The last edition of Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide was released in October 2019. A lot has changed since then.
To help you develop the skills to create new Android apps and maintain existing ones, we’re excited to announce the fifth edition of our popular guide to Android programming. While there are only four authors officially listed in the book, the making of the fifth edition was a group effort at Big Nerd Ranch. We consulted heavily with the entire Android team here (and also reached out to other experts in the field) to provide the best learning experience possible for someone looking to dip their toes in modern Android development. Read on to learn about what’s changing in this latest installation!
In 2019, reactive programming was gaining popularity as a way to architect Android code into maintainable and extensible structures. With the release of Jetpack Compose in 2021, Google poured gasoline onto that flame, supercharging the reactive programming movement. Reactive programming and Jetpack Compose’s declarative framework fit together seamlessly and provide an excellent foundation to build modern Android apps.
While this book still provides readers with all the necessary knowledge to make apps using the best practices of modern Android development, Jetpack Compose is the future of Android development, and the fifth edition of the book is intended to prepare readers for that future. In addition to four new chapters introducing readers to Jetpack Compose, changes throughout the book are intended to ease the transition from developing apps with Android’s existing UI toolkit to developing apps with Jetpack Compose. For example, there are many ways to write asynchronous code on Android, but the book exclusively uses Kotlin coroutines to perform asynchronous operations. Coroutines are baked directly into Jetpack Compose’s API as well as being excellent tools to interact with UI written with Android’s existing UI toolkit. We also reworked many of our projects to follow the unidirectional data flow architecture pattern. The unidirectional data flow pattern is essential to building apps with Jetpack Compose – and it also helps organize code when building apps with Android’s existing UI toolkit.
Other changes in the fifth edition go beyond Jetpack Compose. For example, testing is an integral part of building modern Android apps, and we have rewritten the content around testing from the ground up with practical examples. Also, to reflect how modern Android applications are developed, the book leans on libraries from Google and third parties. Apps in the book now use the Navigation component library to manage navigation between screens and libraries like Retrofit, Moshi, and Coil – as well as the Jetpack libraries – to handle other core features.
Whether you’re trying to create your first Android app or your 50th one, this book provides simple explanations and meaningful dives into the Android platform, helping you quickly harness the platform to create the apps you want and need.
The eBook version for the fifth edition of Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide is available for pre-order now and will launch in early May. Printed versions of the book will be available in early June. If you or your team would like the full Big Nerd Ranch experience, we offer instructor-led bootcamps where one of our expert instructors will teach you the Essentials of Android.
You can find more information on our books page. Also, keep an eye on this blog and our social media for more updates from the ranch. Happy coding!