Saturday, August 22, 2015

4th Edition Code Samples Upgraded for Android Studio - Get Up and Running Now!

Being that Android Studio is now the official IDE for Android development, and Eclipse is no longer going to be supported, we thought it would be important to provide updates on the code samples for Advanced Android Application Development, Fourth Edition, so that you may use the code samples with Android Studio.

Since the code samples were created to work with Android SDK Version 4.3, API Level 18 (Jelly Bean), and Android SDK Version 4.4, API Level 19 (KitKat), the samples have been made to work with these API levels, and where previously available, will also work with lower API levels if the older code samples were also made to support any lower API levels.

In order to get Java and Android Studio configured for your system appropriately, we will list the best resources for walking you through how to do so in the next few paragraphs. Make sure you go through each link presented here to make sure you are configuring your system appropriately. Don’t skip reading the information posted at the links presented here, these are very important steps to getting your system configured.

First off, we would like to point out some helpful resources so that you are able to install Java on your system. Android Studio currently requires using JDK version 7. Here is where you will find the downloads for your system, Oracle Java SE Development Kit 7 Downloads found here:

The following resource is for the documentation for JDK 7, Oracle Java SE Development Kit 7 Documentation found here: This may help you learn more about Java.

The following resource should help you install the Java JDK 7. Find the appropriate instructions for your system here:

Once you have installed Java for your system, you need to install Android Studio. You may need to perform an additional set of steps depending on your system too. The official Android developer documentation should describe those steps, and any trouble shooting you may need to perform at the Android Developer Tools, Official Documentation titled “Installing Android Studio” found here: Here you may be presented with any additional steps necessary so that Android Studio is able to detect the correct Java installation on your system, and is able to run properly.

The only recommendation we have for installing Android Studio, is to make sure you select all components to install during the installation. You will be presented with a dialog for selecting the components to install that looks similar to this screenshot:

Note that this will only install the latest Android SDK and Android Virtual Device available. There is a component named “Performance (Intel® HAXM)”. If this is not available on your system to install, don’t worry about this. If it is available, you will want to install this as it will boost the performance of the emulator for running the Android Virtual Devices.

If you are installing the latest version of Android Studio that means API Levels 18 and 19 will not be installed by default, as only the latest will be installed. In order for the samples to work, you need to also install APIs level 18 and 19 on your system. Here is a detailed guide on how to install the appropriate SDK packages and support libraries on your system, Android Developer Tools, “Adding SDK Packages” found here:

Assuming that you have followed all the detailed installation and configuration instructions presented in the links found in this blog post appropriately, you should now be ready to download and open the sample source code provided with this book for running in Android Studio.

You also need to create appropriate Android Virtual Devices (AVDs) for your system, or use hardware devices with the appropriate API levels that are capable of running the Android samples found with this book. To make sure you are setting up your system appropriately with AVDs and for configuring hardware devices to install the sample applications, see the “Developer Workflow” here and the “Managing AVDs with AVD Manager” here To learn how to use an emulator, see the “Using the Emulator” here To learn how to setup your hardware devices for development, see “Using Hardware Devices” here

Make sure you have already downloaded the samples which can be accessed from here:

Then, start Android Studio, and choose the option “Open an existing Android Studio Project” and browse to the root folder of the sample project of your choosing and click “OK”. Your installation of Android Studio will then begin loading and building the project. Assuming you performed all the installations steps appropriately, you should not encounter any issues. If you did encounter any issues, Android Studio will most likely present how to fix these issues in the “Messages” window, showing any errors encountered, with tips on how to fix them. The errors usually include clickable tips that are meant to help you work through fixing these issues. If you receive any issues, perform the recommended fixes until there are no issues left with your installation.

You should now have a working configuration and be ready to install the apps on your AVD or hardware device. We listed links above that will help you get these setup and launched so that you can install the sample app you selected, so if you skipped those links above, make sure you read them for a full explanation of how to get them setup and launched appropriately for installing applications. Just for clarification, here are those links again where you can learn how to create and launch an AVD here, how to use the emulator here, how to configure a hardware device for development here, and how to build your projects with Android Studio here

Once you have an emulator running or a hardware device configured, in Android Studio, select “Run” from the menu, and choose “Run ‘app’”. You should then choose the appropriate emulator/device that is capable of supporting API Level 18 and 19 for installing the app on, then click “OK”. You will see the app install on the emulator/device. We hope this blog post is useful for helping you get the code samples working for Android Studio.

