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Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform Paperback – January 7, 2009

84 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ed Burnette is editor of the articles section at, and author of the web site's "The Rich Client Platform (RCP) Tutorial" series. Ed also co-authored Eclipse in Action (Manning) and runs the site, where he can often be found hanging out in the Eclipse community forums. He's written everything from multi-user servers to compilers to commercial video games since earning a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from North Carolina State University. He is a Principal Systems Developer at SAS, and lives near Research Triangle Park, NC.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (January 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356173
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,563,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Steve K. Oliver II on October 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've read several books on Android from cover to cover, and skimmed several others, and "Hello, Android" is hands-down the best introduction to Android development.

Here's why I say that --

You really can get through the book in a day or two. The explanations are clear, the topics focus on what's relevant to getting started in Android development, and when you're done you have the skills to dive into the SDK to continue learning.

There is a consistent example project that is developed throughout the book. I found this very helpful, because it showed me how all the different parts fit together. For example, launching activities from an existing activity, using multiple classes in your project, adding preferences, etc.

There are very few (if any) "gotchas" in this book. I followed the examples step by step without any problem. I think some people have used the book's online forum to ask about which packages to import, but when I used Eclipse it was done automatically for me. (By the way, all the files are also online.)

Even after having many months of Android development under my belt, I find that I still refer back to this book from time to time. That's saying something for a book that sets out to be an introduction.

Remember, this book is a great introduction. If you already know Android and are looking for a deep-dive, look elsewhere. But if you are curious about all the excitement around Android and have a few hours to spare, spend them with this book and find out what developing in Android is all about.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Jay D. Swartzfeger on December 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have virtually no programming experience. Other than a solid beginner's understanding of LAMP (unix, apache, mysql, PHP and scripting stuff in general), I've never done more than fiddle with code. I do have a cursory knowledge of programming concepts and XML, but that's about it. I'm pretty much a curly brace language virgin.

Hello, Android does a solid job of introducing you to the fundamentals of programming for the Android OS -- it gives you a succinct overview of why you need to do 'XYZ' and when to do it. If you're looking for pages and pages of fundamentals and core concepts, you may want to look elsewhere because Hello, Android makes you hit the ground running and helps you immediately apply the quick concepts you just learned. This is excellent for a beginner like me because the results are immediate and gives you a sense of "this isn't so intimidating... I can actually do it!"

The one aspect I enjoyed about the book was that it gently gets the absolute beginner up to speed but then does less and less hand-holding as the tutorials moved along; this lets intermediate and advanced programmers move along at a brisk pace, but also forces beginners to think about previous concepts that were taught earlier. Instead of simply copying-and-pasting "recipe" code, it really challenged me to think and absorb what the author was teaching. This was invaluable for me as a beginner that likes to be challenged with more than just a simple 'copy and paste this code from page XX, then hit build and run'.

One intangible you won't find in the book -- the author is very helpful/responsive in the Pragmatic Programmer's forums, as are the other members. Any question I've had were answered (usually) within a day, and many times within an hour.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Emmster on September 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book covers a broad array of topics, it covers none of them in real depth and it is really really focused on Android - as opposed to Java. For my situation - it was perfect.

As a "read in a week, do the examples and lean a hell of a lot" type of book - it does the job well. If you know nothing about Android, want a crash course in the possibilities, and some basic intro on to how to realise them - this is the book you want. It's short, it's to the point and it will kick-start you into development. It's also way more digestible than the online docs if you're just starting out.
It will not turn you into an Android development ace; although it's such a new technology, you may be mistaken for one when you open your mouth. You'll certainly be able to "talk" a reasonable game when you're finished. If you are looking for a detailed Android reference or advanced programming manual type of thing - it's the wrong book.

It focuses on Android - not Java. You will learn NOTHING about Java programming, the pages deal exclusively with the Android system, and how to program it USING Java.

The book is divided up into 4 sections:

Section I : Introducing Android
Chapter 1 : Gets the tools set up (Eclipse IDE, Android Development Kit plug-in and Android SDK) and has you compiling the obligatory "Hello World" project.
Chapter 2 : Takes you on a 5 minute tour of the Android system from bottom to top. It's useful, especially if like me you come from a non-mobile development context. Android handles
application life-cycle differently because of the resource constrained devices it's typically hosted by; this has major implications for your application implementation.
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