|By Tad Anderson||
|June 20, 2014 09:00 AM EDT||
This review is for two books. It is for Android: How to Program (2nd Edition) and Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach (2nd Edition) . Why? Because Android: How to Program (2nd Edition) includes the entire Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach (2nd Edition) book.
Android: How to Program (2nd Edition) is in black and white and it also includes a Java language overview/reference. This book is great for the programmer coming from another language. Having the Java reference included as the second half of the book comes in really handy. Lately I have spent most of my time in Objective-C building client apps and C# building Web API RESTFul services. Having the Java reference handy was helpful.
|Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach (2nd Edition) is the first half of Android: How to Program, 2nd Edition. It is a much nicer read because it is in color. This is the book for the experienced Java developer who wants to get up to speed on Android development.
The perfect book would have been Android: How to Program (2nd Edition) in color.
Below is the table of contents for Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach (2nd Edition) -
1. Introduction to Android
2. Welcome App
3. Tip Calculator App
4. Twitter® Searches App
5. Flag Quiz App
6. Cannon Game App
7. Doodlz App
8. Address Book App
9. Google Play and App Business Issues
Below are the chapters added to the second half of Android: How to Program (2nd Edition) -
A. Introduction to Java Applications
B. Introduction to Classes, Objects, Methods and Strings
C. Control Statements
D. Methods: A Deeper Look
E. Arrays and ArrayLists
F. Classes and Objects: A Deeper Look
G. Object-Oriented Programming: Inheritance and Polymorphism
H. Exception Handling: A Deeper Look
I. GUI Components and Event Handling
J. Other Java Topics
K. Operator Precedence Chart
L. Primitive Types
The projects cover a ton of functionality, but the best part about the projects is that the accompanying downloadable code compiles and runs with no tweaking. One thing I thought was weird though, is after going to the trouble to log on to the companion website, you find nothing but the source code there, which you can download without registering. It claims to have "Premium web chapters", but at the time I am writing this review there are none.
The projects section of the book does a great job of covering how to use Eclipse. The authors use the Graphical Layout Editor to build the app's GUI. This is a nice approach for those just starting with Android development. The book mentions Android Studio, but uses Eclipse, which is good. I have played with Android Studio, but it has a way to go before it is ready for primetime.
For the second half of the book I just use jEdit to play with the files. The examples come as *.java files that you can compile and run. I was just using terminal and TextEdit, but the syntax coloring in jEdit and the Console plugin helped make it a more pleasurable experience.
Another thing I liked about the book is that it covers Android 4.4 (KitKat). I have some other Android books I have been reading, but they have not been updated yet. The authors also point to other sites as resources to learn more about a topic, or to point out locations you will be able to find the latest info available on Android as updates are made to the OS.
Chapter 9, the last chapter before the Java overview section does a great job of introducing Google Play and pointing you to the information on the Android developer site. At the rate things change, that makes more sense than putting it in the book and the information being out of date in 2 months.
The book has an outstanding index. That may seem like a dumb thing to point out, but when you have a book with a crappy one, you learn to appreciate the good ones.
Like I said above Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach (2nd Edition) is the book for the experienced Java developer who wants to get up to speed on Android development. Android: How to Program (2nd Edition) is great for the programmer coming from another language. Having the Java reference included as the second half of the book comes in really handy.
Saying Android: How to Program (2nd Edition) is a great book, is saying they both are great books. I highly recommend one or the other.
Android How to Program (2nd Edition)
Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach (2nd Edition)
Android How to Program (2nd Edition)
Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach (2nd Edition)
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