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Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform [Paperback]

Ed Burnette
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 7 2010 9781934356562 978-1934356562 Third Edition

Google's Android is shaking up the mobile market in a big way. With Android, you can write programs that run on any compatible cell phone or tablet in the world. It's a mobile platform you can't afford not to learn, and this book gets you started. Hello, Android has been updated to Android 2.3.3, with revised code throughout to reflect this updated version. That means that the book is now up-to-date for tablets such as the Kindle Fire. All examples were tested for forwards and backwards compatibility on a variety of devices and versions of Android from 1.5 to 4.0. (Note: the Kindle Fire does not support home screen widgets or wallpaper, so those samples couldn't be tested on the Fire.)

Android is an operating system for mobile phones and tablets. It's inside millions of cell phones and other devices, including the hugely popular Amazon Kindle Fire, making Android the foremost platform for mobile application developers. That could be your own program running on all those devices.

Within minutes, Hello, Android will get you started creating your first working application: Android's version of "Hello, World." From there, you'll build up a more substantial example: an Android Sudoku game. By gradually adding features to the game, you'll learn the basics of Android programming. You'll also see how to build in audio and video support, add graphics using 2D and 3D OpenGL, network with web pages and web services, and store data with SQLite. You'll also learn how to publish your applications to the Android Market.

The #1 book for learning Android is now in its third edition. Every page and example was reviewed and updated for compatibility with the latest versions. Freshly added material covers installing applications to the SD card, supporting multi-touch, and creating live wallpaper. You'll also find plenty of real-world advice on how to support all major Android versions in use today.

If you'd rather be coding than reading about coding, this book is for you.

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Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform + Beginning Android 4 Application Development + Professional Android 4 Application Development
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""I thoroughly enjoyed the "Hello, Android" book, and it helped me get on the right track to releasing my first two apps to the Market.""--Nathan Rapp, Founder, KMBurrito Designs""I've read several books on Android from cover to cover, and skimmed several others, and "Hello, Android" is hands-down the best introduction to Android development.""--Steve Oliver

About the Author

Ed Burnette is editor of the articles section at eclipse.org, and author of the web site's "The Rich Client Platform (RCP) Tutorial" series. Ed also co-authored Eclipse in Action (Manning) and runs the eclipsepowered.org site, where he can often be found hanging out in the Eclipse community forums. He's written everything from multi-user servers to compilers to commercial video games since earning a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from North Carolina State University. He is a Principal Systems Developer at SAS, and lives near Research Triangle Park, NC.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello, Android Nov. 8 2010
By lucrobi
Great book written in plain English. You just need some basic knowledge of Java (and I only have very basic knowledge in that language). Easy to read and not too thick. Great step by step examples.
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By AlexL
Written in plain language, easy to read, step by step examples easy to understand leading to a sudoku game plus some very useful stuff like using position services or publishing on the Market.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brand new Oct. 30 2012
By mr.r
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was brand new but the content was kind of old. I learned a new language and I am still learning it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cases are very cheap Oct. 19 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The jewel cases are very cheap and 3 were broken in the box...
DVD`s are ok but I will only be able to judge if they are good in a few years..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  79 reviews
113 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn Android in a Weekend Oct. 23 2009
By Steve K. Oliver II - Published on Amazon.com
I've read several books on Android from cover to cover, and skimmed several others, and "Hello, Android" is hands-down the best introduction to Android development.

Here's why I say that --

You really can get through the book in a day or two. The explanations are clear, the topics focus on what's relevant to getting started in Android development, and when you're done you have the skills to dive into the SDK to continue learning.

There is a consistent example project that is developed throughout the book. I found this very helpful, because it showed me how all the different parts fit together. For example, launching activities from an existing activity, using multiple classes in your project, adding preferences, etc.

There are very few (if any) "gotchas" in this book. I followed the examples step by step without any problem. I think some people have used the book's online forum to ask about which packages to import, but when I used Eclipse it was done automatically for me. (By the way, all the files are also online.)

