Last Updated: June 7th, 2011

To help aspiring Android developers get off the ground and develop our next dream app, Android Police has partnered with O'Reilly Media, one of the largest technical book publishers, to give away a multitude of Android books to our readers. Each week or so for the next few months, we'll be giving away a different O'Reilly Android book, asking for nothing but a minute of your time in return.

Learning Android

The first book in the list is Learning Android by Marko Gargenta, released by O'Reilly in March 2011.

The book starts from the basics and goes into details of the Android user interface, preferences, Intents, options, file system, services, database, lists, adapters, broadcast receivers and listeners, content providers, system services, and even the NDK (native development kit for C++ development).

The learning approach chosen in this book is the best one I can personally think of - you will be building a Twitter-like Android application from the ground up, adding features along the way in each chapter.

The book is valued at $35, though it's currently on sale on Amazon for $21.77.

Grab the sampler, which includes the full table of contents and the first few pages from here.


Want to build apps for Android devices? This book is the perfect way to master the fundamentals. Written by an expert who's taught this mobile platform to hundreds of developers in large organizations, this gentle introduction shows experienced object-oriented programmers how to use Android’s basic building blocks to create user interfaces, store data, connect to the network, and more.

You'll build a Twitter-like application throughout the course of this book, adding new features with each chapter. Along the way, you'll also create your own toolbox of code patterns to help you program any type of Android application with ease.

  • Get an overview of the Android platform and discover how it fits into the mobile ecosystem
  • Learn about the Android stack, including its application framework, and the structure and distribution of application packages (APK)
  • Set up your Android development environment and get started with simple programs
  • Use Android’s building blocks—Activities, Intents, Services, Content Providers, and Broadcast Receivers
  • Learn how to build basic Android user interfaces and organize UI elements in Views and Layouts
  • Build a service that uses a background process to update data in your application
  • Get an introduction to Android Interface Definition Language (AIDL) and the Native Development Kit (NDK)

How To Win

The contest is now over, and the winners have been posted here.

Some of you have been asking for a contest that does not involve social media, and this time we'll give you just that.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment here in this post (not on Facebook) and provide a compelling reason why you should be the one to win this book.

The winner will be selected by the Android Police and O'Reilly panel after May 31st 11:59 p.m. PT and notified via email. Make sure you use your real email in the comment, as that's what we'll use to contact the winner.

Oh, and I try to fight for this every time we do a giveaway, so I'm glad to report that this giveaway is open to anyone in the world!

Good luck, may the best aspiring developer win!

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://odoe.net Rene Rubalcava

    I'd love to nab this to dive right in to building native Android apps. I'm even really interested in the C++ NDK and what I could do with that.
    I don't want to just out AIR apps on Android, I want to get native with it!

  • Jason Taylor

    Being a daily android user, I'd love to get into the development side of things. Having this book would do just that. I've played with Google App Inventor, but I want to know more!

  • Pritesh

    I'm creating a 'Cataract Eye Detection' software which will help diagnose people affected with cataract easily. The current software works on PC.
    But I'd like to port it to android so that a cheap and portable device can be made. This will make it ubiquitous.

  • linjo

    I love android apps and I am hardcore fan of Oreilly

  • Saby

    Android is awesome and I want to master it. Also Oreilly books are the best

  • Craig

    I would love the book because I am tech savvy, but currently in a dying industry. If I could learn to develop for Android it could quite literally turn my life around and give me a direction to go forward and support my family.

    • Kane

      What industry are you in?

  • Alex

    I collect OReilly books, I can live in a house built of those. Want to learn Android programming too.

  • Ismael

    I would like to start developing for Android and this book would help me.

  • David K. Schandler

    I am teaching my daughter, 10 years old, how to program. I think this would be a great resource for the task. She loves to learn from a book and not just take what daddy says as being the right way :-) Apparently, once they hit 9, daddy is not always right any longer.

  • Peter

    I would like to start developing for android and O'Reilly books are great! Also, it's great that this give away is not JUST open to the USA and the rest of us have a chance to win!!!

  • Chris

    This would be PERFECT for me. I'm very interested in getting started developing apps, and this seems like the best book for the jerb.

  • Riccardo

    I'd love to have this book because I'd like to learn to develop for the Android platform. I got a Samsung Galaxy Tab as a present and fell in love with Android. It is really the best platform out there. Its simplicity, its openness and the incredible multitudes of shapes it can takes (hey, just take a look at how many launchers are there!) are just wonderful.
    Android is the OS of the future: reliable, extremely customizable to your needs, and open source.
    Maybe, some time in the future, I will be able to develop something to support further studies and to pay the university bill - which is really, really, really expensive. Anyway, I'd like to write applications which may be useful for people with diseases. My grandfather is almost blind and making a phone call is a pain for him.

  • RobertG

    Because I love O'Reilly Books and I have a great idea for an app. I'll even give you credit in my about page. :)

  • Anaphora

    Because I want to make a Android port of sendmail. Thanks.

  • Alex Josue

    I like reading great books on programming, here in Arequipa Peru most books are translated, so they lose sintactic sugar in the traslation, so reading of an original one is excellent!
    Even better right now, because in PerĂº the market for Smartphones is rising and I'll be a step ahead at knowing how to program in Android.

  • http://www.ehartwell.com Eric Hartwell

    Because it's always a good idea to know what you're doing, even after you start.

  • Ross Burnett

    I need this book because I believe you really can teach an old dog new tricks.