Last Updated: June 22nd, 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 Android book offered by O'Reilly, asking for nothing but a minute of your time in return.

Hello, Android (3rd Edition)

The second book in the list is Hello, Android (3rd edition) by Ed Burnette, released by Pragmatic Bookshelf in August 2010. Ed Burnette, who can be found at @eburnette on Twitter, is a software developer, analyst, one of ZDNet's Dev Connection bloggers, and a friend of Android Police.

Hello, Android will get you started creating your first working application: Android's version of "Hello, World." From there, you'll build up a more substantial example: an Android Sudoku game. By gradually adding features to the game, you'll learn the basics of Android programming. You'll also see how to build in audio and video support, add graphics using 2D and 3D OpenGL, network with web pages and web services, and store data with SQLite. You'll also learn how to publish your applications to the Android Market.

The #1 book for learning Android is now in its third edition. Every page and example was reviewed and updated for compatibility with the latest versions. Freshly added material covers installing applications to the SD card, supporting multi-touch, and creating live wallpaper. You'll also find plenty of real-world advice on how to support all the Android versions in use today-everything from Cupcake (Android 1.5) to FroYo (Android 2.2) and beyond.

If you'd rather be coding than reading about coding, this book is for you.

The book is valued at $35, though it's currently on sale on Amazon for $19.17.

Here are the preface, full table of contents, and a few samples.


Here's the top review of this book on Amazon (by Steve K. Oliver II) that 92 out of 92 people found helpful so far:

I've read several books on Android from cover to cover, and skimmed several others, and "Hello, Android" is hands-down the best introduction to Android development.

Here's why I say that --

You really can get through the book in a day or two. The explanations are clear, the topics focus on what's relevant to getting started in Android development, and when you're done you have the skills to dive into the SDK to continue learning.

There is a consistent example project that is developed throughout the book. I found this very helpful, because it showed me how all the different parts fit together. For example, launching activities from an existing activity, using multiple classes in your project, adding preferences, etc.

There are very few (if any) "gotchas" in this book. I followed the examples step by step without any problem. I think some people have used the book's online forum to ask about which packages to import, but when I used Eclipse it was done automatically for me. (By the way, all the files are also online.)

Even after having many months of Android development under my belt, I find that I still refer back to this book from time to time. That's saying something for a book that sets out to be an introduction.

Remember, this book is a great introduction. If you already know Android and are looking for a deep-dive, look elsewhere. But if you are curious about all the excitement around Android and have a few hours to spare, spend them with this book and find out what developing in Android is all about.

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 answer this question: "What attracts you to development for Android instead of all the other platforms out there (iOS, WP7, etc)?"

The winner will be selected by the Android Police and O'Reilly panel after June 11th 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.

  • 5c13nc3

    I appreciate the flexibility of Android and the range of devices. The future of everyone's favorite little green robot looks huge, learning programming for Android just makes sense.

    The creativity and talent of Android developers never ceases to amaze me and I want to join the ranks, even if I never hit it big.

    I have a few models models and textures designed for an original 3D action/strategy game, along with all the game mechanics and rules...my last hurdle to making it happen is the mountain of programming!

  • allan

    well, at the moment i really don't know what to make. i got some tools but not much of a knowledge and would like to win this book to get things started and learn. i would like to really take advantage of how the system lets the user create its own fantasy phone into real life. i would like to share my knowledge once i know more of what to do and this book would let me exceed that.

  • Aung

    Because Android is the future.

  • James

    Android provides the open platform and high level hardware control that makes fast and efficient programs. Hardware improves extremely fast so apps can improve faster.

  • James

    Simple: Android is the most open, the fastest growing, and the most accessible mobile platform today

  • Alfred

    Because we all know that google is on its way to world domination and I want to get on its good side.

  • Justin C

    because Google is taking over the world! Seriously. What do you think would happen if Google went down for just 5 minutes? The world would descend into chaos. Android being the OS of that influential company should be the medium to which world domination is achieved. I want to be part of that. :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/tfelix81 Travis Felix

    The openess! The ability to create anything that my mind can create. To be able to make something that makes my life better or easier and then give it to the masses and improve their lives or daily interactions. To know that something a made can be that influential. My mind races!

