and more
  • How to use external libraries to save time and effort
  • How to quickly develop an app using the Scripting Layer for Android (SL4A) tool
  • How to boost app performance by using the Android NDK
  • Guidelines for designing filtered apps, performant apps, responsive apps, and seamless apps

Who this book is for

Newcomers to Android, as well as more accomplished Android developers.

Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started with Android
  2. User Interface Recipes
  3. Communications and Networking
  4. Interacting with Device Hardware and Media
  5. Persisting Data
  6. Interacting with the System
  7. Working with Libraries
  8. Scripting Layer for Android
  9. Android NDK
  10. App Design Guidelines

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Android Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach + Professional Android 4 Application Development
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Friesen is a freelance tutor and software developer with an emphasis on Java (and now Android). In addition to writing Android Recipes, Jeff has written numerous articles on Java and other technologies for JavaWorld (, informIT (,, and DevSource ( Jeff can be contacted via his website at

Dave Smith is a professional engineer developing hardware and software for mobile and embedded platforms.�Dave's engineering efforts are currently focused full-time on Android and iOS development.�Since 2009, Dave has worked on developing at all levels of the Android platform, from writing user applications using the software development kit,�to building and customizing the Android source code.�Dave regularly communicates via his development blog ( and Twitter stream @devunwired.

Product Details

  • Series: Recipes
  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143023413X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430234135
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #805,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dave Smith is a licensed Professional Engineer born and raised in Denver, CO. While studying at Colorado School of Mines, Dave realized a passion for embedded computing that later grew into an emphasis on mobile development. His work today focuses on integrating iOS and Android with other embedded technologies at the commercial, industrial, and even hobbyist levels.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book delivers in a big way. June 26, 2011
I own several Android/Java books, and even a couple from Apress, however, this Android Recipes book is now my favorite.

I tend to do a lot more iOS programming versus Android/Java programming, so often I'm looking how to do the analogous programming task in the Android world which I'm already familiar in iOS. This book really is a complete solution for my situation.

The UI recipes covers topics like animation, proper image assets, workflow, lists, dialogs, and dozens more.

I was really pleased to see an introduction/overview to the tool DroidDraw, which I was unfamiliar with first-hand prior to reading the book. It exposed me to a really cool tool that is a real time saver and pretty neat.

There are quite a few recipes on networking/communications. Items like SMS creation, parsing data with JSON/XML, utilizing a web service, Bluetooth connectivity, etc... Really great nuggets of info that get down to the nitty gritty of how to accomplish the task. There's not a lot of overview, so the book assumes you know the technology and don't need to be hand-held.

The book has some great info on the device hardware like camera interactivity, recording audio/video, map location (GPS) type of recipes, etc... Most applications need to persist their data, so file writing and SQLite are covered in depth with a bunch of recipes. Services, scheduling tasks, interaction with other apps, background operations, and other system tasks are covered quite nicely with a few dozen recipes broken down in task-based instruction sets.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Android Book June 14, 2011
By C.R.
This is book is an excellent addition to the bookshelf of any serious android developer. Android Recipes is primarily geared toward an experienced android developer. However, even a beginning android developer (with a solid understanding of the Java programming language) will find it beneficial. What sets this book apart from most is its clear, concise explanations. I have tested and implemented many of the solutions in this book. After reading Chapter 5: Persisting Data, I was able to implement a content provider of my own in no time.

Pros: Clear, concise explanations of complex topics. Code examples available on-line.

Cons: None

This is the best android book I have read so far, and I definitely recommend it to anyone serious about Android development.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definite book to have in your Android arsenal. May 31, 2011
If you are an Android developer, this is book you want on your shelf. Android Recipes gives you examples of working code to solve real world problems. Sure you can find the information on-line, but where else will you find all of this information in single, easy to use source, without spending hours digging through random web pages looking for a working example. While reading the book, I found myself frequently stopping to make notes or sending myself an email so I could try something new at work the next day. I can say that my understanding of what is possible has grown and my apps are better as a result.

Like many recipe books, the layout is a problem and solution format. The chapters are logically divided into things like system services, communications and networking, and working with libraries. Each chapter gives a multitude of problems which Android developers face daily. Then, and example is given of how to solve the problem. Best of all, the examples are thorough. Many books gloss over simple things like the layout of a screen. The authors have obviously taken the extra effort to provide a complete example of each solution.

So what can you expect to learn? This is a VERY short list of some of the problems which this book helps solve.

UI challenges such as manually handling UI rotation and creating pop-up menu actions.
Parsing XML and JSON.
Receiving SMS messages and capturing notification events.
Capturing and playing back audio and video.
Using the scripting layer to run shell and python scripts.
Persistent data and working with the SQLite database.
Integrating 3rd party JARs into your project

If you are on the fence about this book, I encourage you to take the plunge and buy it. You will not be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, weak code samples August 22, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have a number of Android books and this is among the best for reference and getting pointed in the right direction on how to do a specific task. BUT, the code examples are incomplete -- both in terms of not being run-able projects, as well as individual sample files often missing things like needed import statements. Since the primary benefits that a "recipe" book adds over just googling for snippets are completeness and correctness of the examples, and this book is wanting in both, I've taken 2 stars off. Still, the book is worth buying.

[Edit] After using this book for a while, I'm revising my rating up to 4. It has basically become my go-to book for most tasks. If it had complete working examples, it'd be nearly perfect for beginner topics. I'd also like to see a second edition covering more advanced topics.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use reference
Very easy to flip thru and find help for coding issues. The solution are well explained. Wish it had gone farther into databases, but I guess SQLite is it's own book topic.
Published 14 months ago by Teresa Klingensmith-Haines
5.0 out of 5 stars Android Recipes is the best book written on the subject
This book is the best written and informative book that I have ever read for programming the Android platform. Read more
Published on June 8, 2012 by cds
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Book
I learnt more from the first chapter of this book than the entire contents of many so called Android books out there. Read more
Published on June 1, 2012 by Dr. Edward Austin
2.0 out of 5 stars Average book,not very well written
This book is a jumble - it's not well written and the code samples are pretty bad - maybe these guys program like this in private, but code samples in a book should use descriptive... Read more
Published on May 13, 2012 by beautox
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST-HAVE Android reference and overall helpful tool
I'll keep this short and sweet. This book is full of detailed, easy to understand, and informative content that will improve programming skills and is an awesome reference to look... Read more
Published on February 4, 2012 by Network man
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Android book I have ever read. Period.
This book is by far the best Android book on the market. The samples are clear, clean, commented, encapsulated, and relevant. Read more
Published on January 29, 2012 by Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for Android application developers
I'm an experienced programmer. Have been learning Android for about
two months and have brought four Android programming books -- this one
is by far my favorite. Read more
Published on January 10, 2012 by Stuart Rackham
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful
I bought this book, along with "Practical Android Projects by Jordan & Greyling. The pair have served me very well as quick-start guides. Read more
Published on November 13, 2011 by NSAES
5.0 out of 5 stars it delivers what it promises
I really enjoy to read and meanwhile work with the Android Recipes book because it is very well structured and useful as a reference book. Read more
Published on June 15, 2011 by k41
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