Monday, November 2, 2009

Another book: Android Wireless Application Development

Somebody contacted me by LinkedIn whether I would write a review about this book from Addison-Wesley. Why not, replied I, if I get the book to read and it is understood that I am not a professional reviewer. I got the book, read it and here are my subjective impressions.

Gee, there are SO MANY THINGS in Android - that was the lingering feeling after having read the book. Because the authors' strong intention is not to make compromises. They methodically go through every feature of the Android API, including 1.5 features. Have you heard about AppWidgets before? Or LiveFolders? I admit that I have not but now I know about them because the book mentioned it.

The enormous breadth of the discussion comes with a cost, however. Even though everything (or almost everything) is mentioned, very few topics are discussed in depth. For example I checked the most popular topics of this blog - unit tests, adapters. The Android unit testing framework is discussed as a bulleted list (no code examples) and the ArrayAdapter example uses Strings as backing data which causes so many problems for developers. I even managed to find the topic of hybrid applications (mashup of web technologies and Android applications, like the JavaScript handlers that an Android app can implement) that was not discussed at all (go to the lean Hello, Android book if you are interested, how this very fashionable approach works in Android).

It is best to handle this book as an inventory of Android features and as such, it is very valuable. Such an inventory takes 573 pages, as of version 1.5. I wonder what that number will be in 3 years time.


Android Application development said...

This will definately prove to be Excellent Guide for Android Developers for their Android projects from Concept to Completion.
Great going.

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