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Professional Android 2 Application Development 2nd Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470565520
ISBN-10: 0470565527
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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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Product Details

  • 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
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,060,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Dowdell on March 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Android 2 is pretty new (as of March 2010) so having an Android 2 book on the market that is good quality was unexpected. I have not read all chapters, but here are my impressions so far:

Pro's
=====
- Author's style is neither dull or exciting, just to the point. Most explanations are clear and thorough.
- I definitely feel I have a good resource to complement the online Android docs. There have been a variety of topics I've tried to answer using Android docs (and Google searches) without much luck that this book covered clearly.
- There are a lot of good topics covered. Space is not wasted on reprinting information readily available online. Instead, author regularly refers reader to web links.
- And, finally, I appreciate the well-edited index.

Con's
=====
- The book is very weak in the illustration department. For example, instead of showing an image of a NinePatch bitmap, the author explains how a NinePatch should be constructed. This is chintzy and unforgivable for a book about a heavily visual technology.
- Occassionally, concepts are introduced without providing context. 'Kinda like when you walk into a meeting and the speakers clearly know their material but forget that 90% of the others in the room need to be brought up to speed before instructing.
- Some conspicuous omissions. For instance, no information on fonts.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a software engineer with 3 years of experience developing Windows Mobile applications.
I needed a book which is
* In-Depth - Perhaps one of the most in-depth Android books available.
* Updated - This book is one of the most updated books on Android, covering Android SDK 2.1 r1.
* Lots of sample code to complement the shortcomings of the online Android Developer Guide.
This book meets all of my requirements.

Being a careful reader, I found many errors just by reading Chapters 3 and 5 alone.
I've posted these errors on publisher's errata page and also on this book's forum.
No book is perfect, therefore misspellings and misprints are tolerable.
But incorrect or outdated information is not, therefore I hope the author can correct
these errors in the next print.

Depite these errors, I still give this book a rating of 4 because of other qualities, and the
author was very keen to address these errors.
Just like reading any other books, one just needs to be careful in reading, perhaps the best approach is
to read it along with the online Android Developer Guide.
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Format: Paperback
I only started writing Android apps back in November of 2009. In that time, I've been under the false assumption that everything I need, I'll be able to find online.

Although it's probably true that a lot of the information in here can be found online, the real benefit to Meier's book is that it's very well organized. I didn't realize how disorganized I was until I decided to get this book. It is pretty easy to understand and makes a great reference.

Anyway, I keep hearing about how this book is great if you have a lot of experience, but I just wanted to say it's great if you don't have any experience, too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There were mixed reviews on this book, but I decided to give it a try since some of the bad reviews were from people with limited programming experience. I have more than 20 yrs of programming and applications development experience, but there are way too many errors in the book. I had to spend far too much time researching the errors in the book. This book was a total disappointment to me.
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Format: Paperback
In short, if you are looking to learn Android programming, I would look elsewhere.

At the beginning of the book, the author states that "while knowledge of JAVA is helpful, it's not a necessity", and yet the VERY FIRST program in the book will not work if you type it in - he left off the import statements. I found a lot of the code wouldn't work, and even the examples on the WROX site wouldn't even compile in several cases. If you check out the forum on the book on WROX's site you will see others had issues here as well. It's one thing if perhaps there was an error in the code in the book but quite another when they didn't even take the time to check the code they posted online to see if it would compile.

The organization of the book just seems off. He meanders around instead of having a good path for learning. After so many code errors, everything I read, I read with a tingling of "I wonder if this works or is true?" in the back of my mind.

I would not recommend this book to those new to Android programming, and because of the errors would have a hard time recommending it as a reference book. I used to love Wrox books - most of my programming library was red - but it seems as though the quality of them has suffered as of late.
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Format: Paperback
I am beginning to believe this book is not for me. I am writing this review after 2 hours of deep frustration.

The structure of the book assumes that you work through it in one direction start to finish in order to understand concepts. In so doing later examples build on earlier ones and explanations of later concepts refer back to the earlier time you encountered it. This allows a couple of complex applications to be created, but at the expense of the later examples standing alone. As you go further into the book, you just get short code snippets (which would not be so bad if supplemented by more complete download code). What I want to know is how to do x,y or z in isolation and fill in gaps later myself.

Case in point:
I had some time so thought I might try something easy. The problem I want to solve? I want to fill the screen with a single color. Listing 4-17 is a good enough match for what I want to do. However, it needs to be wrapped by the application somehow. So I am having to re-read the whole of the previous 111 pages to work out exactly how to do that. The wrox downloads just give the xml without any package and my hamfisted attempts at setting a view have been unproductive. My main beef here is that there is a gap between listing 4-17 and figure 4-3 - that is, the application code to do it is missing. I'm sure it's no more than a dozen lines which, once I see it I'll be able to generalize.

This is not the first time I've had this sort of experience from this book.

If you're the sort of person who can work through 500+ pages more or less linearly, then maybe this will be a better fit for you than for me.

PS:
The simple answer is to not attempt to use drawable, but to add android:background="#RRGGBB" to the main.
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