A Look at Android Training

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Look at Android Training

Did you know Google has a bunch of online tutorials on Android Development? These training courses, collectively called simply “Android Training,” can be found at https://developer.android.com/training/index.html.

These tutorials focus on a wide array of topics, from effective layout on different screen sizes, to implementing and saving custom account credentials. It’s all laid out by the task you’re trying to accomplish and categorized for easy reference. Helpful tips and resources aren’t exactly novel for the Android Developer site, but this new iteration is particularly useful.

One section that I found particularly helpful was Improving Layout Performance. Layouts are one of the more difficult parts of Android development (in my opinion at least) and this section provides tips on optimizing the structure of the layout, outlines tools you can use to analyze layout performance, and different methods for reusing layouts.

Another particularly useful item is Optimizing Battery Life. This section explains how to check for internet connection to avoid pointless update/sync actions when no connection is available, how to check the battery and charging status in order to minimize unnecessary power draw in low-battery situations, and other useful tips for optimizing your applications impact on the device. I sincerely wish every app developer would take these lessons to heart for the good of their users.

The last category I’m going to talk about is called Remembering Users. This is cool because you can use it to seamlessly remember data for users that switch devices, or use both a tablet and a phone. Just by reading the user’s Google account address, you can store and sync their information across different devices or app re-installs. In addition to this, you can use OAuth2 to allow your app to do things with the user’s Google, Twitter, and other accounts, or you can create your own custom account type that ties into your apps and services and authenticates the user to your servers.

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