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Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach (Deitel Developer) Paperback – 24 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (24 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132121360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132121361
  • Product Dimensions: 18.1 x 2.5 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 430,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


“I really love what you’re doing with the book. It has the potential to become the best Android book on themarket. It’s impressive to see so many well-explained useful examples of Android patterns. The coverage of recent Honeycomb-specific APIs such as ViewPropertyAnimator and resizeable AppWidgets makes this work especially current.”

—Dan Galpin, Android Advocate and author of Intro to Android Application Development


“I really like that this is aiming to stay up-to-date with Android 3 and be the most current book possible by covering key Android 3 features such as property animation, fragments, the ActionBar, tabbed navigation and more. I haven’t seen any other books cover app publishing so well and the links provided throughout are an impressive collection that I think would be valuable to anyone getting started. You get full applications that show multiple parts of the APIs working together. I wish this book had been around when I started developing on Android.”

—Douglas Jones, Senior Software Engineer, Fullpower Technologies


“This is the book for developers interested in starting Android application development. While the target of Android for Programmers is people with some development experience, even novices will find this book an interesting read and it will speed their immersion into Android development. The book starts by describing the Android development environment. Then each chapter introduces a core aspect of the Android platform by briefly explaining the topic, then illustrating the capability with working code. The sample apps demonstrate the topics of each chapter, which easily can be applied to your own projects. By far, this is the quickest way to get comfortable writing applications for the #1 smartphone operating system. I really enjoy the book.”

—Eric J. Bowden, COO, Safe Driving Systems, LLC


“Takes the ideal approach of teaching you the Android SDK through actual use. Rather than regurgitate the API documentation, this book shows you how to write an app in every chapter, explaining each aspect of the SDK as it’s encountered. Some apps are built from scratch; others expand on the apps in previous chapters, iterating on the code to implement new functionality. The full source code is available, so you can see how the SDK is really used. Teaches you all the Android essentials from layouts to sensors and even on to features added in Honeycomb such as property animation, tabbed navigation with the ActionBar, fragments and web services with JsonReader. Whether you’ve never touched Android or you have some apps under your belt already, this book is definitely worth picking up.”

—Ian G. Clifton, Independent Contractor and Android App Developer


“With the increasing scope of Android, getting up to speed can be a challenge. This book addresses a compelling set of topics, presenting them in self-contained packages that are fun and instructive. The coverage of key Android 3 features such as fragments, resizable App Widgets and the Action Bar is interesting. For tablet-oriented app development, familiarity with these tools is essential. Creates UI/layouts with a depth of detail I’ve not seen elsewhere.”

—Sebastian Nykopp, Chief Architect, Reaktor


“The Welcome app looks solid; great to see the integration of the new layout editor. The Tip Calculator app is a pretty cool example and definitely a useful app; I love the deeper coverage of the lifecycle. The Favorite Twitter Searches app is a good way to demonstrate ScrollView. The Flag Quiz app is one of my favorites, covering delayed events, View animations and string arrays; I like the use of the AssetManager for the flags. The XML declaration and explanation of the tweened flag-shake animation is nicely done. The SpotOn Game app is one of my favorites; it does an excellent job in covering the new Honeycomb+ property animations, and uses them in a creative way to build a surprisingly fun little game. Nice job of keeping the database queries out of the UI thread in the Address Book app. It’s great how the Route Tracker app chapter puts so much useful MapView information in one place. Slideshow is a beautiful app.”

—Dan Galpin, Android Advocate and author of Intro to Android Application Development


“The Welcome app does a great job illustrating the Visual Layout Editor; I liked the approach of building visual components without code; this makes it easy to experiment with other properties to customize the look of the app. There’s a lot of time spent on the Tip Calculator app UI in the Visual Layout Editor—the line-by-line explanations of the code are extremely valuable; this is a solid introduction to how Android works. Favorite Twitter Searches taught me things I didn’t know. The Flag Quiz app is a great chapter; clearly written, and I particularly appreciated the completeness of the code comments. The Cannon Game app is a nice introduction to animation. The SpotOn Game app did a great job introducing Android 3+; in a lot of ways, Google has separated Android 2.x and 3.x by intended use (i.e. phone vs. tablet); this chapter introduces some of those concepts and helps the software developer understand some of the SDK differences. The Doodlz app chapter uses great examples to illustrate the concepts. The Address Book app is a good introduction to SQLite databases. The introduction to the camera in the Enhanced Slideshow app chapter is valuable information.”

