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What to focus on when starting Android development?

 
Manfred Mueller
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Hi there,

it's good to have you around on the Ranch because I recently stumbled into Android development (or, the idea of wanting to do it) -- funny enough this happened just after (or because?) my sweetheart got an iPod 4G ;) I already looked into a few introductions (the official Google site and two or three text books) and found all the new stuff a bit overwhelming though -- as a software professional -- I'm a Java guy since v1.0. The entire approach appears somewhat different from Java Mobile with the J2ME SDK and made me very curious about Android so I already ordered a Smartphone to get a feeling for the OS from the user's point of view.

As for learnig to develop for Android: would you recommend to spend some time learning about the system architecture and the inner workings first, i.e. do you consider theory necessary in the first place for becoming a proficient Android programmer? Or would you encourage me to dive into some code examples and try it out myself in Eclipse/ADT which suits my personal preferences much better. When I recently adopted new technologies I found that it is more fun to postpone the theory but I also reached a point very early where I didn't make any progress any more. Would it help not to start »doing« unless I felt a little bit more confident about the internals?

Thanks a lot for your advice. I am going to consider your book no matter if I have to buy it since I like the »... in Action« series very much.

Kind regards
Manfred
 
Frank Ableson
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Manfred,

I am particularly partial to chapter 1 of Android in Action as I wrote it -- and I feel that it does a pretty good job of laying out the architecture of the platform and how things are wired together. I would suggest starting there.

The chapter was updated in the second edition, though the first chapter of the first edition is freely available: http://manning.com/ableson/SampleChapter1.pdf

Cheers.

Frank
 
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