Android™ App Development Training Course
Our Android™ App Development course is the fast track to developing Android apps. It will take you to a level where you can develop just about any medium-complexity app. This course is very hands-on and entails development of an example application resembling the Twitter app we call Yamba: Yet Another Micro Blogging App. Through the development of this sample application, you will learn how to architect and implement a typical app that has an elegant UI, uses web services to access cloud applications, has a database for storing data locally, is secure and works on any form factor: from smartphone to tablet and TV. This Android™ App Development course will teach you when and how to use Android's main building blocks for developing any application: activities, services, providers and receivers. You will also get an introduction to best practices and how to debug and test your application. Topics in this course include:
- Activities, and User Interface
- Menu & Action Bar
- Advanced User Interface
- Broadcast Receivers
- Lists and Adapters
- Content Providers and Loaders
- Testing Overview
4 days.Android™ App Development is composed of the following:
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Build your own Android apps
- Understand how Android™ applications work, their life cycle, manifest, Intents, and using external resources
- Design and develop useful Android™ applications with compelling user interfaces by using, extending, and creating your own layouts and Views and using Menus.
- Take advantage of Android's Application Framework API to build complex applications.
- Utilize the power of background services, threads, and notifications.
- Use Android's communication APIs for SMS, telephony, network management, and internet resources (HTTP).
- Secure, tune, package, and deploy Android™ applications
This course is designed for software developers interested in designing, creating, deploying, and testing applications for the Android™ mobile phone platform. It is valuable to both novices and gurus, who already have experience in developing mobile applications for other platforms.
To take this course, you must know Java. You should be able to answer most of the following questions:
- What is a difference between a class and an object?
- What is the difference between static and non-static field?
- What is the difference between extends and implements keywords?
- What is an anonymous inner class?
- What is the purpose of @Override?
To refresh your Java skills you can review Marakana's Fundamentals of Java tutorial to get up to speed.
Additionally, knowledge of Eclipse is required. You could watch this 30-minute tutorial to get up to speed with Eclipse.
Aleksandar Gargenta is the technology brains at Marakana. Always on top of the latest in software, Aleksandar is the company's radar for technology that matters. His latest ventures are perfecting Marakana's Android Internals and Security courses.
Phew. And if that's not enough, he's also the chief architect of Marakana Spark, the on-demand software platform that powers marakana.com and a number of other training companies. As an instructor he's taught hundreds of classes for everyone from Apple to Disney, from NASA to the Department of Defense.
In his spare time Aleksandar runs the San Francisco Java, Android, and HTML5 User Groups with over three thousand members across the three groups.
Aleksandar holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Waterloo. He is also a father, photographer, hiker, and a race-car driver :-)
Blake is an engineer with more than 20 years of experience, much of it with Java. He's built systems as large as Amazon's massively scalable AutoScaling service and as small as a pre-Android OSS/Linux and Java based platform for cell-phones.
He's currently deep in Android. Blake is co-author of three books on Android, including O'Reilly's best-selling, "Programming Android" and the Wiley's upcoming "Enterprise Android".
Blake writes the popular and informative blog "Portable Droid"More about G. Blake Meike...
Marko founded Marakana back in 2001 to help underprivileged youth, minorities, and inner-city kids learn web technologies and get ahead in life. So Marakana emerged with goal of helping people get better at what they do professionally, focused on open source software training.
Marko is the developer of Marakana Android Training series. He has taught Android for companies such as Sony-Ericsson, Qualcomm, Ericsson Canada, and many others. Marko is a co-founder of San Francisco Android Users Group and regularly teaches Android Bootcamp at Marakana.
Marko is author of Learning Android book published by O'Reilly Media. This book is based on Android Bootcamp and incorporates best learning practices for new developers to start creating applications for this exciting open source mobile platform.
Marko is also the co-chair of Android Open, an O'Reilly conference focusing on Android ecosystem.
In 2006 Marko Gargenta published "PHP and MySQL By Example", a collection on PHP examples. The book was published by Prentice Hall, world's largest technology publisher and has been also translated to Spanish.
Marko Gargenta obtained his Bachelor of Mathematics Degree from University of Waterloo (Canada's MIT) and has been developing in Java since 1996. He lives in San Francisco, California.More about Marko Gargenta...
