- Paperback: 576 pages
- Publisher: Wrox; 2 edition (March 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470565527
- ISBN-13: 978-0470565520
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #989,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Professional Android 2 Application Development 2nd Edition
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From the Back Cover
Build unique mobile applications with the latest Android SDK
Written by an Android authority, this up-to-date resource shows you how to leverage the features of Android 2 to enhance existing products or create innovative new ones. Serving as a hands-on guide to building mobile apps using Android, the book walks you through a series of sample projects that introduces you to Android's new features and techniques. Using the explanations and examples included in these pages, you'll acquire the foundation needed to write compelling mobile applications that use Android, along with the flexibility to quickly adapt to future enhancements.
Professional Android 2 Application Development:
Reviews Android as a development platform and¿best practices for mobile development
Provides an in-depth look at the Android application components
Details creating layouts and Views to produce compelling resolution independent user interfaces
Examines Intents and Content Providers for sharing data
Introduces techniques for creating map-based applications and using location-based services such as GPS
Looks at how to create and use background Services, Notifications, and Alarms
Demonstrates how to create interactive homescreen components
Explores the Bluetooth, telephony, and networking APIs
Examines using hardware, including the camera and sensors such as the compass and accelerometers
Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.
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About the Author
Reto Meier is a software developer who has been involved in Android since the initial release in 2007. He is an Android Developer Advocate at Google.
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Top customer reviews
First the good part: the book is aimed to those unfamiliar with Android development and it tries to cover a lot of material. So at the very least, this book could be used later as some kind of reference, when trying to get started utilizing some feature of the system.
In general, the presentation of material is decent. A feature is explained, some snippets of code are shown. Then the feature is utilized in the "main" app that is built throughout the book.
On to the bad part (which is always more fun, isn't it?). A successful book on technology X should have a number of practical, diverse, and reasonably complex examples which are build ground-up with increasing degree of sophistication to show practical application of various aspects of the new technology. This book has only one such example (an earthquake monitoring application) and it generally fits the bill covering various subsystems, but it is a very specific type of an app. It would be nice to have several different examples (e.g. a media player, a photo editor, etc.)
A good book this kind must have exercises, ideally of varying degree of difficulty. They drive the point home, forcing the reader to try different things, including those that are outside of the scope of the chapter in question. This book has none.
Now it might be me, but the presentation of some of the core concepts of Android development was not all that clear or practical. Two examples particularly stand out: one is the topic on activity lifecycle. While discussing in detail what it means from the system point of view when the activity is in a certain state is useful, there is very little (if any) information on how these states and transitions are related to the user actions (e.g. what happens to the activity when user starts another app, when a call comes in, when he turns the phone off, etc. etc.) Another such example is the discussion of Adapters - after having read the topic several times, I am still unclear about the relationship between the Adapter and the View it tries to populate.
Last things from the nitpicking department: the book would definitely benefit from more screenshots and less cheesy icons (pretty much every tiny piece of code is adorned with an icon reminding the reader that it can be downloaded from Wrox.com). Finally, I found the way code snippets are typeset (font and formatting) a bit poor as it makes them blend with the text. Using a more optimal font and possibly putting snippets in a box with a border might help this.
To summarize, it's not an inherently bad book and hopefully the next edition will improve on many such points. In the meantime, I recommend carefully shopping around as there may be a better book for picking up Android development.
Just a little more explanation of details would have helped a lot. For example, in creating a widget, listings 10-1 to 10-4 should be a nice project to get your own app going, but the details of where the snippets should be saved and how they need to be named are missing, so i spent a lot of time with errors along the lines of "resources not found" until I finally worked it all out.
There is nothing I could find in the book on publishing your own apps, particularly the topic of getting the keys that are required for distribution, the options for licensing, or the details of using Market. The index does not even have an entry for "publish."
As others have noted, there are a lot of errors and typos. Again, this leads to frustration, as errors pop up that are difficult to track down.
This book has potential. Perhaps it was rushed to publication. A thorough scrub of errors and the addition of details on how to get the code snippets to work may make the next edition a very good guide.
I bought this one and two others at the same time. One was bad, one was okay, and one was good. I worked my way through this entire book going through the different examples. There are issues, as others have pointed out, but mostly they are minor and the value you will gain from working through this book will make you overlook the issues.
- Introduction to Android and apps
- Helps you find the tools needed to get started.
- Examples start small and get bigger as you go through the book
- Does a solid job of covering material that most people will need.
- Examples get bigger as you move on, meaning they are more complex and the basics of the topic can get lost in the example.
- The last chapter has all the "good stuff" and then it is mostly just mentioned and not worked through.
- Online code is just for the full examples.
I am a long time programmer with many years of experience in C/C++, Windows and Windows CE. I needed to move to Android and Java. This did it for me.
The downside is that it is difficult to jump to specific areas and work out specific points of interest. The explanations in some areas are quite detailed and helpful, and in other areas fairly light. For instance the "Preferences framework" has a couple of approaches, Reto covers alot of code to implement the various flavors of preference implementations. As this is quite heavy coding, there is little explanation, so perhaps covering too much here, and may be just sticking with one method of implementation and detailing it well, rather than throwing it all at you with very little explanation.
I suppose this is the tradeoff when going through an application that does more than "hello world", in that you can't document everything. So, you may find yourself googling for more info, or asking "why do I need to...". So it's not an API reference or code-snippets book. Overall a good book, the value comes over time as you reflect on what he has taken you through and review the sample app.
Most recent customer reviews
I don't recommend this book. If you wanna learn something about Android, I advice you to buy another book.
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