Even after having many months of Android development under my belt, I find that I still refer back to this book from time to time. That's saying something for a book that sets out to be an introduction.

Remember, this book is a great introduction. If you already know Android and are looking for a deep-dive, look elsewhere. But if you are curious about all the excitement around Android and have a few hours to spare, spend them with this book and find out what developing in Android is all about.
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for beginners, with a few caveats Dec 8 2009
By Jay D. Swartzfeger - Published on Amazon.com
I have virtually no programming experience. Other than a solid beginner's understanding of LAMP (unix, apache, mysql, PHP and scripting stuff in general), I've never done more than fiddle with code. I do have a cursory knowledge of programming concepts and XML, but that's about it. I'm pretty much a curly brace language virgin.

Hello, Android does a solid job of introducing you to the fundamentals of programming for the Android OS -- it gives you a succinct overview of why you need to do 'XYZ' and when to do it. If you're looking for pages and pages of fundamentals and core concepts, you may want to look elsewhere because Hello, Android makes you hit the ground running and helps you immediately apply the quick concepts you just learned. This is excellent for a beginner like me because the results are immediate and gives you a sense of "this isn't so intimidating... I can actually do it!"

The one aspect I enjoyed about the book was that it gently gets the absolute beginner up to speed but then does less and less hand-holding as the tutorials moved along; this lets intermediate and advanced programmers move along at a brisk pace, but also forces beginners to think about previous concepts that were taught earlier. Instead of simply copying-and-pasting "recipe" code, it really challenged me to think and absorb what the author was teaching. This was invaluable for me as a beginner that likes to be challenged with more than just a simple 'copy and paste this code from page XX, then hit build and run'.

One intangible you won't find in the book -- the author is very helpful/responsive in the Pragmatic Programmer's forums, as are the other members. Any question I've had were answered (usually) within a day, and many times within an hour. For instance, I was having an issue with running 64-bit version of Java JDK in my Android dev environment. The author (and other members) were very helpful in getting my dev environment up and running. Needless to say, the community that goes along with the book is invaluable.

I've owned dozens of wrox, apress etc books since the 90s, and this is one of the few that I would not hesitate to recommend to both beginners and advanced programmers with no Java or XML dev experience. Get this book! 4.5 stars.

PS -- if you buy the paper version of the book, I'd also highly recommend the e-version. Having a PDF up side-by-side with Eclipse (Android's default IDE) is extremely useful.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Up to date, broad, shallow and focused on Android Sept. 19 2010
By Emmster - Published on Amazon.com
This book covers a broad array of topics, it covers none of them in real depth and it is really really focused on Android - as opposed to Java. For my situation - it was perfect.

As a "read in a week, do the examples and lean a hell of a lot" type of book - it does the job well. If you know nothing about Android, want a crash course in the possibilities, and some basic intro on to how to realise them - this is the book you want. It's short, it's to the point and it will kick-start you into development. It's also way more digestible than the online docs if you're just starting out.
It will not turn you into an Android development ace; although it's such a new technology, you may be mistaken for one when you open your mouth. You'll certainly be able to "talk" a reasonable game when you're finished. If you are looking for a detailed Android reference or advanced programming manual type of thing - it's the wrong book.

It focuses on Android - not Java. You will learn NOTHING about Java programming, the pages deal exclusively with the Android system, and how to program it USING Java.

The book is divided up into 4 sections:

Section I : Introducing Android
Chapter 1 : Gets the tools set up (Eclipse IDE, Android Development Kit plug-in and Android SDK) and has you compiling the obligatory "Hello World" project.
Chapter 2 : Takes you on a 5 minute tour of the Android system from bottom to top. It's useful, especially if like me you come from a non-mobile development context. Android handles
application life-cycle differently because of the resource constrained devices it's typically hosted by; this has major implications for your application implementation.

