Learn Java for Android Development

Before you compile, you need to learn Java.

The title of the book says it all: its goal is to teach readers the Java language so that they can go on to learn how to develop applications for Android – or any other framework or OS where Java plays a central role. With maybe except the Swing UI library, nor does it include material that’s probably not relevant to Android development either, instead it’s a book about where Java and Android OS intersect.

The title itself might be a bit misleading; however, the author states several times on the back cover and boldly at the start of the book that this is not a book about Android development. Readers wanting that book might have a look at Mark Murphy’s Beginning Android 2 also from Apress. What readers will learn from this 600-plus page book is the modern Java language and how to develop using the standard command-line tools. Neither is there much coverage of IDEs such as NetBeans or Eclipse.

Learn Java is ten chapters that start from the very basics of the language, how to compile using the command line tools through the advanced features of the language; the last five chapters focus on learning the standard Java APIs. Each section has frequent code examples and a couple of break-out boxes with additional tips and information. Besides plenty of code to study, Friesen will sometimes mention that the example code includes things, like file handling, that hasn’t been covered at that point in the book. This is an excellent way of pushing the reader forward; by the time you get to the chapter covering an earlier topic, the basics will already feel familiar.

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At the end of the book, readers should be pretty comfortable with most aspects of the standard language. If you already know Java, then maybe this book isn’t for you and a book like Beginning Android would be a better choice. However, if you’re new to the language or haven’t used it in a few years, then this is an excellent book to pick up as having a solid grasp of the Java language, and its foundational API is essential before embarking on Android development.

As the author states, the book does not try to teach Android development, but maybe except the Swing UI library, nor does it include material that’s probably not relevant to Android development either, instead it’s a book about where Java and Android OS intersect.