Thursday, 19 July 2012

Android Cookbook by Ian F. Darwin


This book has the answers to almost any Android Development problem you can think of. The recipes were collected from the Android community and I think that’s probably why they are so relevant and practical. They also covere writing Android applications for tablets and phones, not just phones as many other books do.

This book helped me discover some new ways of approaching Android development such as how to use Python or other Scripting languages to write applications for Android. Even a seasoned Android developer might yet find some underdiscovered techniques here.

Most books on Android get tied-into using the Eclipse plugin. While that is a great way to develop Android apps, I like the way many of the recipes in this book show you how to do things with just the Android SDK. This helps you understand what’s happening behind the scenes and makes the solutions provided stand on their own regardless of your choice of IDE.

The content is derived from the community sometimes the quality of writting is a bit shaky but is always understandable. There are one or two recipes that were obviously extracted from a blog post or some other piece and make reference to material not in the book. A particularly irritating example of this is Recipe 2.1 which mentions “the Apple iPhone Solution” which is obviously completely out of context. These little gliches will probably be covered in the errata and are just minor irritations.

The range of topics covered means it’s not a small book (688 pages). Not one you would read to get started with Android but probably the best reference to keep when building Android applications.

Rating: 5 / 5

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