Having been in software development for 40+ years, this is about the umpteenth operating system/language that I've had to learn, and I always find it best to read about a new one to the point where I have a good understanding of the terminology and how the pieces fit together. Once I have that nailed, using the reference docs becomes a lot easier.

For that purpose, I would highly recommend "Beginning Android 2" by some guy named Mark Murphy who shows up in these forums on occasion :-). I'll admit that I was initially a bit put off when looking at the table of contents on Amazon because of the cutesy bad-pun section headings -- I was not looking for "Android for Dummies!" However, I went ahead an purchased it based on some other recommendations and have found it to be exactly what I was looking for: a straightforward, logical presentation of the basic features of the Android system, with concise sample code examples to illustrate them.

This was certainly not enough for me to develop the somewhat complex application that I have in mind, but it certainly sets me on the right path to begin my design, and lets me know in what sections of the reference material to look for more of the gory details. I'd definitely recommend this book to any beginners, as it certainly answers a lot of the basic questions that I see being asked here in this forum.

 Doug Gordon
 GHCS Software

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