—Eric J. Bowden, COO, Safe Driving Systems, LLC


“The Intro chapter gives a solid overview of Android. The Welcome app chapter is a nice intro to layouts, keeping it simple, while still using a common layout (RelativeLayout) and explaining the resulting XML. Favorite Twitter Searches app is a great chapter that introduces a lot of new (core) concepts. The app descriptions give a clear understanding of what is being built and the technologies overviews are particularly nice; the colored highlighting is helpful. The SpotOn Game app is a great intro to 3.x animation and produces a fun game without a lot of code. Doodlz is a great app—anyone can identify with it and it gives readers a chance to learn about Android. The Address Book app is a good intro to some key aspects of Android programs (in particular, launching other Activities and utilizing a SQLite database). The Route Tracker app chapter is excellent.”

—Ian G. Clifton, Independent Contractor and Android App Developer


“One of the most comprehensive intro chapters I have read, especially the number and variety of links to outside sources. I like the Welcome app as a way to get the reader’s feet wet; it breaks them into Eclipse and it gets them making something without Java code. TheTip Calculator app UI highlights the tricky cases of TableLayout and TableRow. The Favorite Twitter Searches app does a good job of introducing important UI skills, especially using the LayoutInflater and the ScrollView to programmatically add UI elements. The Flag Quiz app chapter does a good job of showing a variety of tools, such as collections, DialogBuilder options and animations; the method used to handle all the data is a good one. Those property animators sure make the SpotOn Game app code straightforward; well done. The Route Tracker is a solid example of a location and map app. The Slideshow app reinforces list handling and adapters. I like the intro to serialization in the Enhanced Slideshow app.”

—Douglas Jones, Senior Software Engineer, Fullpower Technologies


“Good intro to overall Android, Java and OO concepts.”

—Ronan “Zero” Schwarz (CIO, OpenIntents)


“A good intro to Android platform capabilities and online resources for getting into Android development; a valuable timesaver, particularly with the increasing amount of available Android information; the walkthrough for getting an app running in the emulator is easy to follow. The Flag Quiz app chapter is easy to follow and quite enjoyable; clear description of key UI elements; good that the distinction between assets/ and res/ is presented; nice that View animation is included in an example relevant to the app (adds a professional touch); the yellow code highlighting works well. The Address Book app chapter is a good introduction to CRUD [create, read, update and delete] apps. The Route Tracker app chapter is an easy introduction to location tracking. The Enhanced Slideshow app is a straightforward demonstration on how to use the camera and display video in an application.”

—Sebastian Nykopp, Chief Architect, Reaktor

About the Author

Paul Deitel, Abbey Deitel and Harvey Deitel are from Deitel & Associates, Inc., the internationally recognized programming languages authoring and corporate-training organization. Over a million people worldwide have used Deitel books to master Java™, iPhone app development, C#, C++, C, Internet and web programming, JavaScript, XML, Visual Basic®, Visual C++®, Perl, Python and more. Michael Morgano is a professional Android developer with Imerj.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeppe on 13 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like other Deitel books, this one is very straightforward and practical in it's approach. A nice layout and excessive use of colors makes it a pleasure to flip through and read. As the title suggests, this is basically a collection of fullscale applications to run, then examine and then build from scratch.

Android "programming" - building/developing if you will - is very much reliant on an integrated development environment, Eclipse, which besides the installation process itself means an awful lot of clicking, selecting and dragging and editing files through a graphical interface. To learn mastering these tools, you are dependent of very precise instructions on WHERE to click, and in my experience, it is inevitable that you stumble on tutorials that leaves crucial gaps either because of omissions by the author or changes in platform/tools. I encountered relatively few of such discrepancies in this book.

The book explains the matter through the app examples, and clearly it doesn't serve as a reference manual. It is however rich in links to online material. IMO the limitations of this book may be its somewhat repeatitious recipe on how to build an Android project - I'm sure there is a lot more to it than is offered here - and it does require some dicipline from the reader to actually program the stuff and not just browse the premade code and nod.

I learned a lot from it. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luke on 4 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had a terrible time with the O'Reilly Learning Android book, then I seen this one. After getting Deitel's Java for Developers, and liking that, I purchased this. I'm on chapter seven, three apps built. The information is accurate, although not using the latest peatures, as it uses Gingerbread as the reference platform. I love building a new app every chapter, focusing on a few new areas of interest. I highly recommend this book. I'd love if they made an updated version of the book, or maybe some supplementary online chapters for this version, focusing on lock screen widgets and new features.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Robson on 2 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is actually a good book for beginners. There's lots of information, and it's a very step by step approach (as many Deitel books are).

The problem with it is that it is way way out of date. The examples are for v13 of the SDK, and it's now v21. Most of the examples and instructions simply do not work AFAICS.

Obviously you can work round this but this particular book is a how to step by step - someone will set it up and find it simply doesn't work.

