Starting out learning Android development may be intimidating at first, as with any new platform of reasonable complexity you’ll have a lot to learn. However the learning process is fun. So here are some learning resources that I’m currently following.
DISCLAIMER: the Amazon links in this article contain my affiliate code and I get a commission should you choose to buy from Amazon in the next 24 hours. However I’m including these links primarily because of the awesome reviews included, but you should buy straight from the publisher (publisher links also included, without an affiliate ID).
Books for Learning Android
My problem with books is that technical books get obsolete really fast. Books from 2010, while still useful, are already insufficient now with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich. The upside is that there are a lot of books out there.
For ~ $40 you can buy a 1-year subscription for CommonsWare.com. The author, Mark Murphy, is a very proficient Android developer, trainer and consultant, with a huge StackOverflow reputation :) More seriously - for $40 you get 3 books that are continuously updated, which is great.
Here are the books (but don’t buy them from Amazon, as you won’t get the 1-year subscription, which is the main reason I’m recommending these):
- The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development
- The Busy Coder’s Guide to Advanced Android Development
- Android Programming Tutorials
Again, don’t buy these items from Amazon. Buy them with the 1-year subscription from the Author’s Website (I did so myself and btw, I have no affiliation with the author). The subscription is useful because you’ll get upgrades for new versions of Android and bug-fixes, for a whole year.
Other books I have not tried, so my list stops here, but updates will follow.
Free Stuff Available Online
I’m the kind of developer that prefers to rely on freely available stuff, because I learn by doing and technical books on APIs are boring. Plus, I like free stuff, however if you plan on getting serious about it, then a small investment is worth it and will keep you focused (nothing will keep you more focused than spending some money).
The official beginner tutorials are not so comprehensive, however you’ll get a lot of value from reading the Articles. Lots of value in there, which works best if used in conjunction with the samples provided:
Seriously, you won’t find a faster learning path than reading and understanding the source-code of real apps. However to not attempt doing this without going through some of the tutorials in the link above.
The videos from Google I/O are a gold mine, providing insight you won’t find anywhere else. Highly recommended. All in all, the official documentation is good, although lacking beginner friendliness and a structured clear path. Plus I noticed it has holes in it, but you’ll be fine.
For asking questions, or browse around for insightful gems, there’s nothing better than:
At the time of this writing, I don’t have many Android-related blogs to share with you and the ones I know about are of poor quality - apparently not many people blog about their Android experience. Hopefully this will change for the better.
Please help me out in identifying other resources! Thanks!