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Learn Java for Android Development [Paperback]

Jeff Friesen
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 29, 2010 1430231564 978-1430231561 1

Android development is hot, and many programmers are interested in joining the fun. However, because this technology is based on Java, you should first obtain a solid grasp of the Java language and its foundational APIs to improve your chances of succeeding as an Android app developer. After all, you will be busy learning the architecture of an Android app, the various Android-specific APIs, and Android-specific tools. If you do not already know Java fundamentals, you will probably end up with a massive headache from also having to quickly cram those fundamentals into your knowledge base.  

Learn Java for Android Development
teaches programmers of any skill level the essential Java language and foundational Java API skills that must be learned to improve the programmer’s chances of succeeding as an Android app developer. Each of the book’s 10 chapters provides an exercise section that gives you the opportunity to reinforce your understanding of the chapter’s material. Answers to the book’s more than 300 exercises are provided in an appendix. Additionally, author Jeff Friesen has created six bonus chapters that you can download from his personal site, located at

Once you complete this book, you will be ready to dive into Android, and you can start that journey by obtaining a copy of Beginning Android 2.  

What you’ll learn

  • The Java language: This book provides complete coverage of nearly every pre-Java version 7 language feature (native methods are briefly mentioned but not formally covered). Starting with those features related to classes and objects, you progress to object-oriented features related to inheritance, polymorphism, and interfaces. You then explore the advanced language features for nested types, packages, static imports, exceptions, assertions, annotations, generics, and enums. Continuing, you investigate strictfp, class literals, synchronized, volatile, the enhanced for loop statement, autoboxing/unboxing, and transient fields. The book also briefly presents most (if not all) of Java version 7’s language features, although not much is said about closures or modules (which were not finalized at the time of writing).
  • Java APIs: In addition to Object and APIs related to exceptions, you explore Math, StrictMath, BigDecimal, BigInteger, Package, Boolean, Character, Byte, Short, Integer, Long, Float, Double, Number, the References API, the Reflection API, String, StringBuffer, System, the Threading API, the collections framework, the concurrency utilities, the internationalization APIs, the Preferences API, Random, the Regular Expressions API, File, RandomAccessFile, stream classes, and writer/reader classes. You will also get a tiny taste of Swing in the context of internationalization.
  • Tools: You will learn how to use the JDK’s javac (compiler), java (application launcher), javadoc (Java documentation generator), and jar (Java archive creator, updater, and extractor) tools. You will also receive an introduction to the NetBeans and Eclipse integrated development environments. Although you can develop Android apps without NetBeans or Eclipse, working with these IDEs is much more pleasant.

Who this book is for

This book is for any programmer (including existing Java programmers and Objective-C [iPhone/iPad] programmers) of any skill level who needs to obtain a solid understanding of the Java language and foundational Java APIs before jumping into Android app development.

Table of Contents

  1. Getting Started with Java
  2. Learning Language Fundamentals
  3. Learning Object-Oriented Language Features
  4. Mastering Advanced Language Features, Part 1
  5. Mastering Advanced Language Features, Part 2
  6. Exploring the Basic APIs, Part 1
  7. Exploring the Basic APIs, Part 2
  8. Discovering the Collections Framework
  9. Discovering Additional Utility APIs
  10. Performing I/O
  11. Solutions to Exercises

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

Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (September 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430231564
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430231561
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
196 of 205 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About Learn Java for Android Development December 13, 2010

I'm the author of Learn Java for Android Development and would like to share some background information on why LJFAD is the way it is, in part to respond to the accusations of deception that have been made against me and this book.

Approximately one year ago, I was contacted by Apress to write LJFAD. I was given the book's title, Learn Java for Android Development, and told that this book would serve as a prequel to Apress's Beginning Android/Beginning Android 2 books. Because LJFAD would serve as a prequel, I was told that it could not focus on Android development.

After much thought, I decided to focus this book on Java language and API fundamentals, because the aspiring Android developer needs to understand the Java language and fundamental Java APIs (such as collections and threading) before diving into Android development. Android requires the developer to learn a lot of Android-specific knowledge (such as activities and resources), so it's a good idea to first have a solid understanding of the Java language and various APIs before jumping into Android.

To those who are accusing me of a deception, I wish you would first take the time to read the book's description on Amazon, which clearly states what this book is and is not. For example, consider the following sentence from the description:

"Learn Java for Android Development teaches programmers of any skill level the essential Java language and foundational Java API skills that must be learned to improve the programmer's s chances of succeeding as an Android app developer."

I don't know how much clearer I can be.

If this book had been titled "Learn Android Development", I could certainly understand the accusations.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful as a reference guide November 2, 2010
Although classified as a beginner's book, it should be noted that this book is not written for beginning programmers. If you are new to programming in general, start somewhere else and look at this book later. This comprehensive review of the Java language features takes the reader from the primitive data types to a whirlwind exposure to the standard Java libraries.

