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Android User Interface Development Beginner's Guide

Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 943
Author/s    : Jason Morris
Publisher   : Packt Publishing
Category   : Other
Review by : Amit Ramchandra Ghorpade
Rating        : 7 horseshoes

The book follows a "try-it-yourself" approach and presented in an innovative way. Every example first tells the necessary steps then the code followed by an explanation of what is being done in the example. This style may be helpful for people who seek explanation of how the execution took place. Also the book presents some real life scenarios for examples, good practices and tips for various user interface designs, this will help beginners to understand user interface needs for their applications. Also there is nice information on styling the applications which help to do really cool things with the user interface.
About the cons, you won't find any introduction or detailed explanation as such so if you are really a beginner to Andorid, you may want to check the Android documentation first in order to get the basics of Android application development. Next thing is it does not focus on how to generate a fully programmatic user interface. Although this is not the best way of building user interface on Android, beginners find it easy and more natural than the declarative approach. So I think few examples on entirely programmatic user interface would have added elegance.
Then the very first example is not the traditional "Hello World!" but something more complex for a beginner that tends to dump a bunch of things in one go.

Put together I think it's a good book which you would like to refer at least once before designing your application user interface, but its not a purely newbie stuff.


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

More info at Amazon.com
Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 943
Review by : Rob Spoor
Rating        : 9 horseshoes

The book explicitly says it's a beginner's guide, and that's exactly what you're getting. You don't need any previous knowledge about Android, as long as you can program in Java. The focus really lies on the Android code, with Java code only provided where needed. Only the Android XML documents are recapped in full, but you can get the full code quite easily from the publisher's website. Be aware that the book does not teach you how to use Eclipse or any other IDE - it's all text editor and command line. I applaud this approach, because this way you get to learn the basics. You're not learning to build Android user interfaces in Eclipse, you're learning to build Android user interfaces period.

The book handles topics ranging from the most basic application (Hello World), lists, tabs, layouts and animations, but also user friendliness. That's where in the end this book is focused on - teaching you to create user interfaces that are as friendly and easy as possible. As a result, you won't see much of code for other purposes - no placing phone calls, no accessing the address book, no camera interaction, etc. This makes the book a limited resource for overall Android programming, but then again this is a book about Android user interfaces.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to start programming in Android. For more advanced features you'll definitely need additional resources though.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

More info at Amazon.com
 
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subject: Android User Interface Development Beginner's Guide