Programming Android
Java Programming for the New Generation of Mobile Devices
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: July 2011
Pages: 504

What does it take to build well-engineered Android applications? Explore Android's core building blocks and APIs in depth with this authoritative guide, and learn how to create compelling apps that work on a full range of Android devices. You'll work with proven approaches to app design and implementation—including application frameworks that you can use as a starting point for your own projects.

Delve into sensors, native development, 3D graphics, and many other topics, and discover how to build apps on the platform of your choice. If you're an intermediate to advanced programmer, you'll learn how to make great Android apps.

  • Learn how to use the Android SDK with the Eclipse IDE
  • Apply advanced Java concepts regardless of your experience with the language
  • Create an Android user interface that's captivating and easy to navigate
  • Use the Fragment API for tablet user interfaces
  • Make your application compatible with Honeycomb and earlier versions
  • Understand Android's unique database design issues and the role of SQLite
  • Use sensors and gestures to expand your app's input beyond just tapping and scrolling
  • Explore Android APIs for multimedia, location, communication, NFC, and other applications
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O'Reilly MediaProgramming Android
 
3.1

(based on 9 reviews)

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    (4)

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56%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well-written (5)
  • Helpful examples (4)
  • Accurate (3)
  • Easy to understand (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (6)
    • Novice (3)
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      • Developer (8)

    Reviewed by 9 customers

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Good on Gotchas

    By Martin Rowe

    from Tiverton, Devon, UK

    About Me Educator

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Helpful examples

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Android:

      Programming Android
      Java Programming for the New Generation of Mobile Devices
      By Zigurd Mednieks, Laird Dornin, Blake Meike, Masumi Nakamura

      At over 500 pages this book covers a lot of material. The authors have extensive experience and provide good examples that you can download from the companion web site - if you want a book to work through to learn programming in Android that you can have confidence in this could be the one.

      Even though the authors expect you to have some programming experience the early chapters provide a good explanation of Object Theory and the Java Programming Language and a very good explanation of Threading.

      It is in Part 3 that we really start to get going with a skeleton application that you can use as a template for your own projects. Here the authors are very good at explaining the 'gotchas' that can catch you out e.g.

      'The approach we take in this chapter enables you to visualize and understand the component life cycle before you know you need it. Retrofitting life cycle handling to an application that was written without understanding life cycles, or with the expectation that life cycle handling won't be needed, is one of the easiest ways to create an Android application that fails unexpectedly, in ways that are hard to reproduce consistently, and that has persistent bugs that can remain undiscovered across multiple attempts to eradicate them. In other words, it's best to learn this before it bites you in the ass.'
      There is a lot of code, good explanations, and good examples e.g. visualising the Activity Life cycle to enable you to see Memory Management in action. The latter part of this book contains Advanced topics such as REST, Google Search, Location and Maps, Audio and Video, Sensors, Speech and Accessibility.

      This book places you in a comfort zone, in the hands of experienced developers, provides you with good examples, and highlights the places where you can easily fall over.

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Disappointing book

      By Teodor Naydenov

      from Sofia, Bulgaria

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand
      • Not comprehensive enough

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Android:

      Coming from embedded world with some Java background I expected this book would help me to start developing simple (and no so simple) android applications. After reading almost whole book, I can say I am very disappointed of it. My expectations from the book's title and table of contents were that I would find:
      1. Overview of the Android platform, it's components and their interactions from developer(internal) point of view
      2. Presentation of basic applications and their structure: used classes, messages, interaction with OS/Dalvik VM.
      3. Introduction to available library and it's most important functionality in order to create useful applications.
      4. Introduction to extending existing classes and provide complex functionality.
      4. References where to look in order to find additional information for specific topics.

      Do not get me wrong. In the book there is plenty of useful information, but I am not happy with it's organization, presentation and completeness. Let me give several examples:

      1. While there are several paragraph discussing Intents and their usage, almost nothing mentioned about Activity's methods finish(), setResult(), startActivityForResult() ... Strange, right ?!?

      2. Want to implement service, well but almost nothing about Service class ?!?

      3. Want to make simple View animation (tweened animation), very well but instead simple example of basic usage, you can find only deep discussion of Animation class internal functionality and terrible example code.

