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About this book

Get your first Android apps up and running with the help of plain English and practical examples. If you have a great idea for an Android app, but have never programmed before, then this book is for you. Android Apps for Absolute Beginners cuts through the fog of jargon and mystery that surrounds Android app development, and gives you simple, step-by-step instructions to get you started.

This book teaches Android application development in language anyone can understand, giving you the best possible start in Android development. It provides clean, straightforward examples that make learning easy, allowing you to pick up the concepts without fuss. It offers clear code descriptions and layout so that you can get your apps running as soon as possible

Although this book covers what's new in Android 7, it is also backwards compatible to cover some of the previous Android releases.

What You'll Learn

Download, install, and configure the latest software needed for Android app development

Work efficiently using an integrated development environment (IDE)

Build useful, attractive applications and get them working immediately

Create apps with ease using XML markup and drag-and-drop graphical layout editors

Use new media and graphics to skin your app so that it has maximum appeal

Create advanced apps combining XML, Java and new media content

Who This Book Is For

If you have a great idea for an Android app, but have never programmed before, then this book is for you. You don’t need to have any previous computer programming skills — as long as you have a desire to learn and you know which end of the mouse is which, the world of Android apps development awaits.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. An Introduction to Android 7.0 Nougat

Abstract
These days, you will see Android OS powered devices of every size and shape everywhere you look. They can be worn on your person, thanks to Android WEAR; used in an appliance, thanks to Android TV; and they are a part of your car, thanks to Android AUTO. Android devices will provide you entertainment in your living room taking the form of your iTV set; help you learn at school using a tablet; inform you in bed using an e-book reader; or excite you on the couch using an Android game console, such as the OUYA, the Razer Forge, or the nVidia Shield.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 2. Setting Up an Android Studio Development System

Abstract
These days, you see Android operating system powered devices of every size and shape, everywhere you look. These can be worn on your person; used in home appliances; as a part of your car; or providing entertainment in your living room, taking the form of your iTV set, or a tablet, an e-book reader, or even an Android game console.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 3. An Introduction to the Android Studio Integrated Development Environment

Abstract
During this chapter, we will take a look at how the Android Studio development environment and platform works. Android OS has moved away from using the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE) with Android Development Tools (ADT), and as of 64-bit Android 5.0 and later, has adopted the IntelliJ IDEA (Integrated Development Environment Application). We installed IntelliJ as part of Android Studio 2.3 in the previous chapter, and have already used some of its configuration tools and dialogs, such as the SDK Manager, to configure it for basic Android application development usage.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 4. Introduction to XML: Defining Android Apps, UI Design, and Constants

Abstract
During this chapter, we will take a closer look at how Android’s XML capabilities allow application developers, and more importantly, application designers, to define their Android 7 application user interface (UI) design, styles, themes, constants, permissions, icons, activities, services, and how they function within the Google Play e-storefront, all without having any knowledge of Java programming. Of course, I am going to teach you Java programming in this book, starting with the next chapter, but you could hire people to do just Android 7 design, and all they would have to know is how to use the XML and Visual Design Editor features that we are going to learn about during this chapter. It is important to note that these same XML concepts that you will be learning in this chapter apply to both the 32-bit Android 4.4.4 OS as well as to the 64-bit Android 5.0, 5.1, 6.0, 7.0, and to the new Android 7.1.1 OS.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 5. Introduction to Java: Objects, Methods, Classes, and Interfaces

Abstract
The programming language used for developing your Android applications is Oracle's Java SE, which was created by Sun Microsystems and later acquired by Oracle. As you learned in Chapter 2, Java SE stands for Java Standard Edition, though many programmers shorten this to just "Java." Java is what is called an object-oriented programming (or “OOP”) language, which you are going to learn all about during this chapter. It is important to note that all of these Java programming concepts, components, and constructs that you will be learning during this Java primer chapter will apply equally well to both the 32-bit Android 4.4.4 OS; as well as to the 64-bit Android 5.0 OS, released in 2014; Android 6.0 released in 2015; Android 7.0, released in the fourth quarter of 2016, and Android 7.1.1, released in the first quarter of 2017.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 6. Android User Interface Design: Using Activity, View, and ViewGroup Classes