So until it is updated it is basically useless.
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By Malc on 8 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are already a programmer this book helps add Android to your repertoire. I am. It did. I'm happy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 34 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
organized colorful useful and error free 6 Dec. 2011
By Mister Ed - Published on
Format: Paperback
I initially selected this book due to the multiple authors, hoping it would be more error free than other book I have read from single authors. So far that has been true, the more eyes in the review process really help not only catch errors but organize the material. Little things like all code snippets having line numbers and being high-lighted to follow the text really help. There are a good number of screen shots that make it easy to follow along with Eclipse on a windows or mac machine. I read so many posts on the internet saying Android has no GUI builder to layout widgets, and was very surprised, it wasn't until this book, I found out they are wrong. Adroid being what it is with Google behind it needs all the help with documentation and organization it can get. Google has that tendency to just leave it as-is, while their phD's make more hard to follow videos. The 16 apps they use as examples cover a nice range of UI, Services and libraries. The only negative is I'd prefer to not use Eclipse and would rather use my editor and a make file, but this isn't the authors faults, Android seems to be married to the ADT visual layout editor plugin and the ant build system. This book is for the rest of us that are normal C++ or C# or Java folks and can talk layman terms in getting the job done. The authors are to be commended for that alone!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Good examples, easy to follow, except for a good chunk of errors 1 Mar. 2012
By pandamaja - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, the book is very easy to follow with great examples. So far I'm on chapter 9. My only gripe is that there are seemingly editorial errors, missing bits of code here and there. The latest example being in chapter 9, when programming sensorEventListener. (Fig. 9.13) The explanation doesn't sync up with the code. The author mentions using a get method in line 110, when the code itself is actually used in 112. This is a nitpicky editorial error, but for the sake of transparency, these should be caught. An even larger error is that the author writes "In this case we set shakeDetected to true, then configure....Setting variable shakeDetected to true ensures that while the confirmation dialog is displayed, method...." The shakeDetected variable isn't in the code anywhere. (Neither shown in the code example in the book or in the downloadable samples) This is a bit confusing.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A great introduction to Android programming 9 Feb. 2012
By James Beswick - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have a stack of introductory Android books including the Dummies and 24 Hours titles. What I particularly like about this book is that it's built for people who learn by dissecting existing projects, so I've gained considerably more pulling apart the examples it covers than reading descriptive pages that often don't focus on the right topics.

There's a wide range of different applications included ranging from the very simple to the fairly complex. They cover a broad part of Android's object model. While reading this isn't going to make you a pro coder overnight (and which book can do that?) it will give you a fair knowledge of all the various components that you will need to start write apps. This isn't designed for beginners but I would argue that programming Java and Android requires a minimum of some familiarity with basic coding concepts and object oriented principles. I really enjoyed the format of this book and hope to see more like it.

PS - We're still waiting for four online chapters which are apparently coming soon - some reviewers have commented on this but since it's free content, I'm happy to be patient!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Deitel template falls short when applied via App-Driven Approach 29 Jan. 2012
By Robert Mirabelle - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have purchased at least 3 other Deitel books in the past, including Java How To Program, the book that literally launched my career in development. Deitel have always been at the top of my list for their technical precision, brevity and clarity when explaining concepts. To translate a computer programming language to English requires equal mastery of both languages, and this team has it.

That being said, this book is very frustrating. I learn by doing. And the "App-Driven Approach" in this book means that you'll be creating actual apps that work. The apps themselves are very well selected. Each one is non-trivial, and introduces a balance of new Android concepts. This is all good. BUT...

The methods of each app are introduced and explained in LINE NUMBER SEQUENCE, completely ignoring the FLOW OF CONTROL of the app you're working on. As such, if you're diligently following along and writing code, you'll regularly be either 1) calling methods you have not yet defined or 2) writing methods and waiting 5 pages to discover where that method is actually called/used. Put another way, nearly every method you write will contain one or more errors as you write it! Eclipse will throw warnings about your references you'll be left with questions which may not be answered for many pages, which makes for a very frustrating experience. Most importantly though, you'll feel a bit as though you're learning concepts in a vacuum, without enough context to make each concept stick. If the methods were written to follow the flow of control of the program instead, you would frequently be revisiting and updating existing methods as the program matures. And this is how programmers actually program.

In short, Deitel's well-established template for teaching programming languages falls short when applied via the "App-Driven Approach". If you're prepared for this frustration and are comfortable adding your own last step of fully reviewing your own (or the downloadable) completed code for contextual relevance, then you'll still benefit.

Here's hoping the Deitel team will consider revising their template for their "App-Driven" series.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Unique and worth every penny 20 Oct. 2012
By James May - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is typical of the Deitel "for programmers" series; it contains information found nowhere else. At this time, Deitel sets the standards for others to follow. I don't mean to say that it is perfect, or that the code examples have no glitches at all; IMOH that goal is unachievable. With this book and hard work you can get the android apps working and have a new skill in your repertoise.

