22-Jul-13 (Created: 22-Jul-13) | More in 'Expert Android'

Expert Android: Custom Components, Mobile Clouds, JSON Persistence, Forms, and More...

Quick Table of Contents: I could wax for ever, but here is what this book has ...

Custom Components to Mobile clouds:An advanced guide for Impactful Mobile Applications

Custom UIs...

Custom Views

Custom Components

Custom Layouts

OpenGL ES 2.0

To Cloud...


Cloud Storage

Push Notifications

Time to Market..

JSON Storage

Form Processing

Multi Device

Adv Debugging


Custom Search


Following our fairly successful series of Pro Android books with Apress, not without substantial trepidation, we have signed up again to work on Expert Android a year ago. It is finally here.

With Expert Android our goals are lofty. Being so they do propel us to stay true to our aspirations: ours and yours. This book is conceived to satisfy the following needs: We want to know more about Android; We want to release mobile applications quickly into the market place; We want individual developers to successfuly make money on the marketplace; We want to make it easy for developers to gain ground quickly so that they can form successful small companies to florish on the market place; We want to get into the mindset of Google; We want to encourage applications that can make a difference to consumers; We want to demystify Android architecture and bring it to more general use

Expert Android gives you advanced techniques such as Customizing views, Controls, and Layouts. It has topics that let you release apps in record time using JSON, Advanced Form Processing, and the very popular BAAS (Backend As A Service) platform Parse. It has extensive coverage on OpenGL, Search, and Telephony. It is these advanced and time saving technologies that will let you release compelling mobile applications in Google Play and Amazon Appstore at a rapid pace.

In Expert Android, you get the following meaningful and important benefits:

  • Borrow, reuse, or build custom Android UI components. Create 3D experience using OpenGL ES 2.0
  • Write collaborative applications through Parse cloud and Communicate with your app user community through Parse Push Technology
  • Exceed your time-to-market needs for your apps. Also Release for multiple devices and Build rock solid apps.

Whether you are an individual developer or an enterprise developer you will find here unique coverage on Android to take your Mobile apps to the next level. Irrespective of the Android release this book serves as your definitive, capstone reference for your Apress Android experience.

Android Custom views, Custom controls, Custom Layouts, JSON, OpenGL, Form Processing, Cloud Storage, Push messaging: These are some of the expert topics you will find in Expert Android!

Structure of Expert Android

Here is a quick over view of Expert Android chapter by chapter

Chapter 1,2,3: Expert Android starts of by covering in depth how you can customize Android UI by customizing views, controls, and layouts. You will see over 100 pages of material spread over the first 3 chapters. This is highly sought after material and goes to the heart of the Android UI architecture.

Chapter 4: In chapter 4 we provide a practical way to persist application state with JSON. This allows you to write small to medium size mobile applications really quick as it makes persistence super simple. Just quickly browse through this chapter if you are skeptical.

Chapter 5: In chapter 5 we address an essential issue of how do you write a mobile application that works well on multiple mobile form factors.

Chapter 6: Continuing the theme of practical guidance for mobile applications, in chapter 6 we present an advanced form processing framework to write form based mobile applications really simple.

Chapter 7: After all a mobile device is phone. we tend to forget that often. Chapter 7 covers the telephony API of Android.

Chapter 8: With mobile devices memory and power consumption are always at premium. You want your applications to run as efficiently as possible. In chapter 8 we cover the debugging approaches and tools available.

Chapter 9: OpenGL has a come a long way on Android with now substantial support for the new generation programmable GPUs. Android has been supporting ES 2.0 for sometime now. In chapter 9 we have over 100 pages of coverage on OpenGL. With our chapter on OpenGL we start at the begining and explain all the concepts with out needing to refer to external books although we do given an extensive bibliography on OpenGL. We cover ES 2.0 really well and provide guidance to combine OpenGL and regular views to pave the way for 3D components.

Chapter 10,11,12: Federated search protocol of Android is powerful as you can use it in quite a few imaginative ways. The search experience is also shifting and pivoting in each release of Android to reach its full potential. We have taken chapters 10, 11, and 12 to fully explore its fundamentals and also some alternate ways of optimally using it.

Chapter 13,14,15: And if our intuitions playout to be right, mobile applications will be increasingly collaborative, needing to store data in the cloud and also collaborate among users. We have taken a successful cloud platform called Parse and engaged it for user management, cloud storage, and push notifications. With Parse now being part of Facebook this is a valuable edition to our book for 2 reasons. The first is its synergy with Facebook. the second is how trivial is the approach to take collaborative applications to the market place. Mobile in the cloud is the future. And we are glad we have a taken a good fist step to explore this extensively in the last 3 chapters covering close to 100 pages of material.

This book is full of self contained tutorials in each chapter annotated with expert advice. All projects in the book are available as zip files for downloads.

As the previous edition became too big we have chosen to remove some chapters from the 3rd edition such as OpenGL, Live Folers and the Search API. We have now made these ommited chapters available for free. Click here to find and download these chapters.

Table of Contents

Here is the table of contents:

  1. Custom Views
  2. Compound Views
  3. Custom Layouts
  4. Using JSON for On-Device Persistence
  5. Programming for multiple devices
  6. Advanced Form Processing for Android
  7. Using the Telephony API
  8. Advanced Debugging and Analysis
  9. Programming in OpenGL ES 2.0 for Android
  10. Android Search User Experience
  11. Android Search Providers
  12. Android Search Custom Providers
  13. Cloud storage for Applications: Parse.com
  14. Enhancing Parse with Parcelables
  15. Using Push Notifications with Parse

Click here to see a brief overview of what each of these chapters contain

What you'll learn:

You may further ask what is the tangible value of Expert Android? Let us tell you that in immediate and practical terms.

