Best 12 books to learn Android Application Development [Updated in 2021]

Top 10 Books for Android Application Development

We all love the idea of having our own mobile application, don’t we? You could develop a game of your choice, a customisable planner, or even a virtual study app for you and your friends to have that late-night study. Or you could even potentially start your career in Android application development.

The problem most of us face with Android development is the lack of good resources. It is quite impossible to find an article that has been written by people with hands-on experience and helps you grasp the entirety of the Android concepts. This is why books are the preferred method of teaching, starting from absolute beginners to professionals.

In the world of mobile marketing systems, Android and iOS devices combine to make up to 99% of the mobile OS market share. According to Statcounter. As of 2020, Android takes up a massive 74.14% of the total. If this is a compelling reason for you to get started on Android application development, then stick until the end of the article to find your pick in the list of best Android application books that we’ve compiled.

Android application books for beginners

Here are some of the best Android application books that cover the foundation of Android development very well for absolute beginners.

1. Head First Android Development: A Brain-Friendly Guide: The one for your inner child

Author: Dawn Griffiths and David Griffiths
Publisher: Shroff/O’Reilly
Online rating: 4.8/5
Our rating: 4/5
MRP: Rs 1145
Edition: Second edition (January 2017)

This is a great Android application book for beginners and is a good pick if you’re just getting started with Android Development. As it requires you to have a sound knowledge of the Java programming language, it may be best suited for intermediate programmers. If you’re someone who despises long, dry, theoretical explanations, this book is the one for you as it jumps to developing your first app right from the first chapter.

The key feature of the book is the creative and interesting illustrations with ‘fill-up magnets’ and ‘matchings’ exercises available in each chapter. Through unique visual learning, readers would be able to easily grasp the fundamentals and the style of the witty narrative makes it enjoyable yet informative.

2. Android Studio 3.0 Development Essentials — Android 8 Edition

Author: Neil Smyth
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Online rating: 4.6/5
Our rating: 4.9/5
MRP: Rs 3257
Edition: First edition (September 2017)

While having specialised books for a particular topic is fine, it doesn’t beat having a book that covers all topics. Android Studio 3.0 Development Essentials is one such book that acts as a one-stop for all your needs as an Android application developer.

It covers everything from setting up Android Studio to App Links, Gradle build configuration and so much more. The book also includes implementing maps using the Google Maps Android API and submitting apps to the Google Play Developer Console. It even includes database management, architecture, and design to multimedia aspects.

All you need to have is some Java programming experience, access to a Windows, Mac or Linux system, and creative ideas for some apps to develop, you are good to go.

3. Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide: The one for ‘Big Nerd Ranch’ followers

Author: Chris Stewart
Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides
Online rating: 4.6/5
Our rating: 4.9/5
MRP: Rs 4395
Edition: Third edition (March 2017)

The Big Nerd Ranch isn’t a new name in the developers’ community as they have intensive boot camps and a series of books for web development as well as mobile development. This particular book focuses on Android development and all of its related concepts like fragments, views, network communication, etc.

It requires you to be well-versed in the Object-Oriented Programming concept. Since every chapter is built upon another it might be a barrier when you’re using it as a reference book. Although it is recommended for beginners, the amount of information in it might be a bit too overwhelming for them whereas it serves as a perfect book for intermediate programmers.

4. Android Development for Gifted Primates: A Beginner’s Guide: The one for those who are not easily offended

Author: Antonis Tsagaris
Publisher: Independently Published
Online rating: 4.1/5
Our rating: 4.5/5
MRP: Rs 374 (Kindle Edition)
Edition: August 2018

The author of this book doesn’t shy away from the usage of strong language but that doesn’t stop him from delivering a loaded tutorial to Android development. He strongly suggests a prerequisite of Java knowledge and even goes as far as compiling a list of topics you must master before reading the book.

You will learn everything from setting up Android Studio to creating an interactive user interface with XML, getting different Android components to communicate with each other and a lot more.