Activities and User Interface (3 hours)
In this module, you will learn how to create basic user interface in Android. You will learn that there is a declarative (XML-based) as well as programmatic (Java-based) approach to creating Android UI. Additionally, you will learn about activities, one of the most important building blocks for Android apps. You will explore at length the lifecycle of an activity as it is highly managed by the system and is important to understand from performance point of view. Topics in this module include:
- Two ways to create Android UI: XML versus Java approach
- Main view properties: width, height, ids, strings, and more
- Structure of UI: Views and Layouts
- Linear Layout vs. Relative Layout vs. Frame Layout vs. Absolute Layout
- Localization of UI
- Best practices for targeting various form factors: phone, tablet, TV
- Handling UI events: a bit about listeners
- Best practices when working designing Android UI
Action Bar and Navigation (90 minutes)
Your app is a collection of various "screens", implemented as activities. You also may have a few services, and other features that require a button to click to activate. Android offers a standardized method for managing menus and navigation across various components of your app in its Action Bar framework. In this module, you will learn how to use Action Bar to implement navigation in your app. Topics include:
- What Action Bar is
- Enabling the Action Bar
- Removing the Action Bar
- Adding Action Items
- Split Action Bars
- Using the App Icon for Navigation
- Implementing the "Go Home" App Icon Feature
- Implementing "Up" Navigation with the App Icon
- Adding Navigation Tabs
- Adding Drop-down Navigation
Preferences (90 minutes)
Your app often needs to store some user data for future use. For example, it needs to know user's login information for an online service, or other settings. Android framework offers a system for just doing that in form of Preferences. In this module, you will learn how to use preferences within your app. Topics include:
- Overview of preferences
- Preference resource: defining what you'll store locally
- Preference activity: displaying the preference screen
- Reading in the preference values
- Programmatically editing the shared preferences
- Registering for preference changes via a listener
- Filesystem overview: where are the files stored and is it secure
Advanced UI (90 minutes)
This module introduces some of the advanced UI techniques that will make your user interface, and experience stand out of the rest. Topics include:
- Create activity layouts programmatically
- Incorporate layout resources into a programmatic layout
- Account for a device's screen resolution when programmatically setting screen dimensions
- Designing for performance
- Designing for multiple form factors
- Testing and optimizing UI
Services (3 hours)
An Android application is just a collection of various building blocks. Services are one of the major such blocks. They represent something working in the "background" in your app. By background, we mean it is not visible, but is crucial to the functionality of you app. In this module you will learn what services are, when to use them, how they work, and how to implement them. Topics covered include:
- Overview of Android services
- Service lifecycle
- Declaring a service
- Registering a service
- Starting and stopping a service
- Threads and other concurrency considerations with services
- Bound versus unbound services
- Remote versus local services
Broadcast Receivers (3 hours)
Broadcast receivers are Android's publish-subscribe mechanism that. It is an essential part of most Android apps. In this module, you will learn when to use broadcast receivers, how to implement them, as well as register them for intent actions. Topics covered include:
- Broadcast receiver usage patterns: when and why to use them
- Implementing a broadcast receiver
- Registering a broadcast receiver via the manifest file
- Registering a broadcast receiver programmatically
Content Providers (3 hours)
An Android app by default cannot access another app's data. This is the cornerstone of Android security, the principle of sandboxing. But often, you do want an app to share some data with others. Content providers are such an interface to data so that the data cab be mashed together across apps. In this module, you will learn how to design and develop content providers. Topics covered include:
- Why content providers: an overview
- Using existing content providers: creating client code that can read and modify the data managed by a content provider
- Creating a content provider: implementing a basic content provider to expose structured data to other applications
- Intelligent data loading: using loaders to retrieve a Cursor from a content provider without blocking your application's main thread
Lists and Adapters (90 minutes)
Android apps often have to deal with data, and frequently large amounts of it as well. Think an email client, opening up a mailbox of tens of thousands of emails. Given that the screen itself is rather small, and network connection often limited, the intelligence of how to efficiently handle large data sets on the screen is crucial to many apps. To help with that, Android offers a number of selection widgets, such as a list view. It also provides for a management of data that such widget display in a form of adapters. In this module, you will learn how to work with Lists and Adapters. Topics covered include:
