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Android Wireless Application Development Volume I: Android Essentials, 3rd Edition

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Android Wireless Application Development Volume I: Android Essentials, 3rd Edition


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  • The #1 guide to Android development, massively updated for verison 4 of the Android SDK, code-named "Ice Cream Sandwich"
  • Volume 1 of Darcey and Conder's definitive Android developer's guide: all the essentials, from concept to market
  • Reflects the authors' decades of in-the-trenches experience with commercial-grade mobile development
  • Covers powerful, lesser-known features, tips and tricks ignored by other books, including how to write apps that are compatible across multiple Android devices and versions
  • This book has been tailored for classroom use and comes complete with Exercises and Power Point slides.


  • Copyright 2012
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9"
  • Pages: 544
  • Edition: 3rd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-81383-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-81383-1

Android Wireless Application Development has earned a reputation as the most useful real-world guide to building robust, commercial-grade Android apps. Now, authors Lauren Darcey and Shane Conder have systematically revised and updated this guide for the latest Android SDK 4.0. To accommodate their extensive new coverage, they’ve split the book into two volumes. Volume I focuses on Android essentials, including setting up your development environment, understanding the application lifecycle, designing effective user interfaces, developing for diverse devices, and optimizing your mobile app development process--from design through publishing. Every chapter has been thoroughly updated for the newest APIs, tools, utilities, and hardware. All sample code has been overhauled and tested on leading devices from multiple companies, and many new examples have been added. Drawing on decades of in-the-trenches experience as professional mobile developers, Darcey and Conder provide valuable new best practices--including powerful techniques for constructing more portable apps. This new edition contains full chapters on Android manifest files, content providers, effective app design, and testing; an all-new chapter on tackling compatibility issues; coverage of today’s most valuable new Android tools and utilities; and even more exclusive tips and tricks. An indispensable resource for every Android development team member.



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Android Wireless Application Development: Writing Your First Android Application

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Who Should Read This Book     1

