The Android™ Bootcamp Training Course is a hands-on introduction to designing and building mobile applications using the Android™ open source platform. Android™ Bootcamp explains the philosophy of developing for Android™ through its main application development building blocks and their interaction with one another.
This completely hands-on course encourages students to learn by building increasingly more sophisticated and meaningful mobile applications for Android™.
By the end of the course, each participant will build their own complete Android application incorporating most of the key aspects of the platform. Typically, we build a Twitter-like microblogging app for Android, but there are other choices depending on the interests of participants.
To take this course, you must know Java. You should be able to answer most of the following questions:
- What is a difference between a class and an object?
- What is the difference between static and non-static field?
- What is the difference between extends and implements keywords?
- What is an anonymous inner class?
- What is the purpose of @Override?
To refresh your Java skills you can review NewCircle's Fundamentals of Java tutorial.
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Build your own Android apps
- Understand how Android™ applications work, their life cycle, manifest, Intents, and using external resources
- Design and develop useful Android™ applications with compelling user interfaces by using, extending, and creating your own layouts and Views and using Menus
- Take advantage of Android's Application Framework API to build complex applications
- Utilize the power of background services, threads, and notifications
- Use Android's communication APIs for SMS, telephony, network management, and internet resources (HTTP)
- Secure, tune, package, and deploy Android™ applications
History of Android
History of Android module focuses on how we got here. The goal of the module is to give us an idea of design philosophy behind Android, and what it may say about the future of the platform. At this high level, we explore both technical and business choices that effect the platform for a long time. We'll look at how and Android operating system gets put together by various parties involved, from Google to carriers. Topics in this module include:
- Vision for Android
- History overview
- Android Open Source Project (AOSP) versions
- OEM add-ons
- Third Party Android add-ons
- Carrier Bloatware
- Android fragmentation
Understanding how the entire Android operating system is put together is important in order to understand how to leverage everything it has to offer. This module provides an overview of each layer of the stack and its role. We'll look at both the business and the technical design choices. Topics in this module include:
- Design philosophy
- Open Source licenses
- Linux kernel space
- Native layer
- Android Runtime (Dalvik + ART)
- Application layer
The goal of this module is to have you write a simple Hello, World application. By the end of this module, you should be able to identify main parts of an Android app. You should also be able to verify that your tools are setup properly and that you can run the application on an Android device, either physical or emulated. Topics covered include:
- Android SDK: How to set it up and what it consists of
- Android Studio + Gradle: The power of the tools
- Creating a new Android project
- Anatomy of a project: What are all the moving parts
- Running the app: Emulator, real device, tools to monitor them both
Architecting Android Apps
Android framework provides some new and different concepts for developing an app. The goal of this module is to introduce you to main components used to create Android apps. By the end of this module, you should have a good idea what Android app building blocks are, and their key properties. For each building block, we'll explore its typical usage, the life-cycle, and gotchas related to the implementation. Most of the focus of this module is on the conceptual understanding at the lines-and-circles level of the design. Topics covered include:
- What makes up an Android app
- Activities and Android UI
- Fragments and best practices for reusable UI
- Intents, Action Bar, and More
- Services, IntentServices, Remote Service
- Content Providers and Loaders
- Lists and Adapters
- Broadcast Receivers
- App Widgets
- Federation of apps design model
Debugging and Testing Android Apps
This module provides an overview of some of the tools available in Android SDK that can help you with debugging and testing your apps. By the end of this module you should have a general knowledge of what tools are available and how to use them. The tools we'll explore include:
- Step-through Debugger
- Method Tracing
- Debugging View Layout
- Heap Dumps + Memory Leak Detection
Android Security Overview
The goal of this module is to provide high level overview of how Android security is architected. By the end of this module, you should know how the apps are sandboxed how the security is enforced. Topics covered include:
- Security design overview
- Application sandboxing
- Using permissions
- Granting and enforcing of permissions
- Social vectors of attack
- Top 10 Bad Permissions
Activities and User Interface
In this module, you will learn how to create basic user interface in Android. You will learn that there is a declarative (XML-based) as well as programmatic (Java-based) approach to creating Android UI. Additionally, you will learn about activities, one of the most important building blocks for Android apps. You will explore at length the lifecycle of an activity as it is highly managed by the system and is important to understand from performance point of view. Topics in this module include:
- Two ways to create Android UI: XML versus Java approach
- Main view properties: width, height, ids, strings, and more
- Structure of UI: Views and Layouts
- Linear Layout vs. Relative Layout vs. Frame Layout vs. Absolute Layout
- Localization of UI
- Best practices for targeting various form factors: phone, tablet, TV
