The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development Version 6.8 Released

Subscribers now have access to the latest release of The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development, known as Version 6.8, in all formats. Just log into your Warescription page and download away, or set up an account and subscribe!

First, here is what has been added:

  • Version 6.7 added an appendix on the M Developer Preview. Version 6.8 updates that for Android 6.0. Some of the material that had been in the appendix has moved to more permanent homes, with links to that material from the appendix.

  • I have added a standalone tutorial, independent from the EmPubLite series, for upgrading an app to use the new Android 6.0 runtime permission model. Given a starting app that uses the camera to take pictures and record videos, the tutorial will help you progressively add the logic to that app to handle requesting runtime permissions, both up-front and on-demand. I will be going through this tutorial live at droidcon NYC 2015 and DC DevFest 2015.

  • Android Studio 1.3 was released since the last book update, so this update tweaks the book, particularly Tutorial #1 and Tutorial #2, for Android Studio 1.3.

  • I have added a new chapter on the Android 5.0+ native Toolbar widget, plus a corresponding section in the appcompat-v7 chapter on the Toolbar backport

  • I have also added a new chapter on the Design Support library and its alternatives for Material Design elements: FABs, snackbars, and TabLayout. Other elements of the Design Support library will be added to this chapter in future book updates.

  • The book has had two chapters devoted to the camera for a while: how to use third-party code to work with the camera and how to use the android.hardware.Camera API. I have updated those chapters with an eye towards the Android 5.0+ android.hardware.camera2 API.

  • I split the original chapter on SharedPreferences into two, adding an advanced preferences chapter to the trails. A lot of additional material was added to these chapters, including dependent preferences, nested preference screens, etc.

  • I added a sample of using OkHttp’s native API, which for many people will be an easier alternative to HttpUrlConnection as an escape route from the deprecated-and-removed HttpClient API.

  • Various other chapters were updated, such as the chapter on SQLCipher, along with the typical roster of errata fixes.

Now, here are the other changes:

  • The chapters on AlarmManager and NotificationManager were moved into the trails. Courtesy of Google’s “war on background processing”, any sort of background operation is definitely an advanced topic.

  • Similarly, I removed what had been Tutorial #17 and Tutorial #18 from the EmPubLite series, as they covered AlarmManager and NotificationManager. The former Tutorial #19 is the new Tutorial #17.

  • I have removed the Eclipse instructions from the tutorials, as the first pulse in a gradual de-Eclipse-ification of the book.

  • For some reason, changebars are showing up on a lot of the code listings, despite the fact that I did not change the code for those samples. I apologize for the additional noise in the change reporting.

Version 6.9 should be released in the latter half of October 2015, barring something huge happening in the world of Android requiring a faster book update.

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