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Android 4.4 App Development Essentials Paperback – January 27, 2014
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The Android 4.4. App Development Essentials book is what filled this gap. This book covers the overall architecture of the Android OS and teaches you from the ground up why everything in Android exists and for what it is used.
You can look up the exact contents of the book and decide for yourself if you need what's in it, but the reason I chose it, was because it gets into detail about explaining those fundamental techniques you need to know on how to develop a successful Android app like using gestures, fragments, SQLite databases, animation and accessing Cloud storage. The one thing I liked the most was that the book is actually up to date with the latest version of Android so it explains those new APIs that were introduced recently, like printing and the Google Maps API, and it also teaches you how to prepare your app for a public release and how to use in-app billing.
And all that is explained in a brief manner - not cut short, nor full of useless information. It's the "essentials". It serves as a recipe book that tells you exactly what to do in order to accomplish what, so you could later come to a specific chapter and look up what you need. Now I could continue reading The Big Nerd Ranch Guide on Android Programming, easily following the steps of what I need to do, knowing the concepts and why I need to do it.
The publisher (eBookFrenzy.com) claims that the latest version of the book is 2.1
My book's copyright page says it is revision 3.0
I have read the first 4 chapters so far.
The author apparently used the ADT bundle 20131030 [Oct 30, 2013] which used to be available for download.
The problem is that the official Android IDE is now Android Studio. The book is not written for Android Studio.
I fortunately had the ADT bundle 20131020 from a previous attempt at learning Android app development.
The links can be found at [...]
If you use the ADT bundle 20131020, Figure 4.6 is all wrong. There is no Fragement Layout Name.
If you have a slower PC, you may need to increase the emulator timeout by following the directions at [...]
Edit: Feb. 10, 2015
Amazon decided to delete the helpful links I provided above. Oh well.
For all the examples in the book, you need to find and download a later ADT bundle than 20131030 so that you
create a Blank Activiy with Fragment which will let you will see a window that is similar to Figure 4-6
in the latest version of the book.
The latest ADT bundle before the transition to Android Studio is 20140702.
Note that since the book's release, Google has officially decided all its developers are to use the Android Studio IDE, has strongly encouraged them to migrate from Eclipse to Android Studio, and has stopped supporting its ADT plugin (last update August 2015). For the present many developers who are already adept at using Eclipse with the ADT plugin will continue to use it for developing apps for Android 4.4 (KitKat), Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), (and before) because many thousands of these devices running older versions of Android remain in daily use around the world. As time passes and newer devices running newer versions of Android (5.0 Lollipop, 6.0 Marshmallow) replace those older devices, fewer developers will use Eclipse w/ADT plugin. Developers wishing to learn Android programming for the newer Android versions will then want to purchase a book where Android Studio is featured.
After successfully deploying of your first Android 'Hello Android' app on an Android device I can whole-heartedly recommend Neil Smyth's book as a learning tool which gives insight to the other pieces of an Android API not covered in this Essentials book while you expend your efforts grasping the fundamentals.