Time to Market: Chapters on JSON, Advanced Form Processing, and Parse will give you approaches to deliver rich functionality to your applications and move them to market quickly.

Highly Customized UI: Chapters on view customization and OpenGL will allow you first to borrow opensourced components to make a compelling UI and tweak them to suit your specific needs. Of course you can venture to imagine a totally new paradigms in UI design should we dare you with these chapters.

Practical Guidance: You will need to read the chapters on multiple devices and advanced debugging before you release any applications.

Borrowed Experience: This book is a culmination of over 4 years of research and writing from two respected industry authors in the Android space.

How is Expert Android different?

Let us tell you now why Expert Android is a different kind of book. We have done some serious work on Android in the past four years. And it shows in Expert Android. In each chapter we have extensive research bibliography. We have a support research website where most of the topics were researched and the research logs publicly available. Our research is broad enough to apply to a lot of Google platforms to bring them to bear on the mobile space. We conclude every chapter with a set of review questions to summarize and reiterate what is covered in the chapter. Alsmost all chapters have downloadable standalone projects that you can download anytime online.

Expert Android is different also because we focus on fundamentals and often ask why with out fear. We have suggested practical frameworks and possible alternatives while applying basic ideas from Android core SDKs.

In Expert Android we focus on clarity and readability and not profoundness. In Expert Android each chapter has gone through multiple reviews improving readability, accuracy, and relevance. As authors we make every effort to make it easy for readers to be able to reach both or at least one of us on most social networks including twitter, Facebook, and Google+, not to mention via email. Expert Android is different due to its focus on not only fundamentals but also on time to market.

Expert Android is different because its coverage on Android customization is unparalleled in a book.

Expert Android is different because its coverage on OpenGL is extensive and very very good!

Expert Android is different because it takes you to the Cloud through Parse!

Expert Android is different because we think cloud is an essential ingredient of Mobile.

Finally Expert Android is different because as a set of authors we are experienced and commited to researcing the Android platform. Our focus is research, research, and research.

Our Call and Our Promise

So come along for the ride. Learn with us. Learn Anroid's interal architecture and be part of Googles future. Let us challene you through our book to bring togehter technologies to implement mobile solutions that actually matter to consumers; to write mobile applications that make consumers to be productive and lead better lives. A billion computers are waiting to see your hand prints. You have an opportunity to plot your own destiny and wrestle it out of the traditional IT. We are convinced of this journey. We are doing everything in our power to help you with this.

Expert Android is another key step in this process. We worked very hard and we hope you like what we have covered in Expert Android. If you don't we are already hard at work and on our way to double down our efforts in bringing more topics to you in the very near future!

Here is an overview of the authors.

Dave MacLean

Dave MacLean is a software engineer and architect currently living and working in Orlando, FL. He has programmed in many languages since 1980 developing systems ranging from robot automation systems to data warehousing, web self-service applications to EDI transaction processors. Dave has worked for Sun Microsystems, IBM, Trimble Navigation, General Motors, Disney, and several small companies. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in Canada with a degree in Systems Design Engineering. You can see his blog posts at http://davemac327.blogspot.com/

Satya Komatineni

Satya komatineni has been programming for too long, frankly, (over 20 years) in the IT and Web space. He has worked with Assembly, C, C++, Rexx, Java, C#, Lisp, Html, Javascript, CSS, Relational databases, Object databases and related technologies. He has published over 30 articles touching many of these areas in a number of print and online magazines. The primary list of articles are available at http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/au/241. Satya has also managed to confuse O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) organizers a few times in the past to be a speaker at OSCON on a number of obscure quixotic concepts.

He continues to refine the goal of Active Intellect, Inc., based on the same quixotic concepts surrounding web based presence, computing, and personal growth. You will find him, more than often, at his site that is developed using the same "quixotic" technologies at http://www.satyakomatineni.com. You can find a bit more detailed, but perhaps a bit dated, resume here.

While closely working with Indent, inc., he was involved in a number of projects funded by Small Business Innovative Research program. One of the programs developed is an early javascript and SVG based drawing program that works like a mini-visio on the web. He has also helped Indent to optimize J2EE portals for rapid development and deployment of web sites.

Satya holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, India, 1986, and a Bachelors in electrical engineering from Andhra University, India, 1984. Although he thoroughly enjoyed the fascinating subject matter of Electrical Engineering the value at this point appears primarily nostalagic.

You can find his website at http://www.satyakomatineni.com

His happy place is a large well architected library. V.S. Krishna Memorial Library in Vizag and UNF library in Jacksonville, Florida are a couple of examples.

Where to go from here

See the right side menu for downloadable projects, reader feedback, study guides and more.

You can reach me directly at satya.komatineni at gmail.com

Comments from readers on our previous editions

"I just finished reading Pro Android 2, it is something else. I have never read an android book having, so much to bite in between two covers. Kudos to you guys."

Adeola Poroye
Department of Computer Science
University of the Western Cape

"im from brazil and i'm reading your book and loving it! Thanks for the effort, great writing!"

Eduardo Berton
Android Developer

"Thanks! I hope that you will give some other books in Polish."

Janusz Podkoscielny 
Android Developer

"I have found both your book and your website a wonderful reference as I have worked on developing Android applications and wanted to start by thanking you for your work."

Jon Ross 
Android Developer
San Diego

"By the way, I own your book. It is a very good comprehensive book for Android."

Venkata Raidu
Android Developer

Click here to see more reviews