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Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: Making Native Apps with Standards-Based Web Tools

Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: Making Native Apps with Standards-Based Web Tools [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Stark , Brian Jepson , Brian MacDonald

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Product Description

Product Description

If you know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you already have the tools you need to develop Android applications. Now updated for HTML5, the second edition of this hands-on guide shows you how to use open source web standards to design and build apps that can be adapted for any Android device.

You’ll learn how to create an Android-friendly web app on the platform of your choice, and then use Adobe’s free PhoneGap framework to convert it to a native Android app. Discover why device-agnostic mobile apps are the wave of the future, and start building apps that offer greater flexibility and a much broader reach.

  • Convert a website into a web application, complete with progress indicators and other features
  • Add animation with JQTouch to make your web app look and feel like a native Android app
  • Make use of client-side data storage with apps that run when the Android device is offline
  • Use PhoneGap to hook into advanced Android features, including the accelerometer, geolocation, and alerts
  • Test and debug your app on the Web with real users, and submit the finished product to the Android Market

About the Author

Jonathan Stark is a mobile and web application consultant who has been called "an expert on publishing desktop data to the web" by the Wall Street Journal. He has written two books on web application programming, is a tech editor for both php|architect and Advisor magazines, and has been quoted in the media on internet and mobile lifestyle trends. Jonathan began his programming career more than 20 years ago on a Tandy TRS-80 and still thinks Zork was a sweet game.

Brian Jepson is an O'Reilly editor, hacker, and co-organizer of Providence Geeks and the Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire. He's also a geek-at-large for AS220, a non-profit arts center in Providence, Rhode Island. AS220 gives Rhode Island artists uncensored and unjuried forums for their work and also provides galleries, performance space, fabrication facilities, and live/work space.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2471 KB
  • Print Length: 178 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (13 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006YTE2U0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #490,576 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Intended for iPhone, not Android 20 Feb 2011
By Stephan Wiesner - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really ask myself whether the author even bothered to test his "app" on a real Android device.
The truth: it does not work. The app is based on JQTouch and even the demos on the JQTouch homepage are intended for iphone and do not really work on Android (I use Samsung Galaxy S, currently the Android bestseller).

The screenshots in the book are not taken on an Android device and I just can't make the pages look like they do in the book. Neither in Chrome, Firefox, and certainly not on the Samsung (they do look different on all three browsers, though :-)

JQTouch would be great and the webapps actually look great on my iphone - but not on Android.
So if you are looking into real cross plattform developing, you might want to skip jqtouch (and this book).
35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opened my eyes 16 Oct 2010
By Anthony Lawrence - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I had bought an iPad when they were first announced. I had the expressed intention of creating some very specific apps; I did not need Wired Magazine to tell me that mobile apps are the future.

My plans were delayed by Apple's delay in releasing a new iPad OS. I didn't want to waste a lot of time struggling with things in the original OS that might become easier in the next.

I'd rather not struggle at all. As I have gotten older, the thrill of twisting C and C++ to my will is far less alluring than it used to be. Honestly, there is no allure left at all: I saw learning the Apple API as an onerous but necessary task. I was not looking forward to it.

Then this book arrived and opened my eyes. Yes, there is that "Android" in the title, but this is really about building device agnostic apps and I saw that long before the author off handedly mentioned iPhones in Chapter 7. Yeah, baby - if you think I was reluctant to learn Apple API's, well, that's nothing compared to how I feel about futzing around with Java to drive Android stuff. No thank you. But CSS and Javascript? That's different.

Not that I still don't have a learning curve. I have done very little with CSS or Javascript because of browser quirks. I realized that Jquery could smooth a lot of that out for me, but I just did not have enough of a need to invest any time learning that either. Mobile apps provides that incentive.

This book opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities I was just not aware of. For example, I did not know about the Web SQL Database abilities in HTML5. The author said that rocked his world; well, it rocked mine also.

I am looking forward to sitting down and playing with the ideas this book has exposed me to. This really changes my plans, and this is one case where I am very happy to veer off course. Jquery, here I come!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview for getting started 23 May 2012
By Patrick Gerken - Published on
I am a web developer with a firm understanding of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I bought the book because I wanted to get some insights into building Android Apps with Web Technologies.
The book includes a brief crash course on HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and it discusses the CSS features available with webkit browsers to theme a site for getting the Android touch as well as the JavaScript and HTML features available on Android.
Other chapter topics include how to reach the hardware features of Android phones via PhoneGap, and how to get apps based on PhoneGap into the market.
The authors provided brief but good examples of many features and explained the tricky areas with clarity.
I found only two things that were lacking from the book. Although I thought it was very cool that there were examples of how to write event handlers to react on shaking the device, I was disappointed that there were no examples of how to handle swipes, which is something I expect to be able to do in an Android app! Otherwise I am confident that everyone who finished and understood the book will have no problem figuring that out. The other omission, which I think is a vital one, is that JQuery Mobile is not mentioned in the book. I am unfamiliar with the mobile landscape, maybe the presented library JQTouch is much much better than JQuery Mobile; either way, I would have expected at least a short explanation of what JQuery Mobile is.

The book gave me an idea of what's possible with WebApps on mobile phones, and the book inspired me to write an app as soon as possible. I found the book well written, and I liked the structure and end-to-end approach until the app submission into the market. Because the book has nothing at all about JQuery Mobile, I only rate it at 4 stars. If I could, it would have been 4.5 stars.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of making an web app that works on Android phones. 16 Dec 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
This book is the Android counterpart of "Building iPhone apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript" and covers much of the same material. It explains how to mark up your HTML page to support the Android mobile browser, as well as covering some basic JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It shows how to build and submit a native Android app using the Phonegap too.

One of the the aspects that I appreciated about this book was the focus on incorporating lttle touches in your web application that make the application feel more like an Android application. Chapter 2: Basic Styling includes a section on adding the Android look and feel and the chapter on Animation adds extra features. Noting that when Android users drill down into a list, the page slides off to the left. The book also includes sections on using client-side storage to allow your application to be used offline.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars the css in the book is good but that's about it 16 April 2011
By Erik Gartz - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had 3 main issues with this book:
1) I couldn't get much of the code to work.
2) You can't download the full examples anywhere. Basically you have to read through the book and make the incremental changes as they occur in the text (which is often). This gets *really* annoying. Often I found myself questioning if I copied the changes wrong or if the code just didn't work. Eventually, after googling and discovering issues other people had I became confident the failure was with the text, not me making copying mistakes.
3) He tries to do too much in the text (teaching you javascript, css, and query). A more sensible and effective approach would have been to focus on the phonegap/mobile material assuming the person already knew javascript, jquery, and css.

On the plus side the writing was reasonably condense and clear. In the end though, I would have been better off if I had never read this book. I wrote a small tic tac toe game (integrated with triva questions) and I felt like this book lead me astray. The AJAX approach he gives was really buggy so I ended up giving up and writing separate html files for each of the screens (WARNING this approach has its own set of unique problems). This book wasted A LOT of my time. However, I will give the author credit in that his css suggestions/code helped my project look much, much slicker.

* I'd probably give this book 2.5 stars but amazon forces me to choose 2 or 3.
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