Edinburgh Castle
Android Application Development
AuthorsRick Rogers, John Lombardo, Zigurd Mednieks & Blake Meike
DateMay 2009
ReviewerMark Britten
Cover image for Android Application Development

This software development reference book is supposedly aimed at the experienced developer. The authors’ aim was to cover practical app development using several important topics in depth, such as; basic architectural components, the app lifecycle, setting up and debugging an Android project, UI, Intents, Location-based services, Persistence with SQLite, Graphics, and Communications. To further explain app development they used the standard template app that is then developed further using what you had learned within each chapter.

The book is broken up into two main sections. The first is an overview of Android and how to set up and debug a software project. The second is a series of in-depth chapters on a particular topic.

The first section has a good practical slant focussed on setting up an Android project in Eclipse and showing how to debug it. The book explains what can go wrong and also what to do when these eventualities arise.

However, I found each topical chapter in section two a little light on content; each chapter more an introductory description than for experienced developers who need deep insights into the various working parts of the APIs and architecture. Each section took you through the basic workings and showed how to perform the basic tasks. They were fairly rich in detail. However, I felt the descriptions of how things worked were only enough to cover the app they were using as an example. I did not feel that this coverage was comprehensive.

As I worked through the book several things irked me. The authors said that you must look for more in-depth reference material online, however did not give any indication where this would be. Further, to use only a meagre 300-odd pages to cover all the topics described above did not give a lot of room to explain each topic fully.

This book is good but more of an overview of Android. I do not believe it will give you a complete understanding of the platform, or help you solve complicated issues that stand outside the basic architecture of Intents and Activities.

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