Section II : The Basics (Uses the construction of a basic Sudoku game as it's vehicle for teaching throughout the section)
Chapter 3 : User interface (Screens, Dialogue boxes, Menus, Buttons etc.)
Chapter 4 : 2D Graphics (draw your Sudoku grid / numbers)
Chapter 5 : Multimedia (Audio / Video...to add those essential Sudoku sounds...)
Chapter 6 : Storing Local Data (remembering Sudoku options - handling saving of current game data when the game is paused [e.g. when a call comes in mid-game and Android context
switches out your application])

Section III : Beyond the Basics
Chapter 7 : The Connected World - using the phone browser / browser view, JavaScript, web services.
Chapter 8 : Location and Sensing - using the host of other sensors (GPS, Accelerometer, light-meter, orientation etc) your device may have.
Chapter 9 : SQLite - using the ever-popular SQLite embedded database that comes with Android.
Chapter 10 : 3D Graphics - using the Android implementation of OpenGL.

Section IV : The Next Generation
Chapter 11 : Multi-touch - how to
Chapter 12 : There's no place like home - creating widgets / live wall-paper
Chapter 13 : Write once, Test Everywhere - advice and tips on debugging / testing when faced with a large array of devices already in the wild.
Chapter 14 : Publishing to the Market - a basic overview of getting your application to those fee-paying mobile junkies.

My one gripe with this book is in Section II - you're in the mix...building Sudoku and it's done in a nice, incremental manner: you write a little code, compile it up and see it run. Gradually the game comes together and you get a sense of satisfaction from watching it do just that. Then, at a certain point, you'll find yourself writing code that uses functions you've not written yet....suddenly...POW...your code doesn't compile and you can't see the results of your new code. Obviously you dive forward, find the functions, implement them and hey presto, it compiles again. It's not a terminal thing; just out of the blue and a little frustrating.

Overall - I thought this was a really good book for someone a) who knows a bit of Java b) doesn't know Android at all. You could probably figure it all out from the online docs - but I bet you it will take a lot longer and won't be half as pleasant an experience! I'd recommend it to anyone starting out with Android.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello Andorid! March 3 2009
By Anton Zalutsky - Published on Amazon.com
This book definitely started me off in the right direction for making my own applications for Android.
Although this application misses an important section, "Publishing your application", the book is on the design process of the applications.

The book starts you off by familiarizing you with how the Android is run and the general idea of its interface. Then come the example applications which can also be found online.
Each example application is a different use of the Android...
Sudoku, GPS tracking, MySQL, OpenGL, Browsers, etc... This shows you a basic example to a solution.
This book does everything it intends to do for a user of the G1 starting to program. I have never programmed in Java and XML(C and HTML, though), and this book managed to get me understanding and writing basic applications within several hours.

I wouldn't recommend this book if you don't understand basic code because the book does jump into it rather quick and has many technical words. However, for a small book of 200 pages, each summary is very concise and exactly what was necessary to learn the understanding of the material- if you really want more, Im sure Wikipedia and Android-forum along your side will solve all your problems.

The only problem I have with programming now, is customizing my applications to my liking. But this is just learning programming better.

I plan on having many applications on the market place after learning a bit more java, XML, and practicing just a bit!

Thanks and good luck G1 programmers!
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to start Feb. 20 2010
By D. Dimick - Published on Amazon.com
I have been programming computers for more than 30 years. My background includes DOS Basic, c, C#, C++ .NET, but not Java.

I bought this book because I want to get started in writing some apps for my phone. I have found it to be the best beginning book available. I have looked at 3 or 4 others. It is complete, accurate and has real applications to develop. IT shows you how to set up the IDE and tells you where to get the tools. The author explains what he is doing but does not get bogged down in the details.

You should have a background in Java but if you have experience in some of the other languages out there you should be able to get by. A knowledge of XML would help too.

My recommendation for anyone trying to develop for the Android OS would be:
1. Get familiar with Java
2. get familiar with XML (rudimentary understanding)
3. Buy this book
4. Go for it!

I will be placing this author on my 'watch list' because his writing level is very comfortable for me.
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