Book Review: Advanced Android Application Development…

(So, disclaimer first: I’ve been working with the publisher & authors of this book through every edition as a technical reviewer; I don’t get anything from the sale of the books, but I enjoy working with the publisher and the authors.)

So, I got my review copy of Advanced Android Application Development, fourth edition by Joseph Annuzi, Jr, Lauren Darcey, and Shane Conder last week, and all I can say is that this great book gets better with every edition.

There are a lot of Android books out there, and most of them churn through the same basic stuff about views, intents, and services, with a smattering of information about networking and databases thrown in for good measure. This is the book you turn to for what’s next: serious discussion about SQLite databases services, notifications, input methods, networking, telephony, and Google Services like maps, location, cloud messaging, in-app billing, and analytics. There’s even a whole section — multiple chapters — on graphics, both 2D and 3D graphics programming using Android’s support for graphics and OpenGL ES. Recently updated to its fourth edition, there’s even some coverage of Android Lollipop and Android Wear. And there’s plenty of review material about networking and web access, too.

The book has copious sample code; the text fortunately doesn’t just reprint listings and leave you to puzzle over what they do, but carefully chooses the pertinent bits and pieces of sample applications illustrating the proper way to use Android interfaces. The full sample code of the applications is available for download, just as you’d expect. In many cases the samples are good enough to adapt for your own work, although they occasionally elide much of the necessary error handling that a good mobile application would require.

It’s hard to find fault with this book: with excellent coverage of SQLite, Android’s notification system, input methods & accessibility, and internationalization. Written right when Android L and Android Gear were being unveiled, it’s a little short on details on those topics, but that’s to be expected — it’s still got more than many books on the market today.

If you’re doing Android development, I strongly recommend getting a copy of this book and at least leafing through the parts of it that are new to you; it’s my go-to reference for all things advanced in Android.

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