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Professional Android Application Development (Wrox Programmer to Programmer) 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470344712
ISBN-10: 0470344717
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Professional Android Application Development

Offering an open development environment, Android represents an exciting new opportunity to write innovative applications for mobile devices. This book provides you with a hands-on guide to building these applications using the Android software development kit. It takes you through a series of sample projects, each introducing new features and techniques to get the most out of Android. You'll learn all about the basic functionality as well as discover how to utilize the advanced features with the help of concise and useful examples.

Beginning with an introduction to the Android software stack, the author examines the philosophy behind creating robust, consistent, and appealing applications for mobile phones. You'll get the grounding and knowledge that is needed to write customized mobile applications using the current Android 1.0 SDK. Plus, you'll also gain the flexibility to quickly adapt to future enhancements in order to build the most cutting-edge solutions.

What you will learn from this book

  • Best practices for Android mobile development

  • An introduction to Activities, Intents, the manifest, and resources

  • How to create user interfaces with layouts and custom views

  • Techniques to store and share your application data

  • Instructions for creating map-based applications, using location-based services including GPS, and geocoding locations

  • How to create and use background Services and Notifications

  • Working with the accelerometers, compass, and camera hardware

  • All about phone and networking hardware such as telephony APIs, SMS, and network management

  • Advanced development topics, including security, IPC, and some advanced graphics and user interface techniques

Who this book is for
This book is for anyone interested in creating applications for the Android mobile phone platform. It includes information that will be valuable whether you're an experienced mobile developer or just starting out writing mobile applications.

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.

About the Author

Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Reto Meier now lives in London.
Reto is an experienced software developer with more than 10 years of experience in GUI application architecture, design, and development. He’s worked in various industries, including offshore oil and gas, before moving to London and into fi nance.
Always interested in emerging technologies, Reto has been involved in Android since the initial release in 2007. In his spare time, he tinkers with a wide range of development platforms including WPF and Google’s plethora of developer tools.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wrox Programmer to Programmer
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox; 1 edition (November 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470344717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470344712
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book was clearly written for seasoned developers. However, other books in this series are far more understandable. I'm really not sure why I did not like this book at all. I'll try to narrow it down. First, the writing style is not very engaging. It's also full of jargon that is never defined. For example, he uses the term URI, which has several component parts that he never defines. Worse, most of the code that he gives you to follow is never explained, at all. Not annotating code and using terms that you have never defined are a very bad trait. Third, alot of the material is a paraphrase of the android development documents, and there is really no new insight here. I think the core issue here is that we look for books not to sound like esoteric, terse documents, but this is what this book is. You will not learn how to program from this book. The code snippets jump all around and he tries to include everything about Android in this book which makes it seem just too much with incomplete treatment of many topics. I actually found the android tutorials less confusing.
Here is a typical example:

The SimpleCursorAdapter binds Views to cursors returned from
Content Provider queries. You specify an XML layout de'nition and then bind the value within
each column in the result set, to a View in that layout.

Upon re-reading it slowly and thoughtfully, this explanation does make sense. But we have not gone over content providers yet, and he has not talked about SQL queries with SQLLite in Android yet. Nowhere does he mention this, and again it's more like it's lifted from the android documentation without any explanation. This is an example of the style of writing that you'll be seeing. It's abstract, dense, and drab.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author clearly and concisely explains the fundamental aspects of Android programming. The coverage of Android topics is pretty comprehensive and the depth of coverage was just right for my needs. Mr. Meier provides some background information about mobile programming platforms in general, so the only real prerequisite for this book is familiarity with Java programming. The examples are also very informative and build new features incrementally, which keeps the focus on the most recently covered material, and reflects modern incremental development practices. This book, in conjunction with the excellent materials available online from Google, anddev.org and elsewhere, provide an effective staring point for developers looking to get started quickly on the Android platform.
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Format: Paperback
At its worst, this book is a copy and paste of the android docs already available online. At its best, it is a paraphrase of the android docs already available online, with additional insight and code samples.

The extra insight is enough for me to be glad I bought it - it occasionally gave just enough additional perspective beyond the android web docs to make things "click" that I had not yet fully grokked. The code samples are useful, but the author himself says that they are sprinkled with bad habits, and I agree. He explains that it was for the sake of simplicity. I think it's more likely that he wrote the code, then wrote the section on best practices, and then realized that the code was suboptimal but had to meet a deadline.

In summary, worth my money and my time, but not truly impressed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was struggling with Android documentation (there is a lot of it but can be improved a lot, although the Notepad examples are very good) trying to understand the programming concepts for G1. So I got this book on pre-order and it was worth waiting for. Plenty of examples, code snippets, very good and clean explanations. I like author's approach of taking an application (Earthquake) through a series of improvements, so you can learn it gradually, from simple to more complex (and sophisticated) approach.
It is hard to cover a massive SDK in 400 pages but it is enough to learn basics and then start digging with some understanding and confidence into the on-line documentation. I am recommending this book to anybody who wants to learn the principles of G1 platform programming. Great job Reto!
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Format: Paperback
I muddled my way through the docs on developer.[..], floundered around for a while, and then picked up this book. I must admit, I'm glad I did. Although I'd say the first four chapters present essentially the same material you can get from the free online docs, they do so in a much more coherent way. The ordering of the material made a lot more sense than the online docs, too - for example, services aren't mentioned in this book until chapter 8 (whereas they're mentioned on "page" one of the online docs). This presentation resonated with me, and made everything "click".

The organization of this book is, IMHO, the only useful way to organize a technical book, which is to explain the concepts behind some key point, followed by a working code example, which can be followed incrementally by the reader. Each example is presented in the simplest way possible, and subsequently refactored to use more complex (but more manageable) "convenience" features. This *is* a Wrox book - so there's almost as much code as there is discussion text. You won't get anything out of this book unless you plan to study the examples very carefully (and in many cases, dig down to figure out why certain code works a certain way - especially in the "advanced" chapter 11).

One concern I had, going in, was that the book was written for Android 1.0, but the current (as I write this) version of the Android SDK is 2.0. Fortunately, the differences were slight, and didn't make it hard to follow along at all. There were only really three noticable differences between the 1.0 SDK that the book was developed against and the 2.0 SDK I was following along with. Chapter 7 on the maps API was outdated (The book says you can use any string as your "maps API key".
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