Xamarin Mobile Application Development for Android
By Mark Reynolds
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Final Release Date: January 2014
Pages: 168

In Detail

Technology trends come and go, but few have generated the excitement, momentum, or long-term impact that mobile computing has. Mobile computing impacts people’s lives at work and at home on a daily basis. Many companies and individual developers are looking to become a part of the movement but are unsure how to best utilize their existing skills and assets. The Xamarin suite of products provides new opportunities to those who already have a significant investment in C# development skills and .NET code bases, and would like to enter into this new, exciting world.

This example-oriented guide provides a practical approach to quickly learning the fundamentals of Android app development using C# and Xamarin.Android. It will lead the readers through building an Android app step-by-step with steadily increasing complexity.

This book begins with an overview of the Android and Xamarin platforms to provide you with a solid understanding of the environment you will be working in. You will then be gradually walked through building and testing an Android app using C# and the Xamarin.Android product. You will learn the basics of interacting with some of the more interesting aspects of Android devices including location services, the camera, and maps. You will also be given the opportunity to work with three different layout managers to gain an understanding of the various options available for arranging controls and content. The book ends with a discussion on the final steps involved in preparing apps for deployment to the various Android app stores.

In a relatively short period of time, developers familiar with C# and rich client technologies such as WPF and Silverlight will be effectively developing, testing, and delivering Android apps.

Approach

A step-by-step tutorial that follows the development of a simple Android app from end to end, through troubleshooting, and then distribution. The language used assumes a knowledge of basic C#.

Who this book is for

If you are a C# developer with a desire to develop Android apps and want to enhance your existing skill set, then this book is for you. It is assumed that you have a good working knowledge of C#, .NET, and object-oriented software development. Familiarity with rich client technologies such as WPF or Silverlight is also helpful, but not required.

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oreillyXamarin Mobile Application Development for Android
 
3.5

(based on 2 reviews)

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4.0

Great first step into Xamarin.Android

By Damir

from Jesenice, Slovenia

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Helpful examples

Cons

  • Too basic

Best Uses

  • Novice

Comments about oreilly Xamarin Mobile Application Development for Android:

I really liked how the book started out with an introduction to the Android platform and some technical insight into the architecture of Xamarin.Android and its integration with the platform. It gave me a nice foundation to build upon during the remainder of the book. The author decided to organize the chapters around a single application, building it from start to finish, while gradually incorporating new features. I found this approach engaging and easy to follow by building that same application while reading.

For a book targeting existing C# developers, it started a bit too slow in my opinion, spending too much time on the basics if IDE. Even though Xamarin Studio is being used, it is similar enough to Visual Studio and shouldn't require much attention. Once that was out of the way, the chapters nicely focused on individual Android specifics, such as building the UI, handling the navigation and working with sensors. These subjects are what .NET developers really need to transition to the new platform and the book does a good job at it. The book concludes with some basics about application deployment; again very useful for those, not already familiar with the platform.

There were a couple of topics I missed in the book. In particular more information about testing the applications on actual devices and some guidance on how to best take advantage of existing resources for Java Android development when working in Xamarin. It would also be very useful to include some recommended development practices for reusing code between platforms and handling Android specifics.

Nevertheless the book is a great first step into the world of Xamarin.Android for a seasoned .NET C# developer with no previous development experience on Android. It's definitely enough to get you started and makes it much easier to decide whether this is the right way to build Android applications or not. It certainly convinced me to use Xamarin.Android for my first Android application.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Omits important concepts

By Giorgi

from Tbilisi

Verified Reviewer

Comments about oreilly Xamarin Mobile Application Development for Android:

The book is a nice way to get started with Android development on Xamarin platform. It provides concise overview of the Android platform and has clear instructions for setting up development environment. It also goes through building a small application so the readers build a simple but working application.

However, the book omits too many important concepts in order to qualify for a good book. The most important one is fragments. In order to build even a simplest app you need to have a good understanding of fragments. Fragments are also required for building tablet optimized apps.

The book also gives a bad advice for using configChanges which as explained at http://stackoverflow.com/a/7990543/239438 is a bad thing to do in most of cases. Instead the correct approach is to use Fragments and retain an instance.

All in all the book provides a very general overview of Android development and if you are serious about building Android apps (either with Xamarin or other platform) you should also read another book for a better understanding of Android platform.

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