Saturday, 14 September 2013

Book Review: Android Development Tools for Eclipse by Sanjay Shah, Khirulnizam, Abd Rahman

I have been reading Android Development Tools for Eclipse book by Sanjay Shah, Khirulnizam, Abd Rahman. This book is published by PACKT Publishing. I really enjoyed reading this Book and i have learned lot of new and interesting things about Android development platform using Eclipse IDE and various steps in order to package, signing and distribute the android application (APK) into the Google Play App Store . This book contains eight chapters with 150 pages and my review for this book as follows.

The First Chapter: Installing Eclipse, ADK and SDK explains about the introduction on android platform. Installation instruction for JDK (Java Development Toolkit) , Android Development Toolkit (SDK) and Eclipse Juno IDE for the windows platform. Installation steps are very clearly explained with the help of snapshot images. Finally this chapter ends by integrating the Android Development Toolkit plugin into the Eclipse IDE.

The Second Chapter: Important Features of the IDE explains about the various important tools available in Eclipse IDE and in ADT Environment that is useful for developing an Android application. Following are those tools:  Project explorer, Code editor, Graphical user interface designer, Properties window, Debugging pane, Dalvik Debug Monitor Server (DDMS), SDK manager, Android virtual device manager and finally running the application in the emulator. Every IDE tool  and their configurations are well explained using snapshot images.

The Third Chapter: Creating a New Android Project explains about the creation of new android application using Eclipse IDE. This application contains 
 creation of a basic form with label, textbox and button elements, and by clicking the button, the text entered in the textbox will be displayed in the Toast Message. It also explains about various project configuration settings like Application Name, Project Name, Activity name etc in order to create a new android project in Eclipse IDE. Finally this chapter ends by running the application in Emulator and real android device. 

The Fourth Chapter: Incorporating Multimedia Elements explains about the addition of various multimedia elements like audio, video, imageView, ImageButton and HTML content into the form. It also explains about the creation of another activity class (screen), Finally this chapter ends on explaination about passing data from one activity class to another activity class using Intent class.

The Fifth Chapter: Adding RadioButton, CheckBox, Menu and Preferences explains about the addition of menus, radio button, checkbox form elements in to the form. Its explains by creating an Distance Calculator application which will convert the distance entered from kilometer/meter into mile/yard. It also explains about creating a preference screen which is used for configuring application specific settings.

The Sixth Chapter: Handling Multiple Screen Types explains about  adapting the Distance Calculator application for various android device screens. Each android device comes with different screen size. It explains about fragmentation and how to reuse the same UI layouts for both landspace and portrait screen mode. This chapter also explains about various steps required in order to adapt your android application for tablets.

The Seventh Chapter: Adding an External Library explains about  integrating the AdMob advertising platform into the Distance Calculator application. It explains about creating an AdMob account and entering your site, Application and other information in order for Admob Advertising Network to know about your application . It also explains about downloading the AdMob SDK and integrate the AdMob SDK into the distance calculator application.

The Final Chapter: Signing and Distributing APK explains about packaging the Distance Calculator application, signing and distribute the application into the Google Play App Store. It covers about various key things that you need to take care before signing your application like providing meaningful application name, disable debugging mode, adding version number and so on. It also explains about generating the private key and signing the application using the private key in order to generate the APK file. Finally this chapter ends on explaination about publishing the APK file into Google App store.

This book is for those whose would like to create the Android Application using Eclipse Juno IDE. You can learn some useful tips and tricks that can help in our everyday life while working with Eclipse IDE. This book also covers about packaging, signing, and distribute the android application into Google Play App Store. I like the way book explained about various things  using snapshots for each and every step.

If you are a beginner and intermediate developer in Android Development platform and willing to learn about creation of Android Application using Eclipse IDE in a detailed way. This is the book for you. Hope, you enjoyed this Post.

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