To begin programming with Android, you need a computer that runs one of the following operating systems:
You also need to download the Android SDK (which is free) and the Java Development Kit (or JDK, which is also free), if you don't already have them on your computer. I explain the entire installation process for all the tools and frameworks in Chapter 3.
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. However, because Android applications are developed in the Java programming language, I expect you to be familiar with that language. You don't have to be a Java guru, but you should understand the syntax, basic data structures, and language constructs. Also, because XML is also used to define various resources inside Android applications, I advise you to have some understanding of that language before you begin. I don't expect you to be an expert in these languages, however. I started in Android with a background in C#, having worked only with Java in college nearly ten years earlier, and I fared just fine.
You don't need a physical Android device, because all the ...