- Handling UI events: a bit about listeners
- Best practices when working designing Android UI
Action Bar and Navigation
Your app is a collection of various "screens", implemented as activities. You also may have a few services, and other features that require a button to click to activate. Android offers a standardized method for managing menus and navigation across various components of your app in its Action Bar framework. In this module, you will learn how to use Action Bar to implement navigation in your app. Topics include:
- What Action Bar is
- Enabling the Action Bar
- Removing the Action Bar
- Adding Action Items
- Split Action Bars
- Using the App Icon for Navigation
- Implementing the "Go Home" App Icon Feature
- Implementing "Up" Navigation with the App Icon
- Adding Navigation Tabs
- Adding Drop-down Navigation
Your app often needs to store some user data for future use. For example, it needs to know user's login information for an online service, or other settings. Android framework offers a system for just doing that in form of Preferences. In this module, you will learn how to use preferences within your app. Topics include:
- Overview of preferences
- Preference resource: defining what you'll store locally
- Preference activity: displaying the preference screen
- Reading in the preference values
- Programmatically editing the shared preferences
- Registering for preference changes via a listener
- Filesystem overview: where are the files stored and is it secure
An Android application is just a collection of various building blocks. Services are one of the major such blocks. They represent something working in the "background" in your app. By background, we mean it is not visible, but is crucial to the functionality of you app. In this module you will learn what services are, when to use them, how they work, and how to implement them. Topics covered include:
- Overview of Android services
- Service lifecycle
- Declaring a service
- Registering a service
- Starting and stopping a service
- Threads and other concurrency considerations with services
- Bound versus unbound services
- Remote versus local services
Broadcast receivers are Android's publish-subscribe mechanism that. It is an essential part of most Android apps. In this module, you will learn when to use broadcast receivers, how to implement them, as well as register them for intent actions. Topics covered include:
- Broadcast receiver usage patterns: when and why to use them
- Implementing a broadcast receiver
- Registering a broadcast receiver via the manifest file
- Registering a broadcast receiver programmatically
An Android app by default cannot access another app's data. This is the cornerstone of Android security, the principle of sandboxing. But often, you do want an app to share some data with others. Content providers are such an interface to data so that the data cab be mashed together across apps. In this module, you will learn how to design and develop content providers. Topics covered include:
- Why content providers: an overview
- Using existing content providers: creating client code that can read and modify the data managed by a content provider
- Creating a content provider: implementing a basic content provider to expose structured data to other applications
- Intelligent data loading: using loaders to retrieve a Cursor from a content provider without blocking your application's main thread
Lists and Adapters
Android apps often have to deal with data, and frequently large amounts of it as well. Think an email client, opening up a mailbox of tens of thousands of emails. Given that the screen itself is rather small, and network connection often limited, the intelligence of how to efficiently handle large data sets on the screen is crucial to many apps. To help with that, Android offers a number of selection widgets, such as a list view. It also provides for a management of data that such widget display in a form of adapters. In this module, you will learn how to work with Lists and Adapters. Topics covered include:
- Overview of selection widgets
- Working with lists
- Working with adapters
- Implementing a list view and connecting it with an adapter
- Creating custom item views
- Creating custom view bindings
Android runs on variety of devices, from phones with small screen sizes, to tablets and large-screen TV sets. Fragments in a nutshell represent a smaller part of a user interface that could take a whole screen, or be part of a larger UI. By creating and using fragments, your app can adapt to variety of devices and screen sizes. In this module, you will get a solid overview of fragments and will learn how to design them, develop them, and use them both statically and dynamically. Topics covered include:
- What is a fragment: an overview and motivation
- The compatibility package: targeting pre-Honeycomb devices
- Fragment lifecycle
- Creating a fragment class
- Creating a fragment layout
- Statically including fragments in an activity
- Dynamically attaching fragments
- Handling run-time configuration changes
- Retaining Fragments Across Activity Re-Creation
- Using Fragments with no Layouts
- Finding Fragments
- Fragment Operations
- Performing Fragment Transactions
- Managing the Fragment Back Stack
- Integrating Fragment Action Bar/Options Menu Items
- Integrating Fragment Action Bar/Options Menu Items (example)
- Communication Between the Fragment and the Activity
- Best Practices: Loose Coupling of Activities and Fragments
- Best Practices: Define Fragment Interfaces to Invoke Activity Behavior
- Best Practices: The Activity as a Switchboard
- Advanced Fragment Initialization
- Implementing Dialogs Using Fragments
- Using a Fragment-Based Dialog
- Fragment-Based Preference Management
- Additional Fragment Subclasses
Testing is an important part of any app development. There are many facets of testing, such as unit testing, performance, or functional testing. In this module, you will get an overview of various tools that Android supports for testing apps. Topics covered include:
- Testing guidelines: why test and what to test?