Key Questions Answered in This Volume     2

How These Books Are Structured     2

An Overview of Changes in This Edition     4

Development Environment Used in This Book     5

Supplementary Materials Available     6

Where to Find More Information     6

Conventions Used in This Book     7

Contacting the Authors     8


Chapter 1  Introducing Android     11

A Brief History of Mobile Software Development     11

    Way Back When     11

    “The Brick”     13

    Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)     15

    Proprietary Mobile Platforms     17

The Open Handset Alliance     19

    Google Goes Wireless     19

    Forming the Open Handset Alliance     19

    Manufacturers: Designing Android Devices     20

    Mobile Operators: Delivering the Android Experience     21

    Apps Drive Device Sales: Developing Android Applications     22

    Taking Advantage of All Android Has to Offer     22

    The Android Marketplace: Where We’re at Now     22

Android Platform Differences     23

    Android: A Next-Generation Platform     24

    Free and Open Source     25

    Familiar and Inexpensive Development Tools     25

    Reasonable Learning Curve for Developers     26

    Enabling Development of Powerful Applications     26

    Rich, Secure Application Integration     26

    No Costly Obstacles to Publication     27

    A “Free Market” for Applications     27

    A Growing Platform     28

The Android Platform     29

    Android’s Underlying Architecture     29

    Security and Permissions     31

    Developing Android Applications     32

Summary     35

    References and More Information     35

Chapter 2  Setting Up Your Android Development Environment     37

Configuring Your Development Environment     37

    Configuring Your Operating System for Device Debugging     39

    Configuring Your Android Hardware for Debugging     39

    Upgrading the Android SDK     41

    Problems with the Android Software Development Kit     41

Exploring the Android SDK     42

    Understanding the Android SDK License Agreement     42

    Reading the Android SDK Documentation     43

    Exploring the Core Android Application Framework     43

    Exploring the Core Android Tools     46

    Exploring the Android Sample Applications     50

Summary     52

    References and More Information     52

Chapter 3  Writing Your First Android Application     53

Testing Your Development Environment     53

    Adding the Snake Project to Your Eclipse Workspace      54

    Creating an Android Virtual Device (AVD) for Your Snake Project     56

    Creating a Launch Configuration for Your Snake Project     58

    Running the Snake Application in the Android Emulator     59

Building Your First Android Application     62

    Creating and Configuring a New Android Project     62

    Core Files and Directories of the Android Application     65

    Creating an AVD for Your Project     65

    Creating a Launch Configuration for Your Project     66

    Running Your Android Application in the Emulator     67

    Debugging Your Android Application in the Emulator     69

    Adding Logging Support to Your Android Application     73

    Adding Some Media Support to Your Application     74

    Debugging Your Application on the Hardware     78

Summary     80

    References and More Information     81

Chapter 4  Mastering the Android Development Tools     83

Using the Android Documentation     83

Leveraging the Android Emulator     85

Viewing Application Log Data with LogCat     86

Debugging Applications with DDMS     87

Using Android Debug Bridge (ADB)     87

Using the Resource Editors and UI Designer     88

Using the Android Hierarchy Viewer     91

    Launching the Hierarchy Viewer     92

    Working in Layout View Mode     92

    Optimizing Your User Interface     94

    Working in Pixel Perfect Mode     94

Working with Nine-Patch Stretchable Graphics     95

Working with Other Android Tools     98

Summary     99

    References and More Information     100


Chapter 5  Understanding the Anatomy of an Android Application     103

Mastering Important Android Terminology     103

Using the Application Context     104

    Retrieving the Application Context     104

    Using the Application Context     104

Performing Application Tasks with Activities     106

    The Lifecycle of an Android Activity     106

Organizing Activity Components with Fragments     111

Managing Activity Transitions with Intents     113

    Transitioning Between Activities with Intents     113

    Organizing Application Navigation with Activities and Intents     115

Working with Services     116

Receiving and Broadcasting Intents     117

Summary     117

    References and More Information     118

Chapter 6  Defining Your Application Using the Android Manifest File     119

Configuring Android Applications Using the Android Manifest File     119

    Editing the Android Manifest File     120

Managing Your Application’s Identity     124

    Versioning Your Application     125

    Setting the Application Name and Icon     125

Enforcing Application System Requirements     125

    Targeting Specific SDK Versions     126

    Enforcing Application Platform Requirements     129

    Working with External Libraries     130

    Other Application Configuration Settings and Filters     131

Registering Activities in the Android Manifest     131

    Designating a Primary Entry Point Activity for Your Application Using an Intent Filter     132

    Configuring Other Intent Filters     132

    Registering Other Application Components     133

Working with Permissions     133

    Registering Permissions Your Application Requires     133

    Registering Permissions Your Application Enforces     134

Exploring Other Manifest File Settings     135

Summary     136

    References and More Information     136

Chapter 7  Managing Application Resources     137

What Are Resources?     137

    Storing Application Resources     137

    Resource Value Types     138

    Accessing Resources Programmatically     142

Setting Simple Resource Values Using Eclipse     143

    Working with Different Types of Resources     146

    Working with String Resources     146

    Using String Resources as Format Strings     147

    Working with String Arrays     149

    Working with Boolean Resources     149

    Working with Integer Resources     150

    Working with Colors     151

    Working with Dimensions     152

    Working with Simple Drawables     153

    Working with Images     154

    Working with Animation     156

    Working with Menus     158

    Working with XML Files     159

    Working with Raw Files     160

    References to Resources     161

Working with Layouts     162

Referencing System Resources     167

Summary     168

    References and More Information     168


Chapter 8  Exploring User Interface Screen Elements     171

Introducing Android Views and Layouts     171

    Introducing the Android View     171

    Introducing the Android Controls     171

    Introducing the Android Layout     172

Displaying Text to Users with TextView     173

    Configuring Layout and Sizing     173

    Creating Contextual Links in Text     174

Retrieving Data from Users with EditText     176

    Retrieving Text Input Using EditText Controls     176

    Constraining User Input with Input Filters     178

Helping the User with Autocompletion     179

Giving Users Choices Using Spinner Controls     181

Allowing Simple User Selections with Buttons, Check Boxes, Switches, and Radio Groups     183

