There’s a lot of best Android books for application development. I will go through some of the books that I have bought since I started developing apps about 2 years ago. Depending on your programming knowledge, most books assume that you have at least programming experience since Android is developed in Java. One thing that I have found after reading each book in my collection is, authors have different strength and style on how they present their materials. So, as a word of caution, do not depend on one book only. Get more than one book so that you can get a combined experience from different authors. Also, these books are not for android game development which is way different from application development.
My very first book was Beginning Android 2. It is an easy to read book even if you have little or no background in Java or any other OOP programming language. Myself, I did not have much work exerience in Java but I was able to pick up the concept within no time. The book provides solid start and covers enough ground to help you jump into coding your first app right away. One thing I was struggling with before buying this book was a way to make a user interact with different app levels known as activities and subactivities. On chapter 17 and 18, the author gave a very simple and easy to follow explanation that I was able to comprehend.
With only less than 400 pages, the book delivers a lot of information on XML base layouts, using references, building content providers, and many other topics with example codes. That is very helpful. I bought this book from Amazon for less that $27 and if the book is on prime list and you are a prime member, shipping is free.
The second book which is also one of my favorite is Professional Android 2 Appication Development. Many people who wants to jump into app development think that they can find everything online. Yes, you can find a lot of tutorials online but the resources lack one thing, organization. You loose a lot of time going from one website to another looking for tutorials and sometimes the contents on those tutorials are not covered in depth.
Diveded into fundamentals and advanced topics, the book is well organized and gives you plenty of sample codes from each chapter so you can practice along the way in order to fully understand the material and the power of android platform. One example that got me going was the to-do list application. The author did a very good job emphasizing the concepts from start to finish and I was able to learn every aspect in that example.
So far, this book has been an excellent resource for me since it touches all features and core of android app development. I bought this book from Amazon because it was cheaper than my local book stores and I got free shipping because I am a prime member.
Like any other product, these two books have some cons too. There are few spelling errors, some code might not run right away (depending on your development evironment), code examples are continuation from previous chapter, to get full code examples, you need to go online, and few other minor shortcomings. To me, the good things I have learned from each book out weigh the few bad errors. As I said earlier, authors have their own way of presenting materials. I don’t pay too much attention into that since I can adopt whatever style is presented to me very easily.
So, if you are new to Android application development, Beginning Android 2 and Professional Android 2 Appication Development are the best Android development books I strongly suggest. These books cover fundamentals and advanced features necessary for developing android applications. Use any of my associate links to Amazon to get your book if this is what you are really want to learn application development today.