Abstract
Now that you’ve been exposed to the Android 7 operating system and have seen how it works from a high-level view, using XML and Java, and how these are used in Android application development, the next thing we need to do is take a closer look at how Android addresses, or writes things to, a device screen, to display UI and content.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 7. Making Apps Interactive: Events and Intents

Abstract
User interface designs are built upon the foundation of the Activity superclass as well as the View and ViewGroup superclass, as you learned in Chapter 6.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 8. Android Design Patterns: UI Design Paradigms

Abstract
Android Studio includes a number of popular user interface design approaches, called "patterns," as pre-coded Activity subclasses found in the Create New Project series of dialogs that you used during Chapter 3.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 9. Android Graphic Design: Making UI Designs Visual

Abstract
In the first half of this book, I tried to stay as much "inside" of Android Studio, the Android API, and Android OS as much as possible, so that we can get the IDEA to either code or help us design as much of an application as possible. This approach still gives you a good "head start" on the core classes, methods, and design concepts that an Android 7 developer should have knowledge of, and eventually mastery of. I am trying to give you the global overview of what the main components are in Android, and how everything in Android OS fits together.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 10. Android Animation: Image and Procedural Animation

Abstract
In the previous chapter on graphic design, I covered two-dimensional (2D) concepts, such as pixels, resolution, and aspect ratios, as well as three-dimensional (3D) concepts, such as layers, color channels, and their z-order. In this chapter, we are going to take all of that knowledge into the fourth dimension (4D), which is time, and discover how to implement animation concepts, including motion and frame rates. We are again going to build upon all of these fundamental graphics design concepts you learned about in the previous chapter, because you can also apply all of these foundational digital imaging concepts to animation. Thus we will be taking static (motionless) graphics concepts from the previous chapter, and turning them into motion graphics, which can look even more realistic because it looks like the subject matter is moving (animated), and therefore achieves even more realism.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 11. Digital Video: Streaming Video, MediaPlayer, and MediaController Classes

Abstract
In the previous chapter covering 2D Animation, we implemented motion graphics in Android and digital image file formats such as PNG or JPEG in conjunction with XML constructs to create frame-based animation, as well as using procedural (tween or vector) animation to rotate, scale, move, and fade UI elements.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 12. Digital Audio: Sequencing Audio Using SoundPool

Abstract
Digital audio is a bit different from digital imagery and digital video as you can't see it; you have to rely on your ears. Instead of using waves of light, as color does, digital audio uses waves of sound, and as such, the technical fundamentals are completely different. If you are new to digital audio, part of this chapter will cover the theory and the concepts behind digital audio, as well as the plethora of digital audio codecs, that is, audio file formats, which are supported in Android, as well as what each of them will be used for inside of an Android application.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 13. Android Services and Threads: Background Processing

Abstract
This is one of the most complex topics in Android OS, and not generally touched upon by Absolute Beginners; however, to cover Android development thoroughly, I had to include it, so these last two chapters will be somewhat advanced. This is because this topic involves advanced concepts like binding, synchronization, processes, processor cycles, threads, access control, permissions, and similarly advanced OS layer (under the hood, at a core OS kernel level) topics, as these are all accomplished using the Linux Kernel (the lowest operating system layer) for the Android 7.1.1 OS.
Wallace Jackson

Chapter 14. Android Content Providers: Datastore Concepts

Abstract
The topics have become significantly more advanced as you have progressed from one chapter to the next over the course of this book, and this chapter is no different. Data structure access is significantly more complex than event handling, multimedia content, or UI design.
Wallace Jackson
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