Considered to be the best Android application book for beginners by a lot of developers, it is aimed at budding Android development enthusiasts who want to take a break from stern instructions while learning new technology and are looking for a more light-hearted approach without compromising the quality of content.

5. Android App Development for Dummies: The one for the novice

Author: Michael Burton and Gerhard Franken
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Online rating: 3.6/5
Our rating: 4.5/5
MRP: Rs 999
Edition: Second edition (October 2012)

The “for Dummies” is a very popular series that probably would have books on every topic. This one is the best book for absolute beginners who have no prior Android application development experience. Along with Java, the author urges having an understanding of XML as it is used for the user interface.

It consists of Android documentation, tips, tricks, and tutorials in a short, digestible format that’s easily understandable by budding developers. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to springboard into your future as an Android developer.

Best Android application books for advanced development

Here are some of the best Android application books for advanced developers and experts. Some of these are very helpful for beginners and cover the foundation by following a methodological approach towards introducing Android development to amateur developers.

6. Android Cookbook: Problems and Solutions for Android Developers The one for your everyday cravings

Publisher: O′Reilly
Online rating: 4.2/5
Our rating: 4.6/5
MRP: Rs 4584
Edition: Second edition (May 2017)

Now that we’ve covered enough books for beginners, this book is here to quench the thirst of professional developers. Being true to its name, it is a cookbook that consists of 230 “recipes” for topics such as user interfaces, dealing with hardware-specific aspects like cameras and sensors, etc., that has been contributed by nearly 40 programmers.

Android Cookbook explains how a given piece of technology works, rather than giving you a complete, working example that has been simplified. Rather than being a start to end tutorial, this book focuses on answering questions to various advanced topics that a developer might come across while developing his
application.

7. Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide: The one for Kotlin admirers

Author: David Greenhalgh and Josh Skeen
Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides
Online rating: 4.3/5
Our rating: 4.7/5
MRP: Rs 2318
Edition: First edition (September 2018)

With Google’s announcement of full support to Kotlin within Android studio, it has been sky-rocketing in popularity among the developers’ community and it’s only fair that we include a book on Android development with Kotlin.

Making a second appearance on our list, The Big Nerd Ranch series’ Kotlin programming covers all the key concepts and APIs, as well as the IDEA development environment. Each chapter has one or two “For the More Curious” that describes the underlying mechanism of Kotlin. Since Kotlin and Java are closely associated, this book acts as a transition book for experienced Java programmers who are looking to learn Kotlin.

8. Beginning Android 4 Games Development: The one for all gamers

Author: Mario Zechner and Robert Green
Publisher: Apress
Online rating: 3.4/5
Our rating: 4.1/5
MRP: Rs 3039
Edition: First edition (December 2011)

So, let’s say you want to skip the methodical development of boring applications and want to jump straight into developing games, we’ve got you covered on that. Beginning Android 4 Games Development is a book that walks you through from the basics of game development to developing your own first game.

No prior exposure to Android or Eclipse is expected. It covers a range of topics such as Android basics, audio, and graphics programming, a little math and physics, and OpenGL ES. After you’re equipped with these concepts, you’ll be able to develop three different games, one even being 3D.

9. Practical Android: 14 Complete Projects on Advanced Techniques and Approaches: The one for more hands-on experience

Author: Mark Wickham
Publisher: Apress
Online rating: 4/5
Our rating: 4.5/5
MRP: Rs 2659
Edition: First edition (February 2018)

Nothing beats a book written by a well-experienced author and Practical Android by Mark Wickham is one among them. As the name suggests, the book aims at building 14 real-world projects, at least one in each chapter for a better understanding of complex topics like lazy loading or dealing with Android’s audio APIs.

Since it directly jumps on implementing advanced features to your application, it requires you to be well-versed in Java as well as have some experience in Android development. Simply to put, if you’re looking to build up your skills as an Android developer, this 250 pages book is the one for you.

