Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Review: Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Jonathan Stark
I really have to say this book has everything a great development book should have, very readable, tons of code, links to useful websites, walkthroughs for setting up your environments, etc. It is indeed a great step by step guide to turning your HTML websites into almost-native Android Apps in a very short time.

The author assumes you have good working knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript, in fact the whole point of the book is to teach you how to leverage that knowledge for building native Android Apps without having to learn additional technologies like Java or Eclipse. That being said you certainly don't have to be an expert, as the book also includes a crash course and some basic info as technologies are introduced on each of the chapters.

Even being an Android specific book, I'm sure I'm not the only one who had an epiphany mid-book about applying these technologies for iPhone development, and in fact is possible! All these technologies are standards based and not limited to the Android ecosystem. That reason alone makes this book “double great”, since you're not only getting a guide to building Android Apps, but you're also getting a head start for doing the same for the iPhone and Apple's App Store all in one book!

Although I'm enthusiastic about the book, it is far from perfect. it does feel as an on-line tutorial sometimes and the author recurs to repetition a bit too much for my taste. Again beginner users might find this very valuable, but for professional devs it might be a little frustrating even if you can easily skim through those sections. I'm also on the fence about the code provided on the book's website, I find that a finished version of the code projects would've been a great addition.

Disclosure: As showcased on the right pane of this blog, I’m writing this post as part of O’Reilly’s blogger review program. While I’m not getting paid to review books, I do get a complimentary eBook copy of this title.

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