  • Jim Roth

    What attracts you to development for Android instead of all the other platforms out there is that it's new, it's cool, but most importantly, it's the future. One of the principal tenets of innovation is competition. The Android platform has seeded a new generation of application developers, and that has spurred competitors to up their game dramatically. It's very exciting to watch.

  • Trinhbo

    What attracts me to development on Android is the openness of both the platform as well as both the user and development communities.

  • http://metaphyzxx.com Joseph Richardson

    I like the idea that a quality idea can be expanded on by the open source development environment. Plus the android market is the fastest growing mobile platform

  • http://therommistress.com TheRomMistress

    The android platform is so versatile and fun to play with. Not to mention, the Android Community is always welcome to new ideas and are great at supporting their Devs! Plus, you can release work w/o having to go through Jobs & be approved for "iTunes"

  • StarLog

    The Android OS is going to overcome the Apple, I want to work on an OS that does not have so many restrictions as the Apple does. Please give me this, and I will take apic. of the book above my head.

  • scott benson

    I have a disability that allows me to only have access to low paying jobs. I know that learning this would allow me the to have more in life than what I can offer my family now. I can't afford to buy this book if I don't win it. This could just the opportunity that i have been looking for.

  • bobertCRO

    Because its the best :)

  • parahelium

    Because I am a poor college student can't afford $99/year apple developer fee. Now I really need the book to jump start my first Android app to cover my $25 Android developer fee.

  • http://amimu.blogspot.com amimu

    Android being open and having many choices of phones is attractive for a wider demographics. It will be surely become a very popular platform over developing world as well as US/Europe.

  • dgpurple95

    I'm currently going to school for computer science, and I'd really like to add this knowledge to my resume when I'm done. I have an EVO 4G and I really enjoy the Android apps that I can choose from! I truly believe that Android is the way to go! The fact that it is open, and just about anyone is able to learn it and create something with it, makes it that much more interesting.

  • jmc

    the fact that I can customize almost anything on the phone

  • danielbrzn

    Android is an open platform and there are many APIs that are made available for use by applications which I believe is very important in development. There is a also a wide variety of hardware to develop for which I think will be very educational in knowing how to optimize apps for lower-end phones and also to optimize for high-end dual core phones. For iOS, there is really only one phone to develop for and I think the appstore has many limitations to what you can develop. The Android market is fast growing and I'd love to be able to contribute to it!

  • Kidheated

    I agree with, danielbrzn. But it's more than just the hardware. One of my favorite aspects of Android is its parasitic abilities. I can run virtually any other OS or utilize its most valued components (iOS, W7, BBM) with the Android platform. Unlike iOS, BB, etc., Android is more easily personalized & customized and can be done so, pretty much down to the framework of the device. Along with the OS are the skins from each carrier. Not only am I able to change my OS but I can also switch up my skin and try all the various corners of the Android world. With all the routes Android can take one, there's always a way.

  • Ui Hwang

    Hello,Android will make me a developer.

  • dave zaffarano

    I went back to college at 33 years old for programming to do what I love.......void warranties.....also Android is the Chuck Norris of technology.

  • Trusttouch

    I believe android can do unbelievable things. Withh the help of the all the Devolpers out there they will inspire the android team to create a further develop android os.

  • Daniel

    I'm really interested in web- and mobile development, but actually iOS has caught my attention the most because of it's easy to use UX-elements and only a few resolution supported, common design through out the os and most of the applications etc. I really like the idea of Android and what Google is working towards though, so hopefully a book like this could help me in bringing my focus over to Android development where it should be!

  • Andrea

    Android is open and the source are available. second I love java

  • RobertG

    It's cheaper to develop for Android than IOS. It is easier to get an App into the Marketplace. I still might do IOS development as well. I own an EVO and want to write an App for myself.