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which Java to learn

 
Chris Trout
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I have read the Android FAQ and apologize in advance if I failed to understand whether or not learning Java SE is the best way to be able to write effective Android apps.

Just a little background, I am returning to programming [mostly because of my interest in Android] after having done mostly BA work for the last 10 years.
I have a CS masters but only about a years worth of real Java programming experience and want to refresh my Java programming skills before I start working with Android; or atleast be refreshing them as I learn Android.

I have recently read a review of Just Java 2 and think this sounds like a good book to review. My question is, will I be learning the correct Java to develop on Android?

Also, as far as smartphones to begin developing with goes, are there better phones than others in terms what an Android beginner would want to start working with?

Thank you in advance to anyone taking the time to explain this to me.
-Chris
 
Monu Tripathi
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I have recently read a review of Just Java 2 and think this sounds like a good book to review. My question is, will I be learning the correct Java to develop on Android?

Android uses Java syntax and knowing it will surely help the learning process. The book would be a good start since you are returning after a long gap. However, note that the version of Java compiler used in Android is 1.5 and later so it would be better you also read up upon concepts that were introduced with these versions(annotations, generics to name a few).

Also, as far as smartphones to begin developing with goes, are there better phones than others in terms what an Android beginner would want to start working with?

I am not sure how to answer this; I started working on the emulator bundled with SDK followed by HTC Dream(G1 phone), HTC Hero and now Motorola Droid. Droid is by far the best of the three devices.



 
Monu Tripathi
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Also, welcome to JavaRanch!
 
Chris Trout
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Monu, Thanks very much for your reply.

I have a couple more questions.

1.
You mentioned -

"However, note that the version of Java compiler used in Android is 1.5 and later so it would be better you also read up upon concepts that were introduced with these versions(annotations, generics to name a few). "

I'm unclear what version of the Java compiler is covered in the Just Java 2 book. Can you recommend a source for me to read up on the concepts you think are not covered in the book (annotations, generics, etc.)?

2.
I would like to improve my ability to think in OO concepts. I have had a course in that topic some time ago. I came across a book called thinking In Java. Would that be a good book to improve my skills in that area or can you recommend a better one?

3.
Regarding a first smartphone to start developing on, are there companies that cater to developers? What I mean by that is, is there a plan (and phone) that I could get that is not very expensive?

4.
Finally, how can I found out if there is an Android User Group in Minneapolis/Minnesota? I would really like to meet others who are starting to develop on this platform and share ideas/questions.

Thank you very much for your time. As you can see I am in a transition state with my career right now and do appreciate all of the support this site can provide.

-Chris

 
Ulf Dittmer
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#1: Not a tutorial, but start here: Enhancements and Changes in J2SE 1.4 (assuming that's not covered in your book) and New Features and Enhancements in Java 5

#2: Thinking in Java is cool - you can do a LOT worse than with that book.

#3: Not specifically for developers, I don't think. The emulator supports various screen sizes as well as combinations of other features, though. So unless you become a lot more serious about Android development (meaning, you intend to make money from it) I'd just get a single device that you'd use as your primary phone as well.

#4: android user group minnesota seems a good starting point.
 
Monu Tripathi
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#3: Not specifically for developers, I don't think. The emulator supports various screen sizes as well as combinations of other features, though. So unless you become a lot more serious about Android development (meaning, you intend to make money from it) I'd just get a single device that you'd use as your primary phone as well.

Agreed. You do not necessarily need an Android phone to actually start working on it. Though having one will surely help.
 
Chris Trout
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Thank you Monu and Ulf for your responses.
I am currently working thru the Head First Java book.
I think it will be a good re-learning resource.

I'm prob also going to pick up a copy of hte Thinking in Java book.

As far as phones go, cash is a little tight right now so I may hold off for a while and work with the emulator. But then again some of the new phones look really cool.

I did make contact with a couple of people who are interested in starting up an Android learning group here in Mpls.
I hope it happens as I'm pretty excited about the capabilities of Android and really want to learn how to use them effectively.

Have a nice weekend!

-Chris
 
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