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Learning Android 1st Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449390501
ISBN-10: 1449390501
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Book Description

Building Applications for the Android Market

About the Author

Marko Gargenta is the founder and chief Android expert at Marakana, a training company in San Francisco. Marko has developed Android Bootcamp and Android Internals courses, and has trained over 1,000 developers on four continents. His clients include Qualcomm, Sony-Ericsson, Motorola, Sharp, Cisco, U.S. Department of Defense, and many more. Marko frequently speaks on Android at technical conferences and events, and is the founder of San Francisco Android Users Group.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (March 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449390501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449390501
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,034,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Learning Android is a very nice tour through developing Android applications. It's aimed at programmers who are comfortable with Java already, and doesn't waste any time getting into what's different about Android programming. If you're looking for a guide to save you a lot of time getting from "absolute Android beginner" to "comfortable consulting the API documentation on your own", I think Learning Android is quite a good choice.

Most of the book is devoted to incrementally developing a simple Twitter app. Whether you like or dislike this style of exposition is something of a personal preference, but I will say the chapters are chosen pretty well, and aside from the obvious fact that later chapters assume the code from the previous ones, I never found myself needed to flip backwards a lot, which can sometimes be a problem with books that try to develop a single application over a few hundred pages.

I think I'm probably representative of the target audience for this book. I have quite a bit of experience programming in various languages, and I'm an experienced iOS developer, but with no real prior exposure to Android programming. For me, the book was nearly ideal. I was able to breeze through it pretty easily while getting a very good basic overview. It's certainly targets Eclipse and the associated Android tools that go with it, but the book was generally careful to also at least show the actual files that were generated. As an emacs user who was going through the book using only the Android SDK tools, this was a helpful touch. One minor disappointment is that while the book does a nice job of explaining what Eclipse is doing so that you may do it yourself, it doesn't always provide much coverage of the Android SDK tools or how you would use them to accomplish the same tasks.
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Format: Paperback
Developing Android based application is like any other development. You have to get tools, learn basics and explore the details of the API. Learning Android covers first two topics.

First of all, you can get the overview of Android, what it does, who develops it and so forth. You can call it an overview from 9K feet height. After that you are explained how Android is organized and how all the system layers are organized. This is quite useful part because you can get the feeling what to expect when it comes to the API. Then you will be guided through the initial setup that allows you to develop Android based applications. This part is quite useful, because it allows you to get all the information required for preparing development environment. You will be, literally, lead step by step how to configure everything (at this point you can tell that Marko has some experience when it comes to providing people with tutorials - you are simply not able to go wrong here). One remark here. Marko doesn't mention that you have to set-up Android's SDK location before you proceed with "Hello world" example. In order to do this, you have to go to: Eclipse -> Preferences -> Android -> SDL Location and set proper SDK location. He also forgets to mention that after setting up ADT you have to go to: and install all the packages that are required for Android development.

After you are ready to go with coding, there is a place for getting familiar with Android's API. Here, Marko provides you with information related to Various aspects of Android related development. In general, it's fine, but there is one drawback. Marko tries to provide you with the knowledge related to Android by conducting you basing on hypothetical application (Yamba).
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Format: Kindle Edition
Learning Android by Marco Gargenta is what I would consider a high level introductory book for those well grounded in Java or have a strong OO development background and don't mind coming up to speed in order to learn Android. If you like to learn by building out non-trivial applications in a style that mimic's real world development then consider this book.

I have been writing Java code on and off since Java was considered one of those fringe languages for those a bit off kilter OO types. I also have a style of learning that is not book oriented. I seem to prefer the ad hoc "random walk in the woods" approach. Good for discovering a lot of interesting stuff, not so good at getting a well oriented systematic approach to developing in new areas. When Learning Android by Marco Gargenta was release I decided to have a go at a more direct approach. Since I had been developing in Android for several years this was not my traditional behavior.

The book is well suited to those with a solid Java background. Needless to say if you have a strong OO background and have developed in OO languages you will not have a problem, but I recommend you have a strong Java book at your side and a willingness to spend time in the Java references to get the most out of the book. The book covers a lot of ground and is defiantly not a "now push this button" style book.

The preface mentions that the book evolved from years of the authors teaching Android in Bootcamp style classes. This shines through in the book with little snippets of knowledge that pop up at the right moment, almost anticipating reader questions and not relying on the reader to research the issue. This is obviously the byproduct of teaching many classes and occasionally watching students flail.
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