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Welcome to Android Application Development For Dummies, the first For
Dummies book that covers Android application development. When
I was contacted to write this book, I was ecstatic about the opportunity to
spread the wealth of knowledge that I’d picked up over the past year and a
half of Android development. I hope you enjoy finding out about how to program for the Android platform from this book as much as I enjoyed writing it!
When Android was acquired by Google in 2005 (yes, Android was a start-up
company at one point), I’ll be honest, I didn’t have much interest in it. I heard
that Google might be entering the mobile space, but as with anything in the
technology industry, I didn’t believe it until I saw it firsthand. Fast-forward
to a few years later, when Google announced its first Android phone: the G1.
When I heard this news, I was glued to the computer, reading reviews, watching videos, and researching the product as much as I could. I knew that this
product would be the start of something huge.
I got my start in Android development about a week after my wife received her
first G1 Android device. The G1 was the first publicly released Android device.
It didn’t match the rich feature set of the iPhone at the time, but I desperately
believed in the platform. As soon as Donut (Android 1.6) was released, it was
evident that Google was putting some effort into the product. Immediately after
version 1.6 was released, talk of 2.0 was already on the horizon.
Today, we’re on version 2.2 of the Android platform, and 3.0 is just around
the corner. The platform is barely two years old, and I see no sign of the
platform development slowing down. Without doubt, this is an exciting time
in Android development. I hope that your excitement carries through as you
read this book and later as you release your own applications on the market.
About This Book
Android Application Development For Dummies is a beginner’s guide to developing Android applications. You don’t need any Android application development experience under your belt to get started. I expect you to approach this
material as a blank slate because the Android platform accomplishes various
mechanisms by using different paradigms that most programmers aren’t
used to using — or developing with — on a day-to-day basis. I expect you to
be familiar with the Java programming language, however. You don’t have to
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2 Android Application Development For Dummies
be a Java guru, but you should understand the syntax, basic data structures,
and language constructs. XML is also used in developing Android applications, so I advise understanding XML as well.
The Android platform is a device-independent platform, which means that
you can develop applications for various devices. These devices include but
aren’t limited to phones, e-book readers, netbooks, and GPS devices. Soon,
television sets will join the list. Yes, you read it correctly — TV! Google has
announced plans to include a Google TV offering in the Android platform.
Finding out how to develop for the Android platform opens a large variety
of development options for you. This book distills hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of Android documentation, tips, tricks, and tutorials into a
short, digestible format that allows you to springboard into your future as an
Android developer. This book isn’t a recipe book, but it gives you the basic
knowledge to assemble various pieces of the Android framework to create
interactive and compelling applications