TIP: when using the Android SDK Manager during the install process, don't download more than the items checked in the book screenshot (necessary to run the examples) or you will find yourself quickly frustrated, especially at the prompts to create a Motorola and htcdev accounts on their sites and the whole download process will take much longer. I'm not referring to the simple downloads of the compressed files, but the ones accomplished within the SDK manager during and after the initial installation. I had to abort and go to the actual sites to create accounts since the dialogs invoked by Android SDK manager would not work and canceling just constantly brings it up again. Motodev is working to switch portals Nov. 1 and that may have something to do with it; stick with the checked items in the books screenshot and use the prerequisite software list and all will be well. You can always run Android SDK manager from the Eclipse Windows menu later to add things. Another thing, some of the Apps with usage restrictions will download the entire package and afterwards throw an error and the log file shows less than 1k downloaded. Note also that within the SDK many downloads will log a msg that they are the wrong size which you can ignore.

The AVD emulators are extremely slow (as stated in the text) so be prepared to wait when running examples in the virtual devices.

Just for the record I use JDK 1.7 for all other Java development instead of 1.6 which I think was the latest version available when this book went to print. Fortunately for me I still have 1.6 installed and the example apps won't compile using 1.7 unless you are willing to recode them. Netbeans has been my IDE of choice for sometime now, but general consensus is that Eclipse works better for Android apps.

Regarding a few of the criticisms by other reviewers: I FOUND and downloaded the examples from the URLS in the textbook with no problems. As with other technical works of this nature I suspect some of the so called problems RUNNING the example code are due to improper setup and configuration (a very common problem) of paths/environment variables (or setting them in the wrong place) or using older, incompatible platforms.

The "Before You Begin" at the front of the book guiding the installation and setup for Eclipse and Android development is worth the price of the book. I am always incredulous at the [very few] negative reviews of Deitel books. These guides are indispensable for any professional coder learning a new platform. A quick count of my java references on the bookshelf shows 14 volumes and I have a few older ones tucked away and probably one or two misplaced. Almost all of them were bought before I discovered my first Deitel book used for my Java classes at A&M. Some of the other works are actually very good java books, but none have the depth of coverage of the Deitel publications. (No I don't work for them; I am in fact retired now and I don't own any stock in Deitel and associates either).

The Deitel approach seems to be to "boldly go where no one has gone before". A couple of examples may help to illustrate how unique their "fp" (for programmers) series is.

Example 1. This example is not directly applicable to Android apps but illustrates the thoroughness of Deitels coding examples. Do you need to write a database application? There is *no other publisher* that provides a working, extensible jdbc application in their textbooks. (see chapter 28 of "Java, How to Program, Eighth Edition", [I don't have the 9th edition]). Using that simple example app as a shell (stubs app to you older coders), I have written SQL DML applications that query/update and execute selective DDL statements using Oracle, MySql, Postgres, Apache Derby both embedded and client/server on both Linux and Windows and [dare I say] SQL Server on windows svrs. Most of us would call that extensible example code. Java itself, of course, is at the root of some of this portability providing classes that make available path separaters, environment and db metadata etc. at runtime thus facilitating db connectivety and common UI/OS tasks.

The Deitel code mentioned above opens the door of using JTable to access and dynamically update results from a dataset. Competitors offer virtually everything else in their tech books, but NOT a working db app.
IMPORTANT: JTable is to Java what a bound DataGrid is to VB.NET.

To me, that makes JTable a very important class and only Deitel books have made it available. JTable is, in fact, probably the most misunderstood Java class of all simply because of the immense power it provides. Probably because of this, most coding books on java simply mention it in passing. Even Herbert Schildt's excellent books barely touch it; his "Java, Complete Reference 8th Edition" has a little over 2 pages on the subject and mentions that most enterprise apps for db access use this class. Mr. Schildts Java cookbook is more informative of JTable, but no working db example. Murachs excellent books, same thing. Great explanations of nuances of important java classes (except JTable) and good tips to enlighten newcomers to the world of the Object Oriented paradigm, but no working example of db access.

2. Threads - The Deitel approach is to deliver simple, working examples with sufficient "heads up" warnings of common pitfalls and good coding practices. If you want to access the real power of any computing platform you must understand threads and this book introduces threads on the Android platform with the same practical approach used in their books on other platforms and environments.

Deitels books are the best period and this Android coding solution is no exception. If there is anything comparable to this book (or the other Deitel books on other technologies) I am amazed I did not see it during the many hours I spent on Google and also milking my social network. The Deitel "FP" series are in a class by themselves and provide working examples of solutions which competitors never mention or gloss over with useless fluff. "Android for programmers" continues the incomparable Deitel work ethic. Definetely recommended.
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