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Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox; Updated edition (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118102274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118102275
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 3.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 199,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Reto Meier now lives in London and works for Google as an Android developer advocate.

Reto is an experienced software developer with more than 10 years of experience in GUI application architecture, design, and development. He's worked in various industries, including offshore oil and gas, before moving to London and into finance. Early in 2009 Reto became Google's Android developer advocate for EMEA.

Always interested in emerging technologies, Reto has been involved in Android since the initial release in 2007. In his spare time, he tinkers with a wide range of development platforms including Google's plethora of developer tools.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Build unique smartphone and tablet applications with Android 4

Written by an Android authority, this up–to–date resource is an ideal guide to building mobile apps using the Android 4 SDK. It provides in–depth coverage, showing experienced Android developers how to take full advantage of new features, while covering the fundamentals that novice developers need to get started. Serving as a hands–on guide to building mobile apps using Android, the book walks you through a series of increasingly sophisticated projects, each introducing a new Android platform feature and highlighting the techniques and best practices that will help you write compelling Android apps.

Professional Android 4 Application Development:

  • Provides an in–depth look at the Android application components and their lifecycles

  • Explores Android UI metaphors, design philosophies, and UI APIs to create compelling user interfaces for phones, tablets, and TVs

  • Introduces techniques for creating map–based applications and using location–based services

  • Looks at how to create background services, Notifications, and Cloud To Device Messaging

  • Demonstrates how to create dynamic and interactive home screen Widgets and Live Wallpaper

  • Explores hardware and communication APIs, including Bluetooth, telephony, WiFi Direct, and NFC Beam

  • Examines the use of the camera and hardware sensors

  • Details the new animation framework and other user experience enhancements, including drag and drop, the Action Bar, and Fragments

  • Includes a new chapter on publishing your apps

  • Introduces the License Verification and In App Billing Services

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Find articles, ebooks, sample chapters and tables of contents for hundreds of books, and more reference resources on programming topics that matter to you.

Wrox Professional guides are written by working developers to address everyday needs. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.

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About the Author

Reto Meier is Google′s Android Developer Relations Tech Lead. He has been involved in Android development since the initial release in 2007.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Annie on 15 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Firstly there are a number of chapters and sections that are completely deprecated (as of October 2013):
1. The entire chapter on Mapping is no use because the book is based on Maps v1. This is replaced completely by Maps v2, which is an entirely different library
2. The advanced section on C2DM is now deprecated and replaced entirely by a new library called Google Cloud Messaging
3. Throughout the book a single app is written that uses and displays earthquake data. Unfortunately the code won't work for you anymore because the earthquake data feed they use is deprecated and no longer exists. There are workaround, if you can figure it out. In reality, this feed should be scrapped along with the custom XML code (and the side tracking to try and teach you XML pull parsers) written and replaced by JSON, which is more at home with Android having a JSON library at your disposal.

Throughout the book there are examples and small programs, which are fine, however Reto seems to not understand that people read from start to finish, and indeed have to in order to progress with their knowledge. The problem here is concepts, code and api calls are made in examples that are both not explained and are not actually covered until much later in the book.

The earthquake app is a useful app that traverses the book, and is easily updated and followed.. until you reach the database section where all of a sudden you are pounced upon without mercy with the introduction of not only databases, but content providers and the google search widget. All of which ends up making you stop completely the earthquake app and instead reach for the internet for better examples.

Later on in the book more advanced topics, e.g.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ja Hodgskiss on 9 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I spend almost as much time having a snooze in between reading the pages than I do reading the pages. I am currently on page 100 and I haven't written a line of code yet. I come from a Java ME background, but still find the content of the book very heavy.

I cannot understand the rationale of introducing Android development with 100+ pages of text with so few examples and, so far, no test programs to try out so you can actually get a feel and better understanding of what's going on.

2 stars as I'm sure the book will get better as it goes on (only another 700 pages to go...), but surely there must be something better out there. I'm beginning to wish that I'd just gone the developer.android.com route instead.

Also, I think people with little programming experience (esp. Java) will struggle with this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ollie C on 3 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reto not only has many years' of experience working with Android, he also works at Google as part of the Android developer relations team - this gives him a unique and valuable perspective. What I really like about the book is not just the broad coverage and the practical examples, but the tips to make the most of the platform. Many Android books are just a rehash of the documentation, but Reto has gone to great lengths to include tips and examples that deliver value over and above the documentation.

As far as I'm concerned this book and Mark Murphy's Commonsware ebooks are essential reading for anyone building Android mobile apps.

My only suggestion for improvement would be to make a passing mention of third-party libraries that add value, particularly ActionBarSherlock (which as far as I saw wasn't mentioned) and services like BugSense/Flurry that are in common use.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Carl P on 2 May 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a comprehensive and accessible guide to programming Android applications, written by a guy who's been closely involved with the platform since its initial launch.

First reaction - it's massive! Weighing in at over 800 pages, this isn't a book that you would want dropped on your foot or cat. Fortunately, the large size is as a result of a genuine effort to provide detailed information at every stage of the development process.

Organisationally, it's well-thought-through, comprising roughly 20 chapters that cover all aspects of Android app development, beginning with a simple 'Hello, World' (or in this case, 'Hello Android') example, then moving on to more advanced topics such as Databases, Content Providers, and recent technology such as NFC. Post-publication topics such as in-app billing and monetization are covered too.

Content-wise, it's very thorough; leading the reader through each topic with code samples and screenshots taken from the most recent Android release (Ice Cream Sandwich) The whole book seems to have been updated to reflect changes and advances in this newest O/S and the latest APIs. The development environment was Eclipse 3.7. At the time of writing (May 2012) these make it impressively up-to-date.

I'm a professional coder, so for me this book is part-tutorial, part-reference, but I think that it would be useful for less advanced programmers too. Despite its title, it's accessible while not shying away from the necessary detail. There are chunks of humour sprinkled throughout, which can liven up the odd bit of dry subject matter. For example, chapter one provides gentle reassurance that "Despite the name, Android will not help you create an emotionless army of unstoppable robot warriors"...
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