10. The Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development: The one to stay updated

Author: Mark L. Murphy
Publisher: CommonsWare, LLC
Online rating: 4/5
Our rating: 4.6/5
MRP: Rs 19161
Edition: July 2011

This is one of a kind subscription ebook that solves the problem of having to wait for an updated edition to release every year. In the Busy Coder’s Guide to Android Development, readers get the latest version of the book, including six months of updates.

This book includes 200+ chapters, 4,000+ pages, hundreds of sample apps that tackle everything from the basics of setting up a development environment to branching out into more advanced topics. With new versions coming out every couple of months. This means you never have to worry about being outdated ever again!

Free Android development books

Android Notes for Professionals

This free e-book, offered and endorsed by Goalkicker.com, contains 266 chapters compiled from Stack OverFlow documentation and exponential knowledge which delves deeper into Android development. This book is curated by experts from Stack Overflow and geared towards experts and individuals who are in dire need of advanced in-depth knowledge of the Android ecosystem and development within it. 

Android Programming Succinctly

Written by Ryan Hodson, this is a free e-book available on Syncfusion.com. It offers in-depth knowledge about the Android application lifecycle and covers topics ranging from the creation of UI to embedding elements and widgets. Ryan Hodson provides multiple references and Android documentation within the chapters. And, each chapter is orchestrated to ensure maximum utility out of reading this book.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to learn Android app development?

One must introduce themselves to various tools that promote Android development. Considering this, it is important to enrol in related courses. Learning coding languages such as Java is highly necessary as it allows the development of Android applications.

How do I start learning mobile application development?

Interacting with other developers and being a member of Android developer forums and other mobile development boards offer a great start to acquiring more information about mobile application development. The next step is deciding the mobile OS or platform to focus on and become acquainted with the development platform. For example, XCode can be used along with the Swift UI framework to create iOS applications.

Is it worth learning Android development in 2021?

Yes, it is definitely worth learning Android development in 2021 as we are becoming more and more dependent on our mobile devices, using them for most of our daily work and activities. Android has a 72.2% hold over the smartphone OS market and this is a huge reason why focusing on Android development can be very useful due to the immense potential and scope this field has. (Source)

What skills do I need to develop Android apps?

Great analytical skills, programming skills and proficiency in programming languages and a strong foundation in mathematical theories and algorithms are highly necessary to be able to develop Android applications. Furthermore, a strong hold over the Android ecosystem and fundamental knowledge of the OS and how it operates and functions are also required.

Is Android development difficult?

It is not at all difficult to learn Android development as long as the basics are strong and the fundamental concepts are clear.

Which is the best Android development course?

There are many great Android development courses such as the one Udemy offers or crash courses like Android Pie App Bootcamp. You can also check our complete beginner-centric Kotlin-based course known as Ninja Android Developer Career Track, which is a foundation course that consists of all the fundamental concepts like data structures, various elements of the Android ecosystem, tools, algorithms and basic Android app development using Kotlin.

Which are the best Android development languages?

Java is the most preferred language for Android development while Python, Kotlin and even C++ remain to be highly used in application development within the Android ecosystem.

Which is the best Android development platform?

Visual Studio or Xamarin and Android Studio are undoubtedly two of the best Android development tools out there. There are many other development tools such as Eclipse IDE, DeuterIDE and IntelliJ IDEA which are popular and highly effective as well.

Is there any way to create Android applications without programming?

Yes, one can create Android applications without intensive programming knowledge by using tools such as AppyPie and Zoho Creator. They offer UI based development experiences that do not involve coding and let the user determine the functions and interface through visual-based controls and toggles.

Key Takeaways

Android Application Development is open-source and easy to pick up giving it an edge over iOS when developers have to choose. It doesn’t have any stringent hardware requirements like Apple iOS, which needs costly tools like Xcode and Mac to support the app development environment. All you need is a cost-effective platform like Android Studio and a book from the above list that caters to all your needs and you will be on your way to become a successful Android developer with a lucrative career.

If you are keen to learn and pursue a career in Android Development, then check out our course.

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