- Overview of Android Testing: unit, functional, integration, black/white box
- Android Testing Tools: JUnit, Monkeyrunnner, UIAutomator/UIAutomatorViewer, Robotium, Espresso
His experience includes work with banks on early neural-net fraud detection, streaming analytics, cluster management code, and web apps, as well as development and teaching at a variety of companies in the travel, and entertainment industries. In addition to Big Data projects, Adam has built web sites, GUI applications, office productivity software, mobile apps... and even a service-based integration to a 1960s-vintage mainframe for one of the world's largest airlines.
Adam focuses on designing and coding systems in a way that yields predictable results, leverages best practices and high-productivity tools, minimizes excess code, and is fun to do. He has spoken at tech conferences, written articles and skill assessments, and produced an open source tool for software development. To learn more about Adam, visit his LinkedIn profile.
Dave Smith is the Android Practice Lead at NewCircle, where he focuses on development and maintenance of courseware materials.
Dave has worked in developing software at all levels of the Android platform since 2009; from writing user applications using the SDK to building and customizing the Android source code for embedded devices. Prior to that, he was an embedded applications developer and hardware systems integrator for the M2M industry, working mostly with 8 and 16-bit microprocessors. His favorite mobile projects are those that integrate custom accessory hardware with consumer devices or involve building Android for embedded platforms. Today he specializes primarily in integrating custom device interfaces, such as USB and UART, with application layer services on embedded Android hardware.
Dave is also passionate about providing resources for developers that they can make use of long term. He is the author of the popular Android book Android Recipes: A Problem Solution Approach published by Apress; a cookbook style text dedicated to getting Android developers up and running quickly by providing real-world useful examples of how to use the Android SDK and NDK to build applications quickly and well. Dave is a regular speaker at Android conferences, where he usually speaks on topics related to hardware integration and framework internals. He frequently shares ideas via the NewCircle Stream, his personal development blog, Twitter (@devunwired), and Google+.
Dave received his degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Colorado School of Mines, and is a licensed Professional Engineer.
Geoff spends most of his time leading a team developing specialized Android and iOS apps for law enforcement and regulatorily agencies. He is also an independent app developer with apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Geoff has been an adjunct professor at Loyola University Maryland in the Computer Science Graduate Program since 2003.
Geoff recently presented a class at AnDevCon 2013 in Boston on Automated Build Processes for Android Apps.
Gil Zhaiek joins the NewCircle team from Vancouver, Canada and provides his expertise in the Android framework and the Linux kernel. He has 13 years of software and hardware experience that is critical for the field of board bring-ups. He started as a C++ coder of an online financial calculator, switched to FPGA and digital board design for a couple of years, and later integrated his knowledge in designing C++ Testbenches as a consultant to various hardware teams in more than 20 companies.
Having experience in nearly all the hardware and software components, he was able to transition smoothly to Real Time OS with Embedded Linux where he wrote drivers and was able to debug the hardware independently. A few years ago, Gil and his wife moved to Vancouver where he joined Recon Instruments as the Senior Embedded Android Engineer and later the Embedded Software Manager responsible for board bring-ups and Android framework customization.
Some of Gil's notable products he worked on include the MOD Live which was the first Ski Smart Head-Mounted-Display and the Recon Jet - a light sports HMD.
Gil earned his B.Sc in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Arizona. He also holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University.
James is an experienced Java developer and has spent a majority of his career building large-scale online applications at Accenture and at several Web-centric consulting firms. He now specializes in training Android developers to be more productive by using the latest frameworks and techniques.
Jim has provided training and consulting for Fortune 500 companies and large private and governmental organizations including Motorola and the Blue Cross. He lectures extensively throughout the United States and Canada.
Lance Nanek has ten years of experience as a software engineer: implementing A/B tests and other web metrics for ibm.com at IBM and writing Java web applications at the State University of New York's System Administration.
