Book review : Android Wireless Application Development

Original review posted on the Barnes & Noble site.

As a seasoned Android developer it’s easy to forget the steps necessary in getting up and going with the platform – Conder and Darcey do a very good job of explaining the basics, with a small taster of the more complex stuff, with plenty of code examples to help along the way and just enough levity to keep the experience engaging (I also want to call my pet Null!) For someone new to the platform this is definitely a book you can read the first third of without skipping any, and then refer back to as a reference guide as and when needed.

The middle parts of the book, where the more complex ideas come in, aren’t full enough to be of any real use – the OpenGL and NDK sections could have multiple books written about each. I’m stuck between wondering if they are a nice, but brief, introduction which people will find useful to whet the palate, or short enough, and not detailed enough, to be of no real use and to warrant not being included in the first place. The latter parts of the book include some useful guides for testing and selling you Android app, as well as some short but useful sections on Eclipse; the emulator; SQLite and ADB. I found there were a few items I would have liked to have seen some more info about (i.e. broadcast receivers receive very little attention), and there were a few small coding mistakes throughout the book. The order of the sections in the latter half of the book also looked like they could have had a little more thought applied to them.

Overall this is a solid book for getting up to speed with Android development and the negative points are small enough so as to not distract from the overall learning experience. It’s not a book you are going to keep forever as once you learn the basics you’ll want to move on to other fuller, and more detailed, sources.

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