Chapter Excerpt: What Is Android?

This chapter, taken from the book Android: A Programmer's Guide (McGraw-Hill), is an excellent introduction to Google's Android platform for cell phones and smartphones. Not only that, it also delivers a history of embedded device programming and explains the purpose of the Open Handset Alliance, the consortium of companies responsible for the Android eco-system.

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About Android: A Programmer's Guide
This book shows you, step-by-step, how to download and set up all of the necessary tools, build and tune dynamic Android programs, and debug your results. Discover how to provide web and chat functions, interact with the phone dialer and GPS devices, and access the latest Google services. You'll also learn how to create custom Content Providers and database-enable your applications using SQLite.

  • Install and configure Java, Eclipse, and Android plugin
  • Create Android projects from the Eclipse UI or command line
  • Integrate web content, images, galleries, and sounds
  • Deploy menus, progress bars, and auto-complete functions
  • Trigger actions using Android Intents, Filters, and Receivers
  • Implement GPS, Google Maps, Google Earth, and GTalk
  • Build interactive SQLite databases, calendars, and notepads
  • Test applications using the Android Emulator and Debug Bridge

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