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Professional Android 4 Application Development 3rd Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1118102275
ISBN-10: 1118102274
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Build unique smartphone and tablet applications with Android 4

Written by an Android authority, this up-to-date resource is an ideal guide to building mobile apps using the Android 4 SDK. It provides in-depth coverage, showing experienced Android developers how to take full advantage of new features, while covering the fundamentals that novice developers need to get started. Serving as a hands-on guide to building mobile apps using Android, the book walks you through a series of increasingly sophisticated projects, each introducing a new Android platform feature and highlighting the techniques and best practices that will help you write compelling Android apps.

Professional Android 4 Application Development:

  • Provides an in-depth look at the Android application components and their lifecycles

  • Explores Android UI metaphors, design philosophies, and UI APIs to create compelling user interfaces for phones, tablets, and TVs

  • Introduces techniques for creating map-based applications and using location-based services

  • Looks at how to create background services, Notifications, and Cloud To Device Messaging

  • Demonstrates how to create dynamic and interactive home screen Widgets and Live Wallpaper

  • Explores hardware and communication APIs, including Bluetooth, telephony, WiFi Direct, and NFC Beam

  • Examines the use of the camera and hardware sensors

  • Details the new animation framework and other user experience enhancements, including drag and drop, the Action Bar, and Fragments

  • Includes a new chapter on publishing your apps

  • Introduces the License Verification and In App Billing Services

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Read More
Find articles, ebooks, sample chapters and tables of contents for hundreds of books, and more reference resources on programming topics that matter to you.

Wrox Professional guides are written by working developers to address everyday needs. 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 Google's Android Developer Relations Tech Lead. He has been involved in Android development since the initial release in 2007.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox; 3rd edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118102274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118102275
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I only received my copy of the book about 2 days ago, but so far it has been one of the most impressive resources I've found on Android development (not just books, but across the web too).

Background:

I come from a heavy background in web development, specifically PHP (call it a language or a mess, but it's my web programming language of choice). I've wanted to move into Android development for a while, but never really had an opportunity until recently (3 months ago) to produce something. Naturally, moving to Android development was rough at first for countless reasons, so I've bought books, read tutorials, blogs, watched countless Google I/O videos, and spent hours upon hours browsing the API. For the most part, I've found "here's how to do (insert random task here)." Rarely have tutorials come with the reason something is a best practice or why their way is better than another. Since this is the case for a lot of languages, I mostly accepted it and did my best to make sense of the content out there to build my first app.

A great reference and more:
In the two days that I've had the book, I think I have saved at least 5-6 hours that would have been spent looking for solutions to problems that I felt comfortable implementing in my software. Not only does Reto explain how something is done, but more often then not I feel like I understand why something is done a particular way.. Which, to most developers is crucial to get an understanding of a platform.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I selected three stars (i.e. "It's OK"). And I hope I am not being too unfair by doing so. I noticed another reviewer mentioned that this book is boring, and he was downvoted several times. But I have to agree: it's painfully boring. The book doesn't flow well, and it's laid out like a dry, dry technical reference. I read a _lot_ of technical books, but this one has the unique distinction of nearly putting me to sleep a half dozen times.

In defense of the book: it appears to be extremely thorough. The author seems to be a true subject matter expert, with intimate knowledge of the full life cycle of Android app development. So, someone who is already knee-deep in Android will probably get a lot from it (as evidenced by the many positive reviews).

I've decided I am going to have to sell this on the used book market and try another, gentler, more fun text to get my head around Android development.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been doing Android Development since the bad "old" days of 1.5 (and even before, trying to get it running on several Palm/WIndows Mobile phones during beta).
I have been subjected to "The Source is your docs" for so much of that time that I rarely rely on someone else to collate all of the necessary day-to-day information needed to create apps that delve below the "inch-deep" level.
Now, I may not change my "Google it" habits (after all, Google-fu is a must-have weapon in a modern programmer's arsenal), however, I can turn to the relevant section of this book and find exactly what I need to get started or dig deeper into nearly any facet of app creation, and even (gasp!) find the relevant best-practices!
All in all, Professional Android 4 Application Development is suited to either a programmer just getting started with Android, or the "I have 6 apps in Google Play" developer who thinks they have this Android thing figured out.
Excellent work, and I will definitely recommend it to everyone who asks me how to do the Android thing. ;)

Peace,
Dan
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Format: Paperback
This is a decent book if you're an intermediate Android programmer. However, if you are completely new to Android this isn't the book for you.

The author depends too much on the downloaded code and does not give explanations on what is happening most of the time.
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I have been making Android apps for about 2 years but I am mostly self taught (with a generous amount of help from StackOverflow). I have a few Android books, but they weren't too helpful and I bought them so long ago that they only covered up to Android 2.1, so I decided I needed to upgrade. I bought this book mostly to learn about Android 4.0 specific features, but it is so much more than that. This book will teach anyone who has at least some experience with Android to be an elite Android developer. I think every single developer should be required to read this book, it teaches you the best practices and how to make your app as good as the best on the market. I've learned so much from reading this book I can't wait to make a whole slew of apps that use it all. This book teaches you why Android is praised for being such a customizable environment by explaining everything you need to know about all of the features of Android. I can't recommend this book enough.
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I've been using this book, and the internet in general, to try to teach myself enough of the android sdk to build my first app. I've been programming commercially for 24 years and using mainly java for about 12 years. I have to admit I have not read this book cover-to-cover.

I can't understand how a book with "Professional" in the title can omit to address the account manager api to register an account, support sync and notifications, request that the user sign in if the account credentials are out of date, etc, but I can't find anything about it. The index does not contain "sign in" "log in" "authenticate" or "AccountManager" at all. I've read through the detailed contents to no avail. As an android newbie I'm finding this a little painful and I'm just a bit disappointed.

There are lots of interesting sounding sections covering database, camera, voice to text, sensors, etc and so I'm hoping it gets better.

The code samples could be much better, however. Too often there is a code sample with no mention of which class it should be in or what the imports are - you need to actually download the samples from the wrox web site to make sense of some of them. Kind of defeats the object of the book form.

The quality of the jave code in the samples is not great either. I'd like a little more focus on best practices and staying D.R.Y. The examples seem a little simplistic and the coding looks very naive. While I'm competent enough to work out a nice way of structuring the code once I can see how many similar copies of content providers, etc I'm likely to end up with and get my head around the sdk - there is a lot to get your head around and I often feel myself asking "But how would an experienced android developer actually do this - surely not like this example".

I've actually found google's samples and on-line tutorial to be more valuable so far. For a book with "Wrox Professional" branding I've come to expect a little more.
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