Let’s say you have decided to learn a new platform. You start reviewing hello world tutorials and searching for the best books on the subject. You spend some time reading reviews of the top rated books on Amazon. Perhaps you narrow down your choices to a short list of two or three books. Which one should you buy? Your time is limited and you are not looking to start a library of books that will just take up space on your shelf. Does this sound familiar?
If you are getting stared with Android, look no further. The rest of this article will explain why The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development by Mark Murphy is my recommendation as the best Android book. (Note: this article is part of a series. Click here to read the introduction.)
Up To Date
If you click over to the website for The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development, you are going to start seeing information about The Warescription. The book itself is delivered as an eBook when you buy a one year subscription.
You may be thinking do I want a subscription to a technical book? The answer is yes. Yes you do. The truth is when I started writing my first Android App, I bought a hard copy of a highly rated book from Amazon. This book was a good introduction to Android. The problem was that it was out of date by the time the UPS man delivered it to my door.
The Android platform is under active development. New versions of Android are being shipped multiple times a year. Mark Murphy has you covered. He actively monitors the changes that Google is making to Android through articles like this. Then he releases a timely update to his book.
You may be old enough to remember when thick technical tomes came with a CD with example code inside the cover. These CDs were a nice addition to the book and could save a lot of typing.
One of the benefits of The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development is all the code samples it comes with. Of course, these days the code samples are hosted on github. The code samples are concise and illustrate the points being made in the book well. It is helpful to be able to read about the concepts from the book and then to be able to see a working example. You can then explore the source code in the context of the background material from the book.
There is a saying that applies to The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development.
Price is what you pay, value is what you receive.
If the frequent updates and extensive code samples haven’t convinced you of the value of the Warescription, just wait there is more. The more in this case comes in the form of office hours. The office hours take place in an online group text chat session. If you have specific questions, Mr. Murphy is available to answer them during office hours.
I appreciate physical books but when it comes to technical books, I am sold on the eBook format. The PDF format of Version 6.3 of The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development tips the scales at 2987 pages. The Android platform is huge. No single book could cover every detail, but this book covers a lot of ground. I wouldn’t want to carry around a paper version of the full book, but I have printed out relevant chapters here and there.
The book also comes in epub, mobi and APK formats. I most often use the PDF format and the APK format. It is nice to have the PDF book open in a separate window while working on code. The APK format is nice to read on a tablet when you don’t want to take up extra space on your monitor.
Conclusion, The Busy Coder’s Guide is the Best Android Book
The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development is a perfect fit if you are going to be building an Android App as a side project. By definition you don’t have unlimited time to dedicate to your side project. Between the writing in the book and the sample code, this book will get you up to speed quickly. The updates that are published will cover what you need to know about up and coming versions of the Android platform. Mark Murphy has truly over delivered on this book.