Connecting to Web Data and APIs with App Inventor
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: January 2011
Run time: 3 hours 31 minutes

Google's App Inventor for Android is poised to turn just about anyone into a developer. You don't need years of school or on-the-job experience to start programming Android apps. With an easy interface that doesn't require writing any actual code, you'll be able to jump in and start building apps that use web data and APIs right away. Dave Wolber, professor of computer science at University of San Francisco, takes you through the ins and outs of App Inventor. You'll learn how to create a basic user interface and create the functionality for the app by dragging around App Inventor's unique and intuitive blocks.

Although the blocks are easy to start using, you'll still have to think like a programmer. Simple decisions such as whether to hard-code a text string or put it into a variable turn into deep, best-practice conversations in this O'Reilly Breakdown. Dave does more than just tell you which block to drag where; he helps you understand the core structure of an Android app, from event handlers and procedures, to if-then logic loops and storing information in a database. Along the way, you'll build your own API and a client that anyone else could use too.

The experts in the O'Reilly Breakdown live video series not only break down the concepts of difficult and complex subjects, they also demonstrate practical implementation and use. Each episode features an experienced programmer, developer, or software designer working on real-world challenges, ranging from iPad user interface design and multi-tasking on Android phones to caching in cloud-based applications.

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