      4. Need to understand activity stack, better look elsewhere ...

      There are much more, but I will stop here. Comparing this book with "Android 4 Professional Application Development" (http://www.amazon.com/Professional-Android-Application-Development-Guides/dp/1118102274), I would say the second one is better. But I would like to say that both books are pretty poor compared with API Guides from Google. They are really fantastic in terms of structure and completeness. Unlike mentioned books, they are free ...

      (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Don't buy

      By Dev

      from Sharon, MA

      About Me Developer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Not comprehensive enough

        Best Uses

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Android:

          I've read a lot of programming books over the past 30 years (started with a VIC-20). This is one of the worst books ever.

          (7 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Disjointed and not build from the ground

          By cube1us

          from Madison, WI

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Expert

            Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Android:

            I have been programming Java for several years, mostly in a web servlet context, and some of the more recent additions (e.g. annotations and generics) I have spent less time with. The book uses annotations widely and never explains them, contrary to the note on the back of the book which says it will help "Apply advanced Java concepts regardless of your experience with the language".

            Similarly, the first real example in the book in the section on Concurrency, on page 144, uses references to resources without ever explaining how one would go about *creating* such resources: in short, a forward dependency (though in a quick glance I could not find anything that *ever* explains how to do that).

            And yet the book spends oodles of time telling how to set up the development environment: something appropriate for a beginning book on Android (and those chapters led me to purchase the book, thinking it would be a "ground up" book, but for someone who already had development experience.

            The book also spends too much time pontificating on the "right" way to do things.

            This is the most disappointing O'Reilly book I have ever purchased, and I have purchased dozens, going way back into the very earliest days.

            Unless you are an *experienced* Android developer, do not purchase this book. The book isn't worthless, it just isn't well ordered.

            (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            A very very good start

            By MattB2112

            from Longueuil, Qc

            About Me Developer

            Pros

            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Android:

              This is the perfect book for someone like me who already has programming skills coming from other background (web using microsoft technos, .Net, c#) and want to turn to Android development.

              This book will show you how to change your old programming habits into good mobile Android programming by understanding the basics of Android so you can then go further and explore by yourself.

              Like I said before, if you already have programming skills, this is the perfect book for you.

              (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Good stuff

              By Raoul Duke

              from Sunnyvale, CA

              About Me Designer, Developer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

              • Sometimes overly verbose

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Android:

              I'm impressed that the book continually stresses writing good code, going into static analysis, good orthogonal / separation of concerns, how to deal with concurrency, the fact that so many software contracts are not enforceable by the compiler, that is-a is worse than has-a, etc.

              (Sometimes I think the verbosity of things probably works better in printed book form than it does via Safari, where I'm reading it.)

              (10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Had fun and learned a lot

              By Vitaly

              from Albany Ny

              About Me Developer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Concise
              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Expert
                • Intermediate
                • Novice

                Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Android:

                I purchased this book after reviewing the table of contents, seeing that it covered many of the topics I needed clarification on. Using the Account Manager, best practices for building a Rest client, going in-depth about content providers, services and fragments.

                Any further question I have had the author has done a super job answering them.

                I am building a location aware Rest client, and the book has gave me the ability to build the app in the best way.

                (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Broad coverage

                By Eric Zilla

                from cambridge, ma

                About Me Developer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Broad

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice
                  • Student

                  Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Android:

                  This book tries to be all things to all people. It starts with lots of detail for the novice, including using development tools, then moves gets into advanced material towards the end.

                  It worked well for my needs -- starting in on Android without much experience, then having to get specific work done. So I read mostly the novice stuff at the beginning, then referenced the back just to learn about Android's NFC features.

                  Pretty good book, especially for a first edition.

                  (11 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Not enough focus on Android

                  By Stuart

                  from London, UK

                  About Me Developer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to understand
                  • Well-written

                  Cons

                  • Off topic
                  • Unfocused

                  Best Uses

                  • Novice

                  Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Android:

                  When the book does talk about Android, it seems ok. Nothing special, but also not too bad. However, I'm disappointed to have spent so much time flipping past large sections of the book just to avoid the unnecessary coverage of standard stuff every developer should know.

                  For example, detailed step-by-step instructions on Eclipse... not even that focused on setting it up for Android, but talking about the platform. And standard Java coding practices too. These have both been covered in enough depth in other books and on the web, and I don't think they belong in this book.

                  Definitely not a complete waste, but knowing what I know now I would've bought a different book.

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