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Unlocking Android 1st Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1933988672
ISBN-10: 1933988673
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Frank Ableson is active in the mobile software marketplace, working with leading mobile companies including Handango, Airtime Management, and UnwiredTools.

Charlie Collins is a JEE developer with over 10 years of experience. Charlie is currently a contributor to the Android-Maven project, the GWT-Maven project, the Gwittir GWT framework, and the FeedPod text-to-speech podcasting system.

Robi Sen is a Managing Partner at Twin Technologies LLC, where he spends most of his time helping deliver next-generation Rich Internet Applications to Twin Technologies customers.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (June 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933988673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933988672
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Galpin on June 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a must have book for anybody doing Android development. It is definitely targeted at developers who are new to Android -- which describes most Android developers out there given what a new platform it is. However, the level of depth on many topics and the clarity provided behind many key concepts in Android are so well done that this book will benefit anyone working on Android applications.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section is called "What is Android? -- The Big Picture." I have to admit, I thought this might be fluff, but it is definitely not. The overview is good, but what the real value is the explanation on getting your development environment setup. This is something that many books fail to mention at all, as it can be a tricky topic to illustrate in a book. It is well done here, and can definitely be a big time save for new developers. More of this kind of "how to" material is also presented in the appendices.

The second part is called "Exercising the Android SDK" and is the real meat of the book. It takes a very practical, top-down approach to Android application development. It starts off by explaining UI concepts, then intents and services. It then dives into excellent detail on some of the key aspects of mobile application development: working with data, using the Internet, telephony, notifications, graphics, multimedia, and GPS. I would recommend that you immediately read the chapters 3-6 (UI, intents, services, data management, Internet) as these are really the building blocks of any mobile app that is not a game. The other chapters are great too, but you can probably read them as needed. Maybe you don't need GPS today, but need it three months from now. Just read chapter 11 at that time, and you will have no problem.
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Format: Paperback
Review omitted for brevity... Thats how I feel about the code examples. Whatever happened to the good ol' days when code examples were long but complete. If someone is a beginner, they don't know how to complete the code that the authors decided to leave out.

If you use this book as a supplement to the developer.android.com documentation, you will be better off than depending on this book as a source.
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Format: Paperback
The book is good but there are several typos and sometimes it is hard to follow. The authors forgot to put more diagrams and pictures to explain the concept better. Developers are very visual people and we tend to understand concepts through diagrams or drawings on the board. There some cases where the book gets very tedious and difficult to follow. The code examples are very good but again I would have love to see 3 or 4 lines of code and then an explanation.
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The general overview stuff is good, but it is not possible to learn how to program Android with this book.

They only show code snippets and absolutely gloss over very key things. I guess they expect you to just look up stuff in the documentation, 95% of the time. There is literally no explanation. Just stuff like now you have created the contacts list. Well, anyone can read what the method does. You need to say how it works. I had to look at the documentation to figure some of it out, but then why do I need this book? Very precious few lines of the code are explained in any sort of detail.

The examples are also extremely complicated. Very. It's like jumping directly into the deep end. Not only is the code pages and pages long, but they don't show all of the code, unless you download it yourself from their website.

It's also highly technical even for a technical book and I think would be best for someone who ALREADY knows Android.

Learn Android first, then buy this book.
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Format: Paperback
with this book.

From sliced and diced source listings with little or no context to horrible examples of how absolutely not to code properly (seriously??? *final* members to attach click listeners to View's within your Activity instead of implementing the OnClickListener interface and dispatching from there???).

This book is a COMPLETE waste of your cash. If you want fantastic coverage of the breadth and depth of the Android platform, do yourself a favor and purchase the Commonsware license for the "Busy Coder's Guide" series of books. the best $40 i've spent for four complete Android books.

Steer clear of this book.
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Format: Paperback
Thanks to Szczecin JUG I had opportunity to read 'Unlocking Android - A Developer's Guide'. The title very accurately describes contents of this book. It is truly a developers guide, but also something more.

If you are reading this review, you probably already heard about Android? For sure this name does not only denote a bunch of mobile devices, nor it only refers to specific operating system. Android is one of the platforms provided by Google.

I found very interesting opinion somewhere on the web. The author concludes that Sun and Google both have three different Java editions. As Sun provides Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition and Micro Edition, Google offers Cloud Edition (Google App Engine for Java), Web Edition (Google Web Toolkit) and Mobile Edition (Android). Comparing Android to JavaMe is not completely fair. However such comparison shows how many possibilities Android platform provides in the field of development for mobile devices. From this perspective 'Unlocking Android' is not only a developers guide - it is a book about one of important Java editions. Software developed for mobile devices has it's very own specifics and Android platform offers special approach for addressing them. The book describes these topics to great extent also showing interesting comparison with other major mobile platforms.

Structure of the book is very convenient for the reader. However be prepared that it is more step-by-step guide then detailed reference of Android APIs. It starts with general concepts, and goes through detailed description of Eclipse based development environment, specifics of UI design, code examples of available APIs, and ends with core topics from the Hacking Android chapter.
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