Beginning Android 2

Now that you know Java, why not learn some android APIs?

2010 is probably going to be remembered as the year Android’s luck changed. After several years of lacklustre phones, 2010 started with the release of Google’s own Nexus phone and that turned out to be only one of several well-designed Android-powered phones that would be arriving in 2010. Of course, the other big news was the spring announcement of Froyo, a much-improved version of Android OS and that’s what this book will get you up to speed on.

That last sentence is not 100% accurate, the version covered in the book is 2.0, but readers will probably find updating their application to the current 2.2 reasonably straightforward. Mark Murphy’s book is aimed at readers who are already Java developers looking into how to start writing software for various Google Android devices now available. On this count, the book covers all the bases: getting started on your first project, learning the APIs, code examples and using the development tools.

As most developers know, Android OS is programmed in Java, though it’s not Java ME or one of the other versions which Sun (now Oracle) released over the years, instead it uses a reverse-engineered virtual machine called Dalvik.

Beginning Android is about 400 pages and mostly about how to use the APIs that Google’s Android OS offers and how to build applications. Beyond the APIs, there are other bits to know about creating applications; as examples: chapters 2 looks at packaging your application so it can be installed on devices, chapter 35 looks at development tools including debugging, and section 36 looks at handling different screen sizes. Like many Apress books, this book has a lot of code samples and screen-shots, so readers will find it easy to follow along.

See also  Hello Android

The book was written around the time Android 2.0 was released. While the current version is 2.2, there’s still plenty of phones running older versions of the OS right now, and most of the features of Froyo (2.2) build on what’s already there.

Overall, if you’re comfortable with Java and are looking to get started in writing applications for Android, this is an excellent book to pick up.