Pearson (the publishers) have kindly sent me the new book "Android for Programmers". While I’ll be having a deep read over the holiday period, here are some initial impressions.
The app uses an ‘app-driven approach’ which means that the whole book describes 16 apps that have been fully coded. This means that the start of the book isn’t wasted with what usually tends to be similar to what’s available from Google online or in other books.
The book is in colour which makes it more enjoyable to read and the highlighting is an effective way to show the code being discussed.
Books, as opposed to reference documentation onine, tend to be good to describe patterns (how to use collections of APIs) and this is how I have gone about evaluating this book. Does it describe how to implement commonly used patterns?
A search for common patterns reveals that fragments, asynchronous tasks, in-app billing, GPS, Intent services, overlaying the camera (as opposed to just taking a picture), gestures, sensors and database (although manipulation should perhaps be done as async tasks to avoid ANRs) are covered. However there were no examples how to deal with orientation switch, the Android Licensing Service, NFC, C2DM, cryptography and the NDK.
However, the book goes further than just creating apps. It provides some great lists and references to useful web services, social media sites, mobile ad networks, Internet PR resources, app markets and app review sites.
One strange thing is that chapters 15 to 19 are not in the book but said to be available online. Presumably this allowed the book to be published earlier. However, when I looked online only the book Chapters were there and the extra chapters weren’t present. Online access was only for 45 days so I suspect I will never see the extra chapters. These extra chapters might even include the patterns I found to be missing.