I FIRST STARTED PLAYING WITH THE ANDROID SDK before it was officially released as version 1.0. Back then, the tools were unpolished, the APIs in the SDK were unstable, and the documentation was sparse. Fast forward two and a half years, Android is now a formidable mobile operating system, with a following no less impressive than the iPhone. Having gone through all the growing pains of Android, I think now is the best time to start learning about Android programming — the APIs have stabilized, and the tools have improved. But one challenge remains: getting started is still an elusive goal for many. It was with this challenge in mind that I was motivated to write this book, one that could benefit beginning Android programmers and enable them to write progressively more sophisticated applications.
As a book written to help jump-start beginning Android developers, it covers the necessary topics in a linear manner so that you can build on your knowledge without being overwhelmed by the details. I adopt the philosophy that the best way to learn is by doing — hence the numerous Try It Out sections in each chapter, which first show you how to build something and then explain how everything works.
Although Android programming is a huge topic, my aim for this book is threefold: to get you started with the fundamentals, to help you understand the underlying architecture of the SDK, and to appreciate why things are done in certain ways. It is beyond the scope of any book to cover ...