The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development Version 6.3 Released

Subscribers now have access to the latest release of The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development, known as Version 6.3, in all formats. Just log into your Warescription page and download away, or set up an account and subscribe!

This update includes:

  • Moving coverage of Android Studio and Gradle for Android to 1.0. This includes overhauling the first couple of tutorials to deal with the new Android Studio setup process. This also includes warnings that Google has discontinued Eclipse support.

  • Initiated coverage of Material Design. Right now, the focus is on the core themes, the impacts of Theme.Material on widgets and the action bar, and the application of tints. Additional Material Design technical coverage, such as elevation and its relationship to things like RelativeLayout, will come in future updates. However, the focus of the book will be on engineering aspects, not design aestethics, as I have the design acumen of your average hamster.

  • Overhauled the AppCompat chapter to update it for the now-current release. This not only includes the new Material-ish action bar but the AppCompat tints of select Theme.Holo widgets.

  • Moved the chapters that touch on Play Services to the new granular dependencies. In particular, this involved modifying all of the Maps V2 samples (and the associated chapter), to cover getMapAsync(). I also removed the action bar list navigation from the Maps V2 samples, as action bar navigation has largely been deprecated.

  • Updated the coverage of greenrobot’s EventBus, particularly moving to the latest version and switching to NoSubscriberEvent instead of ordered events to handle “update the UI or raise a Notification” patterns.

  • Removed the Nokia X chapter, may it rest in peace.

  • Various bug fixes and other minor improvements.

The next update is tentatively slated for late January 2015.

Note that a few items are targeted for removal next year:

  • Eclipse instructions in the tutorials will probably be removed in mid-2015. Eclipse information elsewhere will remain, perhaps switching to covering the Eclipse Andmore distribution. However, I am only going to maintain tutorials for official IDEs, because maintaining the tutorials is a pain in various body parts.

  • The ActionBarSherlock chapter will be pulled sometime in early 2015, as the project is formally deprecated.

Want an expert opinion on your Android app architecture decisions? Perhaps Mark Murphy can help!