Stack OverflowGood book for beginning android development
[+94] [30] Geos
[2009-07-11 17:57:35]
[ android books ]

Hi guys Can somebody suggest the best book or online resource for beginning android apps development?


(4) I keep a fairly up to date list of all Android application development books here: However, I don't try to track which have ebook editions, though I suspect most of them do. I wrote a few on the list, so my opinion as to which are good will be biased... BTW, the second on your list above is a brand-new third edition, which may be why you're not seeing comments. - CommonsWare
Thanks CW. By the way, if I buy subscription to your website, will I be able to download the book in pdf? - Richard Knop
[+62] [2009-07-11 18:08:32] Tom

Hello I would 100% recommend this :

It's a yearly subscription giving you access to three android books which are kept up-to-date as a PDF or Kindle copy. They are updated when changes are required such as a new SDK release.

The guy that makes the books is also very active here on StackOverflow.

(13) Oh, and thanks for the recommendation! - CommonsWare
No problem mark. Its a great set of books! - Tom
[+61] [2009-07-11 18:08:25] Pauk [ACCEPTED]

The Dev Guide [1] on the Android Developer's site is pretty good. There is an Android Basic's section to get you started.

As for a book, try Android Application Development [2], published by O'Reilly.


(2) The dev page is very good for the basic stuff, however I would recommend further reading of some sort for the advanced stuff. - Tom
Good point, but Geos was after beginning development, so its a good place to start from. - Pauk
(1) Comments on the page indicate this book is about Android 1.1, while phones are being released with 2.2 - Thom Wiggers
(3) @The Guy Of Doom - My answer was posted over a year ago. Things can change quickly in that time. - Pauk
The link to the O'Reilly book is broken. - Daniel C. Sobral
@Daniel C. Sobral - Thanks, fixed with a link to Amazon. - Pauk
@Pauk - do you have a link to the an error-free project repo resorted to in the Oreilly book. I tried the link that the book gives and it turned out to be an error in it and since I do not know much of Eclipse IDE I abandoned the book. Here is the link that I followed - - fixxxer
@fixxxer - I'm sorry, I don't. - Pauk
Note that O'Reilly has another book, "Programming Android", which is booooooring, VERY verbose and covers everything about Java (not enough for a beginner and too much for a seasoned programmer) before even touching Android. My advice: steer clear. @Pauk: I almost gave you -1 because I though you are recommending this book. ;) - johndodo
[+21] [2009-07-12 13:01:59] Reto Meier

There's a lot of excellent resources both online and in printed form. I've listed a bunch of them in answer to another Stack Overflow question: How Can I Learn Android? [1]

I'd start with the Developer's Guide [2] on the Android Developers site. It explains all the fundamentals and includes several worked examples that can help introduce you to how the various Android features fit together. The sample Code [3] section provides a bunch of working Android applications that should help you get a feel for Java and Android.

If books are more your thing there's a bunch of Android titles, though most assume at least a working knowledge of Java syntax. I'll take the opportunity to personally vouch for my own title, Professional Android Application Development [4].


+1 This is the other book I forgot to mention. Its the only Print copy of an Android book I have and its very good. Actually, most Wrox books are good and I tend to go for these books. - Tom
I also agree that Professional Android Application Development is an excellent book (I have the second edition)! - BoD
Haven't paid much attention to books related to Android, but one of my colleagues swears by this book. - Abhinav
This is one of the resources I used while learning android. Very big help, but there are some typos that my trip you up along the way. - metric152
[+12] [2009-09-16 22:40:51] Brandon

For the very basics maybe start off with the Android Developer Guide [1]. It's free online documentation, so its a good place to start.

After that, maybe take a look at [2]. You'll be able to purchase 3 books that are kept up to date in pdf form.


(3) Thanks for the kudos! - CommonsWare
Thanks for the links! I am just getting started with Android - Tim Post
[+12] [2010-01-10 04:56:08] Samuh

I have read Mark Murphy's(a.k.a

Busy Coders Guide to Android development [1]

and as a beginner, I found it very helpful and easy to follow. He has written three books [2] on Android. Besides getting a hard copy of his books you can get a warescription under which you will get acess to soft copies(pdfs) of all his books.

I have also read and found

Professional Android Application Development [3] by Reto Meier

very useful.


(1) + 1 on both choices. Both authors have great content, however, i think distribution model is way better. You download PDFs without wasting paper + you get free updates for a year and 3 books. - Alex Volovoy
[+7] [2010-01-09 22:32:37] fupsduck

"Pro Android" is fantastic and will get you off to the right start:

[+6] [2010-04-21 12:44:21] Steve Haley

You can also check out the books [1] by CommonsWare [2] a very helpful member of the Android community here on SO. They're available as eBooks and in print. I haven't read them, but judging by his answers on SO he knows his stuff.


The CommonsWare books have been very helpful for me, as well as the glut of tutorials that come along with it. But it's the good kind of glut :) - Adam
Thanks for the shout-out! - CommonsWare
No problem, you've helped me before so it's the least I can do. - Steve Haley
[+5] [2009-09-16 23:46:06] MannyNS

I have 5 books in my collection, and Top 2 as of September 2009 are:

  1. "Professional Android Application Development" [1] by Reto Meier

    /* Decent book with a lot of useful examples. Not perfect though, but the best one available at the moment. Reto Meier is also one of the Stack Overflow users [2]. */

  2. "Hello, Android" [3] by Ed Burnette

    /* Lightweight. It offers a quick introduction to the main concepts on the phone. Reportedly, the new version of the book includes Cupcake editions (or at least, it is Cupcake compliant) */

Unfortunately, none of the books that I have covers native development on Android.

While I obviously recommend the books above, I would highly recommend downloading the source code [4], because you will quickly read what you need from the books, and you will still need more information. So, get the code and dive in it.


I had Hello Android. It's a pretty good quick-intro, but it doesn't go very deep at all. I'd really recommend spending your $30 on another title. - fiXedd
[+4] [2010-01-10 03:32:08] crv

I found Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform, 2nd Edition [1] rather helpful. Consider this a one week introduction to the Android Mobile Platform.


[+4] [2011-04-30 14:45:19] Satya Komatineni

I am just coming out of battered-and-bruised-battle of completing the third edition of ProAndroid 3 (covering in reasonable depth Honeycomb).

As a co-author of three books (subsequent editions) covering Android, I am realizing that it is impossible to cover Android fully by any one author. Each author has a different strength and focus.

I believe it is worthwhile to invest in a number of books as you are indeed buying the combined experience of those authors. For instance it took me 3 years to learn and write down what I know. Not to mention the tech reviewers etc.

Having said that here is a link detailing the table of contents for ProAndroid 3

[+3] [2009-09-17 05:13:19] Rexxars

I personally like Reto Meier's Professional Android Application Development [1] a lot. I feel it explains things better than most other books, some of which feel like they've just rewritten the Android documentation with some code thrown in here and there.


[+3] [2010-03-30 00:23:18] Rachel

I use this books and are very helpful:

  1. Android Wireless Application Development [1]
  2. Professional Android Application Development [2]
  3. Hello, Android [3]

[+3] [2010-08-06 11:34:45] Stephan Branczyk

'Hello Android' 3rd edition by Ed Burnett [1] just came out in print this end of July 2010, make sure you get that one while it's still fresh. That book contains the clearest definitions and has no mistakes in its installation instructions or its code samples (which is really rare these days). It covers Android 2.2 (Froyo) and uses a Sudoku Game as its main example.

It's absolutely perfect for the very beginner. The only drawback is that the volume is pretty slim. So if you've been playing with Android for a couple of weeks/months already, this may not be the best book for you. There are books for reference. There are books for learning. This book is for learning, starting to learn especially.


[+2] [2009-07-12 13:20:30] STW

I can't vouch for this specific title from them, but I've had good luck with Manning publications--so their book, Unlocking Android [1], might be a good one to look at.

Android is still a young platform though, so dead-tree copies of material are likely to become out of date fast. My .02 cents is that Pauk's [2] answer is the best; the online materials will stay up to date and are freebies :)


[+2] [2009-09-16 23:02:33] Bostone really rocks. By far the most comprehensive reading and I really enjoy the style too

(1) Thanks for the feedback! - CommonsWare
[+2] [2010-01-09 22:24:24] Erich Douglass

I personally liked "Unlocking Android: A Developer's Guide, 1st edition" (here is its 2nd edition [1]). It's definitely oriented toward people who are new to Android. I've also read good things about the books sold by [2], but I haven't personally read them yet - those are next on my list.


[+2] [2011-04-18 14:11:56] the_dark_destructor

Have a look to the Pro Android 3 [1] book (available in few days). I think that is best book out there now. Is the first one taking in account also honeycomb. Hope this helps.


[+1] [2009-09-29 19:37:33] Riussi

I second that. Reto Meiers book is great for starting out with Android. Easy to follow and explains things better than most other books.

[+1] [2009-12-05 14:01:33] user225405

I've got every Android book that's available EXCEPT the latest O'Reilly book which I browsed and didn't find to be more unique than others.

I have Reto Meiers book and like it.

I also have Mark Murphy's Busy Coder's Guides and like them also. You can get them at

There is another book I have that I probably use more than any of them: "Unlocking Android: A Developer's Guide" by Manning Publishers. Its excellent at explaining things and the examples are also substantial.

[+1] [2010-02-16 09:46:43] Yeti

Check Dev Guide section on [1]

Also there is a Video tutorials on Videos section.


[+1] [2010-04-21 12:23:32] Tim Coker

If you're interested primarily in ebooks, check out Safari books online. They have the second book you linked, but not the first.

I've used it for years and love it. Depending on your subscription level you get full access to thousands of ebooks. They're all searchable and such. The search engine isn't necessarily the best, but its helpful. I'm going through the process of getting a corporate subscription here at work for my group.

For the record, I'm not a shill, just a happy customer/user.

[+1] [2010-04-21 13:32:26] Dave Webb

Reto Meier's Professional Android 2 Application Development is available as an eBook [1].


[+1] [2010-05-06 19:53:06] rascalking

I liked Ed Burnette's Hello Android [1]. The third edition (the one I read) is currently available as a beta ebook, and covers everything through 2.1. The print copies are due in July, presumably to give him time to update it with whatever's in Froyo once it's announced at Google I/O.


[+1] [2010-05-07 00:52:24] zandroid

Surprisingly, there doesn't appear to be as much books about android programming as one would think given the tremendous growth and interest in the platform. Perhaps they're cooking in the oven? I would say there is currently less than a dozen android programming books out there, all but three or so are up to date with 2.1. Take a walk into a typical Barnes-N-Noble bookstore and you might find one or two books about Android programming to about a few dozen iphone programming books. That said, Mr. Murphy's online books are a good choice to get up and running quickly. His style is to build small samples line by line and describe what each line of code is doing and why. If you go with his subscription books, don't bother buying his books from Apress publishing since they are basically the same material.

[+1] [2010-10-17 18:12:29] Zoltan H

I reviewed Apress' Beginning Android 2 a few months back. Like many Apress books, this book has a lot of code samples and screen-shots, so it's pretty easy to follow along. If you check out the page on APress' site, there's a preview so you can get an idea if the book is for you.


[+1] [2011-04-10 10:32:40] Preetam

one of the best book is

"Learning Android By Marko Gargenta, O'REILLY Publications"

from scratch to building apps.. videos are also available at to get you going with the book...

[0] [2009-09-17 08:59:08] Niko Gamulin

I started with Reto Meier's Professional Android Application Development as well. I had no previous experience and the book was really good to get a basic understanding of the platform. In the book yo can find example code as well which is also very good for a beginner's level.

[0] [2011-02-04 21:33:12] Ryan

While I understand this is a book thread, if you learn more by doing, highly recommedn you run through the entire Notepad Tutorial [1]. Great if you're new to Android and if you're not too comfortable with Eclipse. I found it helpful at the end of each stage (3 in all) to put everything away and try to program it yourself.


[0] [2011-03-11 11:23:34] user655240

Here's a book which I'm sure you'll enjoy. It claims to help developers understand the principals of a good user-interface design, and implement the best user interfaces on an Android mobile device. You can read more about it here

[0] [2011-03-15 11:48:10] chinz

if anyone wants any code on basic examples on android development ,please feel free to message me on my stackoverflow id I will send you some basic codes

also you can refer to site for some examples

you can also refer to