Learning Android, 2nd Edition
Develop Mobile Apps Using Java and Eclipse
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: January 2014
Pages: 286

Want to build apps for Android devices? This book is the perfect way to master the fundamentals. Written by experts who have taught this mobile platform to hundreds of developers in large organizations and startups alike, this gentle introduction shows experienced object-oriented programmers how to use Android’s basic building blocks to create user interfaces, store data, connect to the network, and more.

Throughout the book, you’ll build a Twitter-like application, adding new features with each chapter. You’ll also create your own toolbox of code patterns to help you program any type of Android application with ease.

  • Become familiar with the Android platform and how it fits into the mobile ecosystem
  • Dive into the Android stack, including its application framework and the APK application package
  • Learn Android’s building blocks: Activities, Intents, Services, Content Providers, and Broadcast Receivers
  • Create basic Android user interfaces and organize UI elements in Views and Layouts
  • Build a service that uses a background process to update data in your application
Table of Contents
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oreillyLearning Android, 2nd Edition
 
2.1

(based on 11 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

20%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Concise (5)
  • Helpful examples (5)
  • Easy to understand (3)

Cons

  • Too many errors (8)
  • Difficult to understand (3)

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (4)
  • Novice (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (9)

Reviewed by 11 customers

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1.0

Starts off well. Falls apart rapidly

By ew100

from Shropshire, UK

About Me Developer, Highly Experienced

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Good Intro

Cons

  • Already Outdated
  • Too many errors

Best Uses

    Comments about oreilly Learning Android, 2nd Edition:

    I bought this book at FOSDEM 2015 because I want to learn how to use available tools to develop an Android app and, as I already had Eclipse installed (even though I hadn't used it all that much), this book seemed like a good bet.

    The first few chapters give a good theoretical introduction to the principles of the Android app. Unfortunately, as soon as you get to the practical, it rapidly goes to pieces.

    First problem: I have Eclipse EE installed. They don't recommend that but I go ahead anyway. I quite rapidly run into problems where what my computer is doing doesn't seem to bear much relationship to what the book tells me should be happening. OK, they did warn me. So, on the assumption that it is because I have the EE version installed, I archive that version and download the recommended one. But I still keep hitting problems. Despite my copy of the book being 2nd Edition, 3rd Release dating from September 2014 and my copy of Eclipse only being February 2015, the behaviour of the tool seems to differ enough from the examples in the book to make trying to follow them a constant round of "read the next bit of the example, try to make it work, Google what might be wrong, install extra plug-ins (or whatever), repeat ad nauseam".

    Maybe it's me but there seems to have been little or no thought given to trying to relate the development process for Android to the primary recommended tool. You seem to need a gazillion plug-ins and extra bits and pieces, most of which are not mentioned in the book. I am on the brink of giving up on the book entirely and looking for some on-line tuition on the basis that it might actually be up to date.

    I have had excellent experiences previously with O'Reilly book. I am very disappointed.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Shocking

    By jawzapps

    from Bath, UK

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Concise

    Cons

    • Too many errors

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly Learning Android, 2nd Edition:

    It starts out well, but by the time you get to get to chapter 9 it's clear that the book has been rushed out, not proofread, and generally bodged. I was looking for an Android refresher, having some prior experience with 1.x and 2.x I thought this looked like a good option. And it was, for a while. Glad I only read it via Safari Books - if I'd bought it it would be in the bin by now.

     
    4.0

    Good quick intro to Android development

    By fraben

    from Italy

    About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Learning Android, 2nd Edition:

      I absolutely loved the videos which accompanied the first edition (Android Bootcamp 2012, available for free on Youtube).They have been a really effective and quick way to get up to speed with Android development, at least for me.

      When i knew a 2nd edition was out i immediately bought it. Sadly, it was packed with errors, making it barely usable. Fortunately, the feedback provided by many readers was used for a revision, which produced a version which is now good (there were some minor errors still).

      The major strong points about this book are:
      1) It's not a huge tome (actually it's very short, compared to most Android books)
      2) It's based on building a single complex application from scratch, improving gradually on it with the new stuff you learn along the way. I find this approach really really helpful, since most of the books i encountered use a lot of short examples. The benefit of starting something from scratch was of key importance to me.

      Its short length obviously implies that this is NOT a reference book. I wouldn't also recommend it to people without coding experience (but i would also advise them to learn Java before learning Android...).

      If they will ever release a new set of Android bootcamp videos related to this new edition, it will be a perfect start for anyone interested in Android development.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Bad execution

      By Prometheus

      from Darmstadt, Germany

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand
      • Not comprehensive enough
      • Too many errors

      Best Uses

      • Student
      • Theoretical Purpose

      Comments about oreilly Learning Android, 2nd Edition:

      First 5 chapters are really nice for theoretical purpose. I dont see the usage of chapter 6. The contents of the chapter 6 could have been added to the following chapters from 7 to last based on their contents.

