Saturday, April 2, 2011

Android Programming Tutorials, 3rd Edition

Product Description

Android Programming Tutorials show you what you can do with Android, through a series of 40 individual exercises. Android Programming Tutorials gives you hands-on instruction in how to build sophisticated Android applications, using many of the technologies outlined in CommonsWare's other Android books. These exercises lead you through the basics of creating Android applications, all the way through many fun Android features like Internet access, location tracking, maps, integrated WebKit browsers, cameras, accelerometers, home screen widgets, and much more. Full source code to all the exercise answers is available, to help you if you get stuck. Android Programming Tutorials makes an excellent companion volume to more traditional Android books that merely tell you what is possible.
From the Publisher Android Programming Tutorials is a collection of exercises that will have you build a pair of relatively sophisticated Android applications: a restaurant database and a microblogging client. The goal of the tutorials is to expose you to a wide range of Android capabilities in the context of a larger application, rather than standalone demonstrations like a programming guide might profile. Each exercise is a set of step-by-step instructions on how to add different features and functions. There is only a bit of theory presented, focusing instead of having you "learn by doing".

Each exercise contains pointers for further reading, along with "extra credit" tasks you might wish to try, to experiment in areas beyond what the step-by-step instructions supply. Hence, this book is geared for people who like working through code, but want guidance along the way.

These tutorials cover many major areas of Android application development, including:

Setting up basic user interfaces, with fields, buttons, lists, tabs, and radio buttons
Adding option menus
Supporting both portrait and landscape orientations, with custom user interfaces for each
Storing data in local databases
Collecting preferences from the user and applying those preferences
Working with background threads
Having multiple screens ("activities") in a single application, linked to each other
Accessing Web services via your own HTTP client code or via existing third-party JARs that somebody else wrote to access a service's API
Setting up Android components decoupled from their user interfaces ("services"), including allowing a service in one application to serve clients in other applications
Putting icons in the status bar ("notifications")
Integrating location tracking and Google Maps
Embedding a WebKit Web browser (e.g., for online help)
Incorporating video playback (e.g., for a screencast to accompany the online help)
Animating our user interface, to allow portions of it to fade in or out based on user request
Creating "app widgets" - bits of our UI that can go on the user's home screen
Integrating with the camera and accelerometer

The source code for this book is available from the CommonsWare Web site and is open source, so you can do with it whatever you wish within the license terms.

And, if you have any questions about the book or the exercises, join the [cw-android] Google Group, and we will be happy to help!

The CommonsWare Combo

These tutorials are used as part of the author's live training, so hundreds of students in dozens of classes have gone through these as part of those events. Their feedback, plus the feedback of the readers of the print and digital editions of the book, have helped refine and shape the tutorials. This 3rd Edition reflects those changes...at least, those changes that have been made by the time this book went to print.

That's the problem with print books: they're static. While Android Programming Tutorials is updated every few months in digital form, the print edition remains fixed for much longer. Usually, you have to make a decision when buying a book - do you want the print edition or the digital edition?

With this book, you do not have to make that choice.

Purchasers of this book may qualify for free digital editions of this book, as part of a "CommonsWare Combo". This gives you the benefit of the print copy, plus you get access to the latest digital edition and all of its updates, such as to take into account new Android SDK releases.

This "combo" not only gives you access to the digital edition of this book, but access to digital editions of every CommonsWare book, including The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development and The Busy Coder's Guide to Advanced Android Development. What you really get is a one-month Warescription and all the benefits of that program, albeit for a short period of time.

To see how you may qualify for the CommonsWare Combo, visit the CommonsWare Web site and click on the Warescription link.


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