The good:

Learn Java for Android Development attempts to cover everything you might need to know about Java for purposes of Android development. Unlike many learning Java books, this book does not include information about Swing or Graphical programming. This is a big plus as those features of the language can be confusing for developers new to Java. Considering the book is aimed at Android developers, who won't be using Swing, it makes perfect sense.

While reading the book, I learned several new things about features coming in the release of JDK7. I even learned a few things about JDK5/6 that I can do better in my day to day development.

The book can serve as a quick reference for certain features of the language.

The author recognized that several important topics needed to be covered (XML parsing for example), but couldn't be due to the size of the book. He has stated that he will make some new chapters available for free on his website.

The bad:

The book attempts to tackle everything, and I do mean everything. Because of this, the book is very dense with material and at times difficult to read.

In many cases, example code was way too long and descriptions were way too short.

Although the title includes the word "Learning", I would not recommend this as a book for someone who wants to learn the Java language.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Book December 23, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently was required to write some Android applications for my company and as such needed to brush up on Java. I think the last time that I did this was at university in CS I and II; anyway, I have found this book to be extremely helpful and complete. There have been some reviews that state this book is 'misleading'; which is hard to understand since the title of the book clearly states that this is a book that focuses on Java so that you may do Android development later. The author is obviously very knowledgeable about the subject matter and expresses ideas in a very clear way. I keep this book with me whenever I am doing any Android development mostly as a reference. I did work through the book when I first bought it from cover-to-cover as a refresher and found it to be enormously helpful.

Highly recommend for anyone that is going to be doing any serious Java development, whether it be Android or otherwise.

You Rock, JavaJeff!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to School November 19, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Coming from some previous programming experience, I like this book. It is not an easy book, but the author has a really immense understanding of java, and a thoughtful style. Excellent brush up read on programming and Java from a very good source.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource not for a beginner December 8, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is geared towards someone that has some kind of programming background, because while it does touch on every topic it doesn't do it in a complete new learners way. This book is great for someone needing to brush up on the Java language before starting Android programming.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Clear, concise, thorough, and well presented.

1. The author's style of writing is very clear. You can tell he chose his words carefully and it is not laden with all kinds of flowery language.

2. The information is presented in a concise manner. I usually have to skip over entire sections or chapters of 'fluff' in other programming books. I was able to start with the very first chapter and didn't feel like I was wasting my time.

3. It doesn't read like a reference manual. Information flowed from subject to subject and I was able to absorb it quickly without becoming bored.

If you're a programmer who wants to get into Android development but you aren't that familiar with Java, then this book is definitely the first place to start.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reference manual
It's a good book for those people that want to pick up Java, especially geared towards Android development.
I'd use this as a supplement to an Android programming book
Published 4 months ago by DavyMac
1.0 out of 5 stars This book does not have anything with ANDROID
I wanted a book explaining how to make programs for ANDROID devices. With the book title you've managed to fool me. Congratulations! . Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jorma K
2.0 out of 5 stars Weird writing style, but check the contents and sample pages to see if...
There is some good contenet in here - the author is no doubt a Java expert, however the writing style keeps me re-reading everything - every time I open this book. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Chris L.
2.0 out of 5 stars Java for Android Development
Not for beginners to say the least, this book is a complex introduction to Java and barely mentions anything specific about Android. Read more
Published 20 months ago by KevinPHD
5.0 out of 5 stars Provides exactly what an Android developer has to know about Java
An excellent book. Provides exactly what an Android developer has to know about Java, though it doesn't talk much about Android. It is short, concise, and has very good examples. Read more
Published on April 5, 2012 by Mark Lutinger
2.0 out of 5 stars You might need to read it twice
I regret buying this book.

I can forgive it for a few mistakes here and there, but frequently there are concepts being introduced only to be discussed at late chapters. Read more
Published on March 21, 2012 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars No for beginners
This book is NOT for beginners, I have worked with Java on and off for years now. There is way too much stuff packed into it and as the author says does not deal with Android, this... Read more
Published on February 3, 2012 by Charlton P Webb
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK Java Intro and Reference for Experienced Programmers
This is an acceptable book to use for learning Java for an experienced programmer.
* The approach is to throw concept after concept at the reader. Read more
Published on January 8, 2012 by J. Mullaney
2.0 out of 5 stars OK, not great
Other than some brief mentions of Android, this is a basic text book
on Java and does little to tie it into Android policies and strategy
for using Java. Read more
Published on December 18, 2011 by alternate
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise and comprehensive. Worth to read.
As a programmer with 3 years of experiance with PHP I find this book very usefull and easy to read (and let me say that english is not my first language). Read more
Published on December 11, 2011 by smentek
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