      The good thing was comparing to previous addition more pictures. I liked that part. :)

      I felt like there is no connection between the theory and coding examples. It was really vague and difficult to understand what the author wanted to deliver actually.

      Finally, I felt like they were trying to release this book as quick as possible and there was not a single attention given to the detail. It has to be precise and interesting to read so, the readers wont be wondering around and ask themselves "why they bought this book ?"

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Good idea, bad execution

      By Java coder

      from Sweden

      About Me Developer

      Pros

      • Helpful examples

      Cons

      • Too many errors

      Best Uses

      • Novice

      Comments about oreilly Learning Android, 2nd Edition:

      The book is well structured and walks you through the steps for making a simple App. It helps you with understanding fragments, Intents etc.

      But when it comes to execution it's terrible. Typos, reference to incorrect classes and outright problems with the clientlibrary that you should include. All problems are fixable and can be made by a decent Java/Android coder. But then what would you need the book for?

      (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Excellant!!......until chapter 9

      By JohnnieD72

      from Fredericksburg. VA

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

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

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand
      • Too many errors

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate
      • Novice

      Comments about oreilly Learning Android, 2nd Edition:

      It is beautifully written with excellent details and accuracy until Chapter 9. It starts to fall apart, with a tons of typos, left out information, and errors. I am now on chapter 10, and the code doesn't even match up, telling me to edit StatusActivity, when the edits where in MainActivity. That would be bad enough, but the variable and code don't even match and were obviously written by someone else or at least in a different thought process. It seems like the proofreading stopped at chapter 9. I was able to figure out how to fix the mistakes, but it is really disappointing to think I may be dealing with this for the remainder of the book. This went from the best technical training book I had ever read to one of the worst once I started chapter 10. This has turned into an exercise of googling for answers instead of following the book to get the myself grounded. It is really sad because I am not going to wait for this book to be fixed to continue my studies, but I know I am going to have my work cut out for me now. I am listed the Pros pertaining to the book before chapter 9 and the cons for after.

      (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Needs more work

      By Tim

      from London, United Kingdom

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Too many errors

        Best Uses

          Comments about oreilly Learning Android, 2nd Edition:

          I originally read reviews of the first edition of this book on this site and noted that there were a few technical issues with the book and decided not to purchase it at the time. However, as it was released as a second edition and O'Reilly had a discount event for it, I thought that I would give it a try.

          It is a fairly well-written book with logical progression from the initial core of an app, gradually adding more and more enhancements and features until you have a reasonable beginner-quality app. In this regard, it is more of an enhanced tutorial rather than a discussion and explanation of each part of the Android platform. Programming constructs are introduced as required (for example, Activities, fragments etc.) however, you are just provided with a general overview, and more importantly, are not really told what the advantages are by constructing your components in this way. I suppose that this would've been too much for the complete beginner, so having another "reference" book to accompany this may be an advantage.

          As I am a relative beginner in Android terms, I wanted to be able to follow the examples to create a working app as this would then cement the ideas and concepts in my mind. However, I slammed into a brick wall almost immediately after the book informed me that I should download a required compiled library from a URL, however, it appears that the URL was incorrect, so I had to scratch around with Google to try and find the correct library. After finding this, things progressed better however, at points during the chapters it sometimes appears that the text contradicts the code and at other points the text suggests you have a working app, but instead you are left with compile errors. This is not something that a beginner should have to wrestle with as I can imagine that they would lose interest quite quickly. I managed to arrive with a working app at the end, but it felt like a bit of a journey to get there. As it is a second edition, I thought they would've corrected any errors from the first edition, surely? Unfortunately, it appears that this did not happen (as of February 2014); the errata show the details.

          I am not sure why so many glaring technical errors were left despite proofreading; it sometimes appears that the code is from a different author to the text. The cynic in me says that perhaps the errors exist in order to provoke the learner to try and solve the error themselves and therefore teach themselves more about the Android platform (I am sure that this was not the intention!).

          To sum up, I really wanted to love this book, I really did. As mentioned above, the text itself is reasonable and if all of the technical errors were corrected then this would be a fairly good book. However, as it stands as of the date of this review, I cannot recommend it to complete beginners of Android, unless they have some Java background or like a problem-solving challenge.

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Released before it's finished

          By CamelHarry

          from Tokyo, JAPAN

          About Me Designer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Too many errors

            Best Uses

              Comments about oreilly Learning Android, 2nd Edition:

              Too many errors.
              I'm wondering if it has been proofread.

              (0 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              The book delivers what I expected

              By Harvey Triana

              from BOGOTA, CO

              About Me Developer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate
                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about oreilly Learning Android, 2nd Edition:

                It is didactically perfect. From simple to complex. I have many years of experience as a programmer and I know when a book is good

                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                Needs better editing.

                By Matt

                from Milwaukee, WI

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about oreilly Learning Android, 2nd Edition:

                Not well edited. Examples were incorrect. As far as conent, the android developer web site is probably more useful than this book.

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