- Overview of selection widgets
- Working with lists
- Working with adapters
- Implementing a list view and connecting it with an adapter
- Creating custom item views
- Creating custom view bindings
Fragments (3 hours)
Android runs on variety of devices, from phones with small screen sizes, to tablets and large-screen TV sets. Fragments in a nutshell represent a smaller part of a user interface that could take a whole screen, or be part of a larger UI. By creating and using fragments, your app can adapt to variety of devices and screen sizes. In this module, you will get a solid overview of fragments and will learn how to design them, develop them, and use them both statically and dynamically. Topics covered include:
- What is a fragment: an overview and motivation
- The compatibility package: targeting pre-Honeycomb devices
- Fragment lifecycle
- Creating a fragment class
- Creating a fragment layout
- Statically including fragments in an activity
- Dynamically attaching fragments
- Handling run-time configuration changes
- Retaining Fragments Across Activity Re-Creation
- Using Fragments with no Layouts
- Finding Fragments
- Fragment Operations
- Performing Fragment Transactions
- Managing the Fragment Back Stack
- Integrating Fragment Action Bar/Options Menu Items
- Integrating Fragment Action Bar/Options Menu Items (example)
- Communication Between the Fragment and the Activity
- Best Practices: Loose Coupling of Activities and Fragments
- Best Practices: Define Fragment Interfaces to Invoke Activity Behavior
- Best Practices: The Activity as a Switchboard
- Advanced Fragment Initialization
- Implementing Dialogs Using Fragments
- Using a Fragment-Based Dialog
- Fragment-Based Preference Management
- Additional Fragment Subclasses
Testing Overview (3 hours)
Testing is an important part of any app development. There are many facets of testing, such as unit testing, performance, or functional testing. In this module, you will get an overview of various tools that Android supports for testing apps. Topics covered include:
- Testing guidelines: why test and what to test
- JUnit framework: general overview of unit testing and Java's JUnit framework
- Android's unit testing framework: focus on Android JUnit extensions and how to use them to unit test your code
- Using the exercise monkey test tool: pseudo-randomly testing the UI
- Using monkeyrunner tool: scripting functional test cases for your app
- Other testing tools and frameworks: the third-party resources
[top] Additional Notes
Android Meetup Organized by Marakana
Marakana team organizes and runs the San Francisco Android Users' Group - an interactive group of Android developers. In our monthly meetings, we discuss Android landscape from both technology and business angles. We often have great presentations by industry experts, group discussions, as well as hands-on sessions. If you are in San Francisco Bay Area, we encourage you to join the group and meet other Android developers.
Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Permissions.
[top] Student Testimonials
Well organized and well presented. Tremendous amount of information was coherently presented in three days. Would like to see more in depth information on testing.
I can't think of how it could of been better... unless you can just download the info straight into my brain. I really like the zooming and 'lazer pointer' usage. It really helps draw the focus to the important parts.
I rarely had such an excellent presentation/course seen in the past - on all aspects! The presenter and his thorough knowledge on the theme together with his presentation skills but also the material handed out
He presented the material very clearly.
Ken Jones knows his stuff. I asked a question one morning, and the answer included two prewritten sample applications illustrating exactly my question. His pacing is excellent, and the way he steps through things encourages good habits. He not only taught about android, but also how to continue learning about the subject.
It has been an excellent class so far. Very challenging as expected. The instructor has been amazing in his ability to effectively teach individuals with very diverse skill levels so they were able to meet their learning goals, work at their own pace, yet go through the entire content. His explanations are very clear. I am really enjoying the Yamba example as it goes step by step through the topics in a logical manner. A great jumpstart!
The attendees came into the class with very mixed expectations about the scope, but Ken did a good job of trying to address both beginner and advanced topics in a limited amount of time. Was very impressed at his willingness to put in extra work and adapt the course to our needs on the fly!
I loved the training because of the "update-to-date"-"latest-and-greatest" information surrounding the Android OS as well as how to code it fast and effortlessly in Eclipse.
Ken did a great job of explaining the material and covering topics of interest.
Our instructor Marko Gargenta was really good.
I think the class was excellent.
Ken is truly an amazing instructor. He is not only knowledgeable but he makes the class fun. To my surprise, after 8 hours of training I feel refreshed instead of tired. Facilities and the training setup is also excellent.
Great program, thanks!