Customer Reviews


24 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential Android development book
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...
Published on 3 July 2012 by Ollie C

versus
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Possibly not the book you were hoping for
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...
Published 9 months ago by Annie


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Possibly not the book you were hoping for, 15 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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. wifi, nfc, etc, simply fail to materialise any form of full application and instead rely on vague commentary and snippets of non-useful code. Similarly while the Maps chapter is out of date, the means of using maps (getting a Google api key, creating a map api key, etc) is not straightforward or obvious yet Reto fails to mention any of this properly instead relying on 'visit this website'. Lazy is all that comes to mind. All it takes is a page of instructions and you'd be up and running with Maps instead of a wasted afternoon.

Regarding the obligatory 'who is this book for' it casts a wide net stating knowledge of 'basic object oriented development practices' and 'help if you have used smartphones'. Sadly this is a fairy tale and this book requires that you have a very good understanding of java and a detailed knowledge of development and object oriented development. Anything else and simply do not bother with this book.

The opening chapters, for example, take no prisoners. Instead of teaching you how to create an activity and use the layout designer as you do with 98% of all screens Reto decides to take you through the internals of the system and create an app not only in code but overrides the Activity's base class which you hardly ever need.

Saying all this, this is a good book, it just needs a better editing team and a re-organisation of the contents to flow properly and move the least used/most advanced topics closer to the back to pick up when you are more ready and able.

On the whole, buy this book if you are a proficient Java programmer, want an in-depth/insider knowledge of Android development and want a book to come back to. If not, buy a proper beginners book, read the internet and/or learn java.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential Android development book, 3 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weighty and worthy - highly recommended, 2 May 2012
This review is from: Professional Android 4 Application Development (Wrox Professional Guides) (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"...

In summary, if you're looking for a comprehensive reference to Professional App development for the Android platform, I highly recommend this. Disclaimer - as I am an Android developer active in the developer community, the author sent me a copy to review, but these are my honest opinions.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you want a stimulating book to get you soon up and running, this isn't it., 9 May 2013
By 
Mr. Ja Hodgskiss "jhodgski" (Huddersfield, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Professional Android 4 Application Development (Wrox Professional Guides) (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing book, 6 Jun 2013
This review is from: Professional Android 4 Application Development (Wrox Professional Guides) (Paperback)
'Professional Android 4 Application Development' leaves me confused as to its purpose. I'm a seasoned programmer and I was expecting a good support covering the most important bases of Android development, but I end up frustrated and with the feeling I had to look for the appropriate information elsewhere most of the time.

It's not a very good book to learn how to develop Android applications: although some parts are fine, many topics are not clear. The explanations are often too short and confused, some sections are even just teasers for a given feature rather than a real insight, and most of the time the reader invariably needs to look for a decent explanation online, if it exists, or has to tackle the Android reference website to try and understand by creating their own test app (for some help, don't miss the very good 'Android Development' blog at [...] Not that it's a bad way to learn, but then what's the point of the book?

A good example of confusing topic is the Fragments, which is an important one though. It looks as if the author himself didn't quite grasp the idea behind Fragments, seeing how the example developed in the book makes such a poor use of the feature. Another example is the chapter on Intents, which is fine overall but rushes through some topics like Linkify, LocalBroadcastManager and PendingIntent, other "teaser" topics for which the reader is left clueless and forced to look for an explanation somewhere else.

In that respect, 'Pro Android 4' by Komatineni / MacLean is much better and I regret not to have bought this one earlier instead.

The order in which the topics are presented could probably be wiser too, in my opinion the Intents should be shown before the Fragments (which makes use of them in the example anyway).

This book isn't a reference either, by far, some topics like drag and drop are missing, Loaders are barely presented. And this is not bad in itself, after all there is an online reference, which is complete and updated, any book would do poorly in that area.

Nor is this a "cookbook", there is too few complete examples and they usually don't cover interesting cases (but that is fairly common of tutorial books and even API documentation in general). The one main example that is developed along the chapters, an earthquake monitor based on .gov resources, doesn't work because it hasn't been updated since the site it extracts the data from has changed. And ironically enough, the app doesn't catch the resulting error by lack of one basic yet important catch() hook... For a good cookbook, look for 'Android Application Development Cookbook' by Lee, for instance.

In conclusion I'm not really sure what the author had in mind. If that were to be a learner's book it's obviously a failure, the text is too dry, too confused and sometimes misleading. If it were to be something else, it wouldn't be complete enough. So I can't possibly recommend it to anyone.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For beginners, 22 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Quite concise and easy to read basic introduction to Android programming. Good for beginners. I use it along the stackoverflow forum.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, 25 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Professional Android 4 Application Development (Wrox Professional Guides) (Paperback)
This book is very good if you have a bit of understanding of programming. Lots examples and explanations. All code use in book can be downloaded and tested on your phone with no problem. Really good book and good value too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars I like to code but also understand what I am coding ..., 7 July 2014
This review is from: Professional Android 4 Application Development (Wrox Professional Guides) (Paperback)
I am a C# developer with over 5+ years experience now, completely new to Android and haven't used Java for over 10 years. I was given this book to aid my development as I will be taking on support of an android app at work. These are my thoughts on how I found the book.

1. There are numerous chapters (around 75 pages) before you even get to writing some code. I always find a hands-on approach with any kind of language the easiest way to learn - so this was frustrating.

2. The setup chapters are the start are already out-of-date - screens are different to what they appear in the book. I don't hold this against the book though as its inevitable and navigating your way through the set-up stuff is fairly straight forward anyway. However some of the code examples found later in the book just don't work at all - not the authors fault directly, but the authors fault for using these as code examples.

3. A bug in Eclipse which didn't create a blank Activity (when you ask for one) made me work a bit more because the book relies on setup wizards creating certain things - and because the book doesn't explain how to do everything manually and is out-of-date - I had to look elsewhere to understand what I was doing.

4. The chapters are not very well ordered. You start coding stuff you haven't got a clue about in even the earliest code examples. I like to code but also understand what I am coding - some of the stuff at the beginning was very difficult to get to grips with - and invariably I was getting errors because a lot of the code samples were either out-of-date and because parts of the samples are not very well explained until later chapters, it was more time consuming to fix.

Overall the book is laid out nice, there is a lot of content and some features are explained very well in detail, however as a new developer - it hampered my progress more than it helped me - which is why I would not really recommend this book to anyone who does not already have some knowledge of android development and java.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good book on the whole, 24 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Professional Android 4 Application Development (Wrox Professional Guides) (Paperback)
Very detailed book, with lots of examples; though it is better as a reference guide than learning it for the first time, as there is ~70 pages of UI basics, which is just too much if you are just getting into it.

As I have said before, it covers a wide range of developing applications and seems to be a very good reference book.

Please note that the book is very thick (~4.5cm) so it will take up a fair amount of shelf-space!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 5 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Professional Android 4 Application Development (Wrox Professional Guides) (Paperback)
I'm an experienced developer so wasn't looking for an idiot's guide to programming, and as such I quite liked this book. It explains the technical aspects of the Android environment which gives a good grounding and makes the programming side make a lot more sense. Some of the programming bits are quite basic, but necessary. Easily the best Android development book I've read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Professional Android 4 Application Development (Wrox Professional Guides)
20.39
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews