In order to prepare a future army of developers for the new direction technology has headed in, smartphones and tablets, Google has announced a website offering free Android programming courses. It is called Android Training, and is a collection of 34 lessons broken down into 11 sections, all resembling tutorials in blog post form complete with illustrations and sample code.
What You'll Learn
Each section is broken down into certain issues a developer may run into when building their Android app, such as designing for the range of screen sizes available (Ice Cream Sandwich can be run on multiple platforms, such as tablets versus phones), audio playback, incorporating a way to share information within the app with others via email, text, or social media sites, taking pictures, navigation tips, and more. There is even a section on monetizing your app.
Within each lesson is a new problem for the user to solve, providing sample code you can use within your own app. Learn in one lesson ways to optimize battery life, and in another how to develop an app created specifically for a business. Google feels the program is a great way to get new Android developers in while the technology is becoming red hot, bringing new ideas and apps to the Android Market for the masses to actually enjoy. Many Android users complain that they have a poor selection of decent, quality apps that look nice. Maybe this will be the solution for that problem.
There is even a collection of links to use for reference, such as a list of how to perform a variety of common tasks in Android like the use of map query attributes and setting preferences for storage and retrieval, code samples, and relevant articles. There are also links to forums and the Android Developers' Twitter account, where you can chat with other developers if you get stuck, and receive updates about happenings in the world of the Android developer.
Know A Bit About Programming
Wonder if these courses are right for you? Me, too. After going through a few of the lessons, it was determined you must know at least the basics about not only programming in general, but common lingo as well. You could learn as you go, I guess, but it's kind of hard to be a carpenter your whole life and then one day take these Android Training courses and all of a sudden be an Android app guru. Sorry.
If you know a thing or two about programming, jump right in. You will find code snippets and screen shots galore, and the information is quite useful. For example, the second set of lessons is “Improving Layout Performance,” and covers a few key factors to create a useful app, such as assuring the transitions page to page don't take up a boatload of memory on the system, resulting in a significant slowdown of graphics in transition.
More To Come
Google states that they plan to release more lessons slowly over time if the program seems to be a success, probably in the next few months. It remains to be seen whether or not they can attract the developer of the next breakthrough Android app, but that is the goal. iOS: watch out.