    Using Basic Buttons     184

    Using CheckBox and ToggleButton Controls     186

    Using RadioGroup and RadioButton     187

Retrieving Dates and Times from Users     190

Using Indicators to Display Data to Users     191

    Indicating Progress with ProgressBar     192

    Adjusting Progress with SeekBar     194

    Displaying Rating Data with RatingBar     194

    Showing Time Passage with the Chronometer     195

    Displaying the Time     196

Summary     197

    References and More Information     198

Chapter 9  Designing User Interfaces with Layouts     199

Creating User Interfaces in Android     199

    Creating Layouts Using XML Resources     199

    Creating Layouts Programmatically     201

Organizing Your User Interface     203

    Using ViewGroup Subclasses for Layout Design     204

    Using ViewGroup Subclasses as View Containers     204

Using Built-in Layout Classes     205

    Using FrameLayout     207

    Using LinearLayout     209

    Using RelativeLayout     211

    Using TableLayout     214

    Using GridLayout     216

    Using Multiple Layouts on a Screen     220

Using Container Control Classes     220

    Using Data-Driven Containers     221

    Organizing Screens with Tabs     226

    Adding Scrolling Support     229

    Exploring Other View Containers     230

Summary     231

    References and More Information     231

Chapter 10  Working with Fragments     233

Understanding Fragments     233

    Understanding the Fragment Lifecycle     234

    Working with Special Types of Fragments     237

    Designing Fragment-Based Applications     238

Using the Android Support Package     247

    Adding Fragment Support to Legacy Applications     247

    Using Fragments in New Applications Targeting Older Platforms     248

    Linking the Android Support Package to Your Project     248

Summary     249

    References and More Information     250

Chapter 11  Working with Dialogs     251

Choosing Your Dialog Implementation     251

Exploring the Different Types of Dialogs     252

Working with Dialogs: The Legacy Method     253

    Tracing the Lifecycle of a Dialog     254

    Working with Custom Dialogs     256

Working with Dialogs: The Fragment Method     257

Summary     260

    References and More Information     260


Chapter 12  Using Android Preferences     263

Working with Application Preferences     263

    Determining When Preferences Are Appropriate     263

    Storing Different Types of Preference Values     264

    Creating Private Preferences for Use by a Single Activity     264

    Creating Shared Preferences for Use by Multiple Activities     265

    Searching and Reading Preferences     265

    Adding, Updating, and Deleting Preferences     266

    Reacting to Preference Changes     267

    Finding Preferences Data on the Android File System     267

Creating Manageable User Preferences     268

    Creating a Preference Resource File     269

    Using the PreferenceActivity Class     270

Summary     273

    References and More Information     273

Chapter 13  Working with Files and Directories     275

Working with Application Data on the Device     275

Practicing Good File Management     276

Understanding Android File Permissions     277

Working with Files and Directories     277

    Exploring with the Android Application Directories     278

    Working with Other Directories and Files on the Android File System     282

Summary     284

    References and More Information     284

Chapter 14  Using Content Providers     285

Exploring Android’s Content Providers     285

    Using the MediaStore Content Provider     286

    Using the CallLog Content Provider     288

    Using the Browser Content Provider     289

    Using the CalendarContract Content Provider     291

    Using the UserDictionary Content Provider     291

    Using the VoicemailContract Content Provider     291

    Using the Settings Content Provider     292

    Using the Contacts Content Providers     292

Modifying Content Providers Data     297

    Adding Records     297

    Updating Records     298

    Deleting Records     298

Using Third-Party Content Providers     299

Summary     300

    References and More Information     300

Chapter 15  Designing Compatible Applications     301

Maximizing Application Compatibility     301

Designing User Interfaces for Compatibility     303

    Working with Fragments     305

    Leveraging the Android Support Package     305

    Supporting Specific Screen Types     305

    Working with Nine-Patch Stretchable Graphics     306

    Using the Working Square Principle     306

Providing Alternative Application Resources     308

    Understanding How Resources Are Resolved     308

    Organizing Alternative Resources with Qualifiers     309

    Providing Resources for Different Orientations     316

    Using Alternative Resources Programmatically     316

    Organizing Application Resources Efficiently     316

Targeting Tablets, TVs, and Other New Devices     318

    Targeting Tablet Devices     318

    Targeting Google TV Devices     319

Summary     321

    References and More Information     321


Chapter 16  The Android Software Development Process     325

An Overview of the Mobile Development Process     325

Choosing a Software Methodology     326

    Understanding the Dangers of Waterfall Approaches     326

    Understanding the Value of Iteration     327

Gathering Application Requirements     327

    Determining Project Requirements     327

    Developing Use Cases for Mobile Applications     329

    Incorporating Third-Party Requirements     330

    Managing a Device Database     330

Assessing Project Risks     333

    Identifying Target Devices     333

    Acquiring Target Devices     335

    Determining the Feasibility of Application Requirements     336

    Understanding Quality Assurance Risks     336

Writing Essential Project Documentation     337

    Developing Test Plans for Quality Assurance Purposes     338

    Providing Documentation Required by Third Parties     338

    Providing Documentation for Maintenance and Porting     338

Leveraging Configuration Management Systems     339

    Choosing a Source Control System     339

    Implementing an Application Version System That Works     339

Designing Mobile Applications     340

    Understanding Mobile Device Limitations     340

    Exploring Common Mobile Application Architectures     340

    Designing for Extensibility and Maintenance     341

    Designing for Application Interoperability     342

