Blog Archives

[REVIEW] Professional Android 4 Application Development – Reto Meier

Professional Android 4 Application Development

Professional Android 4 Application Development

I have just finished this wonderful technical book about android programming and I think that can be a good idea sharing personal my impressions with you.

In the past two years I have red some Italian books written by Massimo Carli, finding them useful for a base approach. Growing my thirst for knowledge I have encountered Reto‘s work that in my opinion offers a more complete and wider view about this powerful platform.

The book is structured in 19 chapters those present to you a deep overview on all platform features. The most important feature that I have found particularly interesting is the attention provided by the author in teaching step by step through examples. This is a very important point that many teachers and writers forget when they have to write a book because they think that’s better talking in a smoky enchanted way than educate easily and directly the readers.

The author during these chapters provide a full set of examples, related in most of case to an app that reports earth quakes, that grows in page by page involving features, concepts and abstractions like:

  • Intents, IntentFilters and Pending Intents
  • Activities, Services and Receivers
  • Maps and Geolocation
  • Threads and AsyncTasks

In just 21,84€, a very competitive price for the contents, you can purchase an ebook that’s too intuitive and expressive for new developers but at the same time for the more expert ones. I have personally bought my ebook on Amazon but if you prefer you can find it on other stores like Wrox or directly in Google Play.

See you next time, maybe with a tutorial 🙂


Is android difficult or simply too wide?

I have heard that many new android developers are afraid by this platform because they consider it too difficult and for that they try to find many different reasons to prefer other alternatives. I think that these kind of suppositions are not completely true because in other platform you’ll not find better tools, api’s or whatever you want.

On one hand I think that android can be difficult because it’s full of functionalities and because it has some mechanisms (Intents and Receivers) those are not too easy but very powerful. On the other hand it’s not too easy to create standard apps because the pelvis of different kind of devices forces you to create different UIs and solutions.

At the same time this powerful platform and pretty way of think offers you many opportunities:

  • Good and very wide support in documentation, forums and blogs
    (StackOverFlow is a very nice place where you can find answers to your questions)
  • Deep control on device features (Sensors, Services,…)
  •  Narrow limits to your ideas (you can provide your own email app or implement social apps)
  • Possibility to check your UIs with many emulators and sizes
  • ….

After two year of developing, I have acquired a pretty good familiarity with this platform but I think that you can reach a good level in just few months. All that you have to do is a sort of self training with android sdk across examples and good tutorials that you can find on the web. If some years ago the documentation could be skinny, now it has become a fantastic encyclopedia where you can find optimal solutions to your problems.

I hope that many of the escaped developers will reconsider the opportunity to study in deep the new features offered by ICS and HoneyComb.