You may also like to know about two other valuable resources for those coming from Eclipse ADT:

Android Developer Tools: Official Documentation titled “Migrating to Android Studio” found here:

Android Developer Tools: Official Documentation titled “Transition Guide for Eclipse ADT” found here:

Happy coding!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Selecting the Right Tool for the Job

Because of my Android programming background, fascination with the Android OS, and being an Android device aficionado, I have always been curious to know what kind of hardware powers a particular Android device. Lately, I have been really looking into how these devices have been created. Some of the questions I have been asking myself, and others in the hardware industry are:

  • What hardware components are necessary to power these devices?
  • Who manufactures these components?
  • How was the circuit board design created?
  • How would I prototype a device of my own?
  • Where would I purchase the required hardware components from?

I have been following the Android ecosystem for a while now, and considering my curiosity with hardware design, I have also been looking into the “Maker Movement”. The reason I have been looking into the “Maker Movement”, is due to the fact that there are many companies manufacturing open source hardware kits that are running the Android OS. Included in these kits are the entire board design -- the circuit board schematic, the PCB layout, the bill of materials (which is the list of components that are required for operating the device and where to buy them) – and many other useful design documents.

Depending on the open source license, this usually means that anyone is open to copying the design, or modifying it to their own custom specification. And being that Android itself is an open source OS, commanding over 80% of the smartphone market, what better operating system to pair with open source hardware!

Recently I have been working on creating a new Android device, based on an open source hardware kit. This design is using an ARM Cortex A9, which is a great processor for powering a rich operating system such as Android. For the most part, many of the other components required for my design are already included in the open source design, but for customizing the device to my needs, there are a few other components that I need to locate and work into the circuit design.

If any of you have ever been tasked with picking a software design tool, I am sure you know how confusing the process can be, especially when you don’t know what tool is the best for your engineering goals. Well the same goes for choosing a hardware design tool. Finding an appropriate design tool for modifying the circuit was not an easy task. There were quite a few options to choose from, but none seemed right for working with a sophisticated device running an OS like Android.

Luckily, I attended a hardware Meetup in San Francisco, and talked to one of the attendees about my design (he is a hardware engineering expert for a hardware startup incubator). I told him about my choice of processor, the operating system, and general specification of what I wanted the device to do, and he recommended I take a look at a tool by Altium, called Altium Designer. Turns out that many of the open source projects that are using an ARM Cortex A9 and running Android, were built using Altium, so choosing this program seemed like the logical choice for a device running Android.

Altium Logo

What I have found is that using the right tool for the job is essential and I am happy to say that I have found the right tool for creating a custom circuit design.

This leads me as to why I am writing this blog post. Having the right tool for the job is essential. I have found that for designing PCB's, Altium Designer is an amazing choice. For writing Android software applications, Android Studio is now the official IDE for Android development, and Google is now recommending that developers migrate over to Android Studio from Eclipse, so I recommend that you should be using Android Studio for developing your Android applications if you have not already done so.

I also wanted everyone to have access to the book code samples that work with Android Studio, in addition to already having code samples that work with the Android IDE (Eclipse with ADT). That way, you are able to go through the book code samples using the right tool for your job.

You can download the code samples here.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Book Code Samples (Updates for Android Studio)

Our book, "Advanced Android™ Application Development, Fourth Edition," written by Joseph Annuzzi, Jr., Lauren Darcey, and Shane Conder, contains many sample applications referenced throughout. Access the source code files that accompany the book below by clicking the "Download the Code" button below.

The code you will receive works with both the Android IDE (Eclipse ADT Bundle), and we recently updated all the code samples for you so that you may use them with Android Studio.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Rough Cuts™ Now Available at Safari Books Online™

Our book is now available as a Rough Cuts™ manuscript!  For those who would like to get started reading the Rough Cuts™ version of "Advanced Android™ Application Development, Fourth Edition," head on over to to start reading the first few chapters today!

Rough Cuts means that the book is still a work in progress, so if you encounter any content errors, please be aware that this is a still a rough draft. We definitely value your feedback, so if you do encounter any content errors, please email us at advancedandroidbook4e (at) so we can fix these issues before the final printing of the book.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

About This Blog

This blog is maintained by Joseph Annuzzi, Jr., one of the authors of the Addison Wesley Professional book titled "Advanced Android™ Application Development, Fourth Edition". Any updates regarding this book can be found here, in addition to articles that may expand on topics found within the book.