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Android Apps for Absolute Beginners 1st ed. Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430234463
ISBN-10: 1430234466
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wallace Jackson has been writing for leading multimedia publications about his work in new media content development since the advent of Multimedia Producer Magazine nearly two decades ago, when he wrote about computer processor architectures for centerfolds (removable "mini-issue" insert) distributed at SIGGRAPH. Since then, Wallace has written for several other publications about his work in interactive 3D and new media advertising campaign design, including 3D Artist,Desktop Publishers Journal, CrossMedia, AVvideo and Kiosk Magazine.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. edition (March 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430234466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430234463
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've been writing and selling mobile apps since 2002 when I started with the Microsoft Pocket PC devices. When the first Android phone appeared (T-Mobile G1) I was excited to jump to that platform. My previous experience had been programming in C, so I didn't have any experience with Object Oriented Programming (OOP). Thus, I bought two Java programming beginner books and the only two Android programming books available at that time. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to understand the concepts of Java programming and the Android books just weren't written for a beginner Java programmer. In the end, I abandoned my attempt at writing Android apps and moved on to other platforms (Microsoft Windows Mobile, Palm WebOS, and Microsoft Windows Phone 7).

As time moved on, I began to learn and understand the concepts of OOP when I started studying Objective-C (for iPhone app development) and C# (for Microsoft Windows Phone 7). I watched some free online video tutorials as well as read several books on the subject. Finally it clicked and I understood the power of using classes in OOP. I'm not an expert, but I do think I made it over the learning hump and was ready to tackle Android programming again. Fortunately for me, there now exists several books on the subject of Android programming to choose from.

So with that background, I read through the "Android Apps for Absolute Beginners" book and found it to be an easy book to read and understand. It is designed for non-Java programmers, so it teaches the basics of Java, just enough to help you with learning Android programming. With each chapter you work several examples which illustrate the basic concepts of how to create and use buttons and other controls, dialog boxes, multiple "activity" screens, etc.
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Format: Paperback
As someone looking for exposure to Android development, I thought this book was very helpful. I was developing small apps, on my own, within 2 weeks of starting the book. I could see how an experienced programmer (from any discipline) might be frustrated with this book, considering the author gets very elementary at times. There's a lot of hand-holding in this book. But, as the title suggests, it is geared toward a true beginner - which I am. The examples are good practice and illustrate the lessons well (when they work!).

Some of the criticism in the reviews is fair. There are examples of code provided, some of which has typos (even in the 2nd edition). I had to look closely at the screenshots for the correct code. There are steps missing from the frame-based animation example. The screenshots also appear to be from an older version of Eclipse, which can be confusing. I also wish the author would've stayed consistent with the actual coding of objects, instead of using the Graphical method. I don't think you're doing anyone any favors by having them learn the drag 'n drop method, as opposed to real programming. That's like showing someone how to use the microwave and calling that a cooking lesson.

My criticism aside, I think this book is a great launching point. You learn how to properly setup your IDE. You learn the fundamentals of XML and Java, as they pertain the Android development. You gain exposure to some of the most commonly used API's. Bottom line, I got what I needed from this book which was to understand the basics. If you are already versed in Java, XML and OOP, then you can probably skip this one altogether.
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Format: Paperback
As somebody who honestly can be considered an Android beginner (only experience has been with C++), the book starts off well enough. You really do need to download the code and images used in the programs unless you want to take the extra time to create your own graphics and icons. But something really goes arwy in Chapter 7...maybe it's the way he put the program together, the fact that we go from easy concepts to advanced concepts in a few short pages, the fact that I spent more time trying to debug what he was having me type or the way he explains the concepts but the book takes a sudden turn here. The only way I could get the program working was to copy / paste the downloaded source code. Might want to look elsewhere.
Just wanted to add I'm into Chapter 8 and typing in each section of code as the author lays it out...the builds fail to compile properly. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why the program doesn't build, about ready to give up. Again...good review are probably coming from people not actually typing in code as the author want you to. Not good.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author uses Photoshop to modify some images and if you do not have Photoshop you cannot follow these examples. As I do not have any image-editing program I have to skip these parts.
I downloaded and updated the software according to the author's instructions and I have found that the screen shots in the book, while helpful, are not what I see on my screen. Maybe I am using more updated and recent software due to the update software instructions and prompts? It is very frustrating at times to follow along with his examples as the software I am using does not always match with his screen shots and some of his step by step instructions do not match with the software I am using.
In Chapter 7 "Adding an Image" the author asks us to "Go to the code bundle for this book and copy the two 32-bit image files named image1.png and image2.png...". My question is what code bundle? I have re-indexed my hard drive and searched for both files but cannot locate them. If anyone that reads this review knows where they are please post to let me know.
When writing code for the examples please remember to not put a blank line as the first line of code as this may generate an error message.
(Oct. 12 update)On the first physical page of this book it has the title "Android Apps for Absolute Beginners", turn the page over and at the bottom, it mentions that the source code for this book is available to readers at [...]. You must download this software or you will be unable to do the examples in Chapters 7 and 8. Not sure of the rest of the Chapters as I have only progressed to Chapter 8. I feel this is a major error on the authors part.
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