Developing Mobile Applications     342

Testing Mobile Applications     343

Deploying Mobile Applications     343

    Determining Target Markets     344

Supporting and Maintaining Mobile Applications     344

    Track and Address Crashes Reported by Users     345

    Testing Firmware Upgrades     345

    Maintaining Adequate Application Documentation     345

    Managing Live Server Changes     345

    Identifying Low-Risk Porting Opportunities     345

Summary     346

    References and More Information     346

Chapter 17  Designing and Developing Bulletproof Android Applications     347

Best Practices in Designing Bulletproof Mobile Applications     347

    Meeting Mobile Users’ Demands     348

    Designing User Interfaces for Mobile Devices     348

    Designing Stable and Responsive Mobile Applications     349

    Designing Secure Mobile Applications     351

    Designing Mobile Applications for Maximum Profit     351

    Leveraging Third-Party Quality Standards     352

    Designing Mobile Applications for Ease of Maintenance and Upgrades     353

    Leveraging Android Tools for Application Design     354

Avoiding Silly Mistakes in Android Application Design     355

Best Practices in Developing Bulletproof Mobile Applications     355

    Designing a Development Process That Works for Mobile Development     356

    Testing the Feasibility of Your Application Early and Often     356

    Using Coding Standards, Reviews, and Unit Tests to Improve Code Quality     357

    Handling Defects Occurring on a Single Device     359

    Leveraging Android Tools for Development     360

    Avoiding Silly Mistakes in Android Application Development     360

Summary     361

    References and More Information     361

Chapter 18  Testing Android Applications     363

Best Practices in Testing Mobile Applications     363

    Designing a Mobile Application Defect Tracking System     363

    Managing the Testing Environment     365

    Maximizing Testing Coverage     367

    Leveraging Android Tools for Android Application Testing     374

    Avoiding Silly Mistakes in Android Application Testing     375

Summary     376

    References and More Information     376

Chapter 19  Publishing Your Android Application     377

Choosing the Right Distribution Model     377

    Protecting Your Intellectual Property     378

    Billing the User     379

Packaging Your Application for Publication     380

    Preparing Your Code for Packaging     380

    Packing and Signing Your Application     382

    Testing the Release Version of Your Application Package     384

    Distributing Your Application     385

Publishing on the Android Market     385

    Signing Up for a Developer Account on the Android Market     385

    Uploading Your Application to the Android Market     387

    Uploading Application Marketing Assets     388

    Configuring Application Listing Details     388

    Configuring Application Publishing Options     390

    Configuring Application Contact and Consent Information     390

    Publishing Your Application on the Android Market     392

    Managing Your Application on the Android Market     392

Publishing Using Other Alternatives     393

Self-Publishing Your Application     394

Summary     395

    References and More Information     395


Appendix A  The Android Emulator Quick-Start Guide     399

Simulating Reality: The Emulator’s Purpose     399

Working with Android Virtual Devices (AVDs)     401

    Using the Android Virtual Device Manager     402

    Creating an AVD     403

Launching the Emulator with a Specific AVD     407

    Maintaining Emulator Performance     407

    Configuring Emulator Startup Options     408

    Launching an Emulator to Run an Application     408

    Launching an Emulator from the Android Virtual Device Manager     410

Configuring the GPS Location of the Emulator     411

Calling Between Two Emulator Instances     413

Messaging between Two Emulator Instances     415

Interacting with the Emulator through the Console     416

    Using the Console to Simulate Incoming Calls     416

    Using the Console to Simulate SMS Messages      416

    Using the Console to Send GPS Coordinates     418

    Using the Console to Monitor Network Status     418

    Using the Console to Manipulate Power Settings     418

    Using Other Console Commands     419

Enjoying the Emulator     419

Understanding Emulator Limitations     420

    References and More Information     421

Appendix B  The Android DDMS Quick-Start Guide     423

Using DDMS with Eclipse and as a Standalone Application     423

Getting Up to Speed Using Key Features of DDMS     424

Working with Processes, Threads, and the Heap     425

    Attaching a Debugger to an Android Application     425

    Stopping a Process     426

    Monitoring Thread Activity of an Android Application     426

    Monitoring Heap Activity     427

    Prompting Garbage Collection     428

    Creating and Using an HPROF File     429

Using the Allocation Tracker     430

Working with the File Explorer     430

    Browsing the File System of an Emulator or Device     432

    Copying Files from the Emulator or Device     432

    Copying Files to the Emulator or Device     433

    Deleting Files on the Emulator or Device     433

Working with the Emulator Control     434

    Simulating Incoming Voice Calls     434

    Simulating Incoming SMS Messages     434

    Sending a Location Fix     435

Taking Screen Captures of the Emulator and Device Screens     435

Working with Application Logging     436

Appendix C  Eclipse IDE Tips and Tricks     439

Organizing Your Eclipse Workspace     439

    Integrating with Source Control Services     439

    Repositioning Tabs within Perspectives     440

    Maximizing Windows     440

    Minimizing Windows     440

    Viewing Windows, Side by Side     440

    Viewing Two Sections of the Same File     441

    Closing Unwanted Tabs     441

    Keeping Windows Under Control     441

    Creating Custom Log Filters     441

    Searching Your Project     442

    Organizing Eclipse Tasks     442

Writing Code in Java     443

    Using Autocomplete     443

    Creating New Classes and Methods     443

    Organizing Imports     443

Formatting Code     444

Renaming Almost Anything     444

Refactoring Code     444

Reorganizing Code     446

Using QuickFix     446

Providing Javadoc-Style Documentation     446

Resolving Mysterious Build Errors     447

Index     449


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We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020