Android Studio has been one of the biggest challenges for me learning Android. Part of the problem is the first book I read about the subject 10 years or so ago was about Eclipse. I hate Eclipse. It was enough to discourage me from continuing. I remember being so happy when it became a IntelliJ backbone. But the big change caused me some problems and I was not yet motivated to learn it. So when I decided to really learn Android my plan was tackle the IDE so the first Android book that I read when I started my Android education last year was Mastering Android Studio 3. I have been reading a bunch of books this year so I feel like I can really evaluate this book.
So what’s the verdict on Mastering Android Studio 3
It was systematic in its approach. It tackled many of the major menus and areas of the IDE with good pictures and clear text. So much better than my standard bumbling prose.
My favorite section was the UI layouts. In all the books I have dealt with as part of my Android journey this one handled the various layouts the best. For the first time I really got a feeling on the relative layouts and it has the best constraint layout explanation, I have run across.
I actually enjoyed the book. It was quite nice having an introduction to Android Studio. For some reason all the rest of my books treat the IDE as an afterthought. One of the issues I had in the past was just finding things and this sort of helped.
Yeah, I mean Android Studio is on 3.5 so you would assume that being a version 3 book things would still be valid.
Unfortunately, one of the first things the books teaches is finding the Theme Editor. Which does not exist anymore. It is not the book’s fault that Google like to change things without considering it a major change.
So you have to come into this book knowing that not everything is accurate. For me it is annoying but for some of the people I know, it would render the book unusable. If you don’t learn unfamiliar technologies out of obsolete books well, which you can get cheap, then this may not be the book for you. Match your IDE version to your book version and I think you will really love it. If you are one of those people, don’t be ashamed of it, accept it and get the version of the book that matches the current IDE or downgrade to the appropriate version. From that knowledge base, the jump to the latest will be fairly small.
One thing I would warn the kids on is this book is about the IDE and not the language. Personally, I liked learning about most of the parts and it has made learning Android a heck of a lot easier. If you are gunning for a language book then this is not the guide for you.