The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development Version 6.9 Released

Subscribers now have access to the latest release of The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development, known as Version 6.9, in all formats. Just log into your Warescription page and download away, or set up an account and subscribe!

This update:

  • Adds a new chapter on the Assist API, the API that enables Android 6.0’s Now On Tap feature. This chapter includes how you can tailor the information exposed to Now On Tap (including how to protect sensitive content), plus how you can create your own Now On Tap-style assistant.

  • Adds a new chapter on the media projection APIs. The chapter at the moment focuses on screenshots; a future update will add screencasts (video) as well.

  • Adds a new chapter on integrating with the Play Services SDK. This includes now-current instructions for how to detect whether Play Services is there, how to try to trigger updates to Play Services if needed, and how to blend in Android 6.0 runtime permission detection in with all of that.

  • Updated the Maps V2 chapter and fused location provider chapter to take into account the revised material on integrating with the Play Services SDK.

  • Adds a new chapter on embedding a Web server in your app, for diagnostic tools, utilities, and the like.

  • Expands the material on Android 6.0’s Doze mode, including the roster of ways to help work with Doze to save battery while still allowing your app to do what it needs to do.

  • Includes a rewritten permissions chapter, so the Android 6.0 runtime permission coverage is not just “bolted on” to older material.

  • Improved the runtime permissions tutorial, based on a few live code labs and post-6.0 release information, to simplify the process in spots and handle other issues (e.g., configuration changes) as needed.

  • Added basic coverage of Android Studio 1.4, in terms of the installation and onboarding process, plus updates to key wizards (new-project, new-activity, etc.).

  • Adds some material on ACTION_PROCESS_TEXT for adding your app into the standard Android 6.0+ floating action mode for EditText (and, conversely, how to try to block that from happening where needed).

  • Updated some old prose, fixed bugs, and the like.

Also, this update continues the slow process of de-Eclipse-ifying the book. In particular, over the next several book releases, all existing book samples will be moved over to native Android Studio-style directory structures. This makes the projects more natural for people who started on Android Studio, but does mean that developers still using Eclipse with the ADT Plugin will not be able to use the projects.

In addition, the chapter on GCM was removed, as it was seriously out of date. Existing subscribers may wish to hold onto their copy of Version 6.8, if they want to keep the last copy of the GCM chapter for background material.

Version 7.0 will be out in mid-December. My primary goal is to update the Android Studio coverage for stuff beyond the basics, as more and more tools are moving inside Android Studio and away from predecessors in DDMS and the like. I also hope to cover the data binding library, if it ships in final form in the next few weeks. Also planned is to complete the media projection API coverage with how to record screencasts and other bits of goodness. These plans are subject to change, particularly if Google releases something of substance tied in with their late-November event in Mountain View.

Nervous about how the newest version of Android affects your app? Consider subscribing, then asking questions in the office hours chats!