He has also worked on Android and Google Glass apps for many companies. Some highlights include CardioTrainer by WorkSmart Labs, with over three million downloads, and apps for Cerner, a 16 billion dollar medical systems company. Lance has a master's degree in Computer Science from State University of New York, University at Albany.
Larry has spent over 16 years leading teams, designing and developing software and embedded systems for multiple markets. His ability to understand complete systems and the software stack has lead to high quality and high performance designs. In addition to developing device drivers, platform software and applications, Larry has developed and presented training for internal teams, end customers and technical conferences on highly technical content. Larry is currently the CTO and co-founder of HiQES, a engineering services company.
Five years ago, Larry was tasked with leading a new team to do Android platform software development, so he has experience diving headlong into new technology. Larry spearheaded internal ramp-up of developers, developing Android kernel drivers and middleware, and native code starting with the first public releases of Android. In fact, Larry was developing native C/C++ services and apps for Android before the first release of the Android NDK! Since that time, Larry has been the lead developer on three different new Android platforms, multiple Android platform extensions and applications.
Marius Mailat has been developing commercial software since 2000. His focus is mobile applications architecture and development for Android, QNX and iOS.
He is an experienced Java developer who spent the majority of his career building large-scale Java applications for Xerox and Sabre Travel Network in Germany.
Android projects in which he has been involved are banking interfaces and shopping tools for Android. His interest in the secrets of Android platform was geared towards building Defense Squad Mobile Security app, a free, simple to use and innovative Android security solution. Marius is the founder of the Romanian Android Community Androider.ro which has now around 5000 active members.
Maximiliano Firtman is one of the leading experts in mobile and web 2.0 development in the Americas today. From development and private consulting work, to writing books and speaking at conferences, to training some of the most advanced software teams around the globe. Max has been a Nokia Developer Champion since 2006 and Adobe Community Champion since 2011. He is the author of the books Programming the Mobile Web and jQuery Mobile: Up & Running, both published by O'Reilly Media. He has also written books in Spanish distributed in Latin America and Spain, such as AJAX, Web 2.0 Para Profesionales. You can follow him on twitter at @firt.
Today Max focuses on HTML5, CSS3, mobile web, multiplatform hybrid development and WPO (Web Performance Optimization). His Mobile Web Programming Blog discusses mobile web development with quite good success finding new things on devices (such as the accelerometer API in iOS) and creating the most complete mobile emulator guide up to now. He has also launched the free service Mobile Tiny URL for easy URL typing on mobile devices. In September 2011 Max has also created a new project Mobile HTML5, a compatibility table of every mobile platform and its HTML5 support.
Max is the founder of two user groups: ARFUG -official Adobe User Group- and Mobile Argentina; and has organized lot of events in the last years, including MobileCamp and Adobe en Vivo Argentina. Max has presented at many conferences across the US, Europe and South America like Velocity, OSCON, Breaking Development, Nokia Talk, GOTO Conference, Campus Party, Adobe Lite Days, Adobe en Vivo, MobileCamp, and BarCamp.
With over 20 years of experience in the tech industry, Ralph Tavarez has worked with big companies like Texaco, Morgan Stanley, Viacom, and the global cell phone distributor Brightstar. He has prior experience with startups as the CTO of the US division of Submarino.com, the Amazon of Brazil.
Ralph has focused primarily on mobile development, since the launch of the iPhone, and has real work experience with successful apps such as the Android port of Control4, a home automation product available at Best Buy.
As an instructor, Ralph brings current real-world experience to mobile development and practical solutions to common mobile development challenges.
Ron is an entrepreneur and software development consultant. He has a long history of developing for performance and safety critical software, leading development groups, training application and platform developers, and helping companies in the process of board bring-ups. He also has experience with the design and execution of embedded systems products, security best practices and product start-up.
He specializes in all aspects of distributed systems and Android internals. As the Founder and CTO of Nubo, the first Remote Android Workspace for the Enterprise, he is the designer and original developer of the first Android Remote Display Protocol.
Additionally, Ron is a lecturer at Afeka's college of Engineering, where he has developed and taught the first ever academic Android Internals Course. Ron holds a Master's of Computer Science from Bar-Ilan University.
Ron has also presented at a number of conferences, including: Embedded Linux Conference, Android Builders Summit, AnDevCon, WearableDevCon, DroidCon, mdevcon, Mobile World Congress, and CommunicAsia.