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Android Application Development For Dummies Paperback – December 7, 2010
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'...a highly capable book from a well regarded self-help book series on a subject that is very topical at the moment' (Will Roney, 5 December 2011).
From the Back Cover
Here's just what you need to start developing feature-rich, amazing Android apps
Even if you've never written a mobile application, this book has the know-how you need to turn your great ideas into cool apps for the Android platform. With millions of smartphone users and a cornucopia of carriers, Android is a great place to ply the app development trade. This book shows you from the ground up how to set up your environment and create an app. Read on to become an Android developer extraordinaire!
Welcome to Android — learn what makes a great Android app, how to use the SDK, ways to work with mobile screens, and how the development process works
Make users happy — find out how to design an interface that mobile users will love
Learn the code — work with the activity lifecycle and Android framework classes, use the Eclipse debugger, and create a home screen widget for your app
Beyond the basics — take your skills up a notch with apps that involve SQLite databases and multiple screens
Price and publish — pick the right price for your app and get it into the Android Market
Open the book and find:
Cool ways to use the accelerometer in your app
How to turn mobile limitations into opportunities
Tips on installing and setting up the tools
Step-by-step coding directions
Ways to make your apps more marketable
How to create really useful menus
Advice on app pricing
Ten great sample apps and SDKs, including code
Create apps for hot smartphones like Droid X, Galaxy S, and MyTouch
Download the SDK and get Eclipse up and running
Code Android applications
Submit your apps to the Android Market
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The book is also a bit dated ("Android 2.2 is the latest and greatest Android version!"), but I don't hold that against it. It's something to be aware of, however.
Also, the author tries to have give the book a folksy, conversational feel, but it just comes off as forced (for a good example of where this works, check out Yasser Seirawan's Winning Chess series). For instance, in the section describing "libs" (libraries), the author begins with something like, "Did I say ribs? No, I said libs!" and in another section, he says something along the lines of "Are you ready to get down to the nitty gritty of Android development? I bet you are!" Done well it can be a nice touch, but in this book it's just distracting.
I really want to learn android development; however, I'm probably going to have to buy another book. Pass on this one, folks.
This content is really complicated for most people and he's made a great effort in simplifying the material to a level where it's just not going to get any simpler. Beyond that, I appreciated many of the 'gotchas' and shortcuts shared throughout the chapters. Overall, although the "Dummies" title is a little absurd used in a subject like this, it's as good a book as any if you want to get your feet wet with Android (but you have knowledge of Java, object orientation and general computing concepts).
The only real con I had was that there where still bug's in the sample code. Which if a programmer with no android experience where to pick up this book they maybe be put off when they can't figure out why the programs not working where theirs is the same as a books. The ones I found while playing with the samples where small easy fixes but still things that should have been addressed.
Another strength is that instead of pursuing highly technical details he'll refer you to online resources which are actually really well written for the most part. If you're the kind of person that likes to take a bus tour of a city to get the overview and then go back to what you're interested in, you'll like this book.
Very engaging writing style as well - conversational tone and doesn't try to make this the only book you'll ever need.
Does have a tendency to jump from overly simplistic to depth - for instance he'll fill out textboxes for you which feels very noob-oriented and then will mention casting or agile development like you've been around. It's been perfect for me because I've felt like an idiot trying to learn this but I've been developing [...] for a number of years. If your background is java, I'd head straight to one of the other books. For those of us not as used to configuration files ruling the development universe, this is as good a place to start as any.
Also pleased that it was current - working with froyo and even talks about my droid x which I never thought I would see this soon in a book.
Con's: To my disappointment in the first few lines it states they assume you are familiar with programming Java. I was shocked to see that in a Dummies book.
Pro's: It did help me set up the Eclipse compiler environment. That was a huge hurdle in itself. The book installation doesn't exactly match the Eclipse install because Eclipse changes with every version.
Just don't expect to got from "no programming experience" or "experienced in languages other than Java" to programming happily on Android.
That was months ago and I've been writing Android programs for my job. Once a book like this gets you off the ground then remember "Google is your friend", you'll be spending a lot of time on stackoverflow.com.