Programming Android Paperback – Aug 8 2011
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About the Author
Zigurd Mednieks is a consultant to leading OEMs, enterprises, and entrepreneurial ventures creating Android-based systems and software. Previously he was Chief Architect at D2 Technologies, a voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology provider. There he lead engineering and product definition work for products that blended communication and social media in purpose-built embedded systems and on the Android platform.
Laird Dornin is a mobile development architect with extensive experience in Java, Android, J2ME, SavaJe, and the webkit browser library. He was a member of the J2SE development team at Sun Microsystems specializing in java.rmi and Jini technology. Laird is currently a Senior Engineer at a major wireless carrier, where he provides Android architectural guidance and Network API support to members of the carrier's developer community.
Blake Meike is a software engineer with more than 20 years of experience, much of it with Java. He has built systems as large as Amazon's massively scalable AutoScaling service and as small as a pre-Android OSS/Linux based Java-like platform for cell-phones. Blake is currently an Android Evangelist, working at Marakana. He is co-author of two O'Reilly books on Android, including the best-selling, "Programming Android".
With over a decade of software engineering experience, Masumi Nakamura has worked in various positions within the mobile technology arena, from building out mobile infrastructure to founding his own mobile company. He was one of the primary Android developers of the Where Android app and now is Principal Architect for the Big Data and Recommendations Group at Where, Inc. Outside of coding, he spends his time practicing Ba Gua Zhang and caring for his two cats.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Taking Chapter 10 "Handling and Persisting Data" for example, the book first comes with an overview of relational database, which is good. Then it comes to a piece of code introducing SQLiteOpenHelper, a key component for handling Android data persistence. Just when I am expecting a section to continue on how to actually use this SQLiteOpenHelper to do real work, it stops there suddenly and comes out with another totally unrelated social networking code. I really can't see the point why it's composed in this way.
Similar things happen for other chapters. I am doing an Android project right now. In the beginning, when I needed to understand a specific technical usage, my first action was to reference this book (from reliable Oreilly). More often than not it failed to satisfy me. Android Documentation site and StackOverflow become the only way that can answer my question.
My overall opinion is that the book failed to handle a large and diverse topic like Android programming. Not recommended.
mobile networking. Though I have a strong Java and mobile programming
background, I have no familiarity with Android. I needed to get up
to speed quickly, and thought I would go with an OReilly book, usually
a good bet.
I ended up using the intro to quickly
get started with eclipse, and then moved into the view section to put
together an interface without much trouble (useful examples),
and am looking at the
advanced sections to learn about Android's NFC feature. The 3rd
section is enlightening, saving me from some design mistakes that I was
sure to make. I did, however, feel that some of the information in the
later chapters was over
my head, targeted at an audience with more outside knowledge.
Overall, the book is both good at introducing the basics of Android,
and covering the more advanced topics.
Chapter 7 of the book titled "Building a View" provides an excellent understanding on how the "views" in Android work. The explanation by the authors, using diagrams showing how the traditional model view controller architecture comes together in Android is very educational. I have been waiting for a good tutorial along these lines for some time.
Chapter 12 and 13 deal with content providers. The extensive treatment of content providers with example code and a sample application provided me several new insights in how this technology works, and how it can be used in real programming situations. The content provider framework for storing and referencing data using URIs is one of the novel features of the Android operating system. Great work in explaining the technology step by step!
The discussion on 2D and 3D graphics is also very informative. I learned a lot from this book. I would highly recommend this book to any developer or any Android Project Manager. Even experienced developers may learn a thing or two, if they go through this book. An excellent book, on Android.
performance and presentation of data.
It is also the first in-depth book to cover Fragment and related classes that go into making Android tablet user interfaces. Additionally, it covers the compatibility library that enables running Fragment-based UIs on pre-Honeycomb versions of Android.
To be fair, the book proclaims at the very beginning that it's written for people of all backgrounds, not just java, and it's got to cover the basics for those who might, say, know iOS but not server-side java. But for me, the book didn't really get interesting until it launched into a detailed description of concurrency and serialization on Android. From there, it kept going at a fast clip all the way into advanced topics, like NFC, sensors, and audio and video.
Layout, which some Android references get bogged down in, is explained conceptually in the context of MVC architecture. The book doesn't spend time introducing all the standard view classes or going through their properties. You'll find a good description of how Android measures and arranges UI components, but you won't find simplistic code examples for the onMeasure() method.
The book goes through the Android framework and advocates how it thinks a non-trivial app should be organized. It keeps mobile issues like battery life, connectivity, and asynchronicity in the forefront of all its discussions, and it provides extended examples on things like how to write your own content provider and how to incorporate Google maps.
Programming Android is really not for beginners. If you want simple code examples to get up to speed on basic concepts, you're better off starting with the online dev guide and other resources. But if you're interested in deeper discussions of architectural issues as well as of more advanced Android APIs, this book should have what you want. Just don't be afraid to skip the beginning if you've done much java before.
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