Computer Science Books

Pro Android Web Apps Develop for Android Using HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript

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What’s a Mobile Web App?

A mobile web app is an application that is built with the core client web technologies of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and is specifically designed for mobile devices. Helping mobile web apps get a bit of attention are the trends toward HTML5 and CSS3—the latest “versions” of two of the technologies. We explore both HTML5 and CSS3 in detail in the book, along with a lot of  JavaScript.
JavaScript is the language that many developers love to hate. Some don’t even regard it as a programming language at all. However, JavaScript is here for the long haul, and is likely to be one of the most in demand skillsets for the next five years.

Which Technologies Are Used in This Book?

In the book, we work through lots (and lots) of JavaScript code. There’s obviously quite a bit of HTML and CSS there too, but JavaScript really is the language of mobile web app development.
If you haven’t worked with JavaScript in the past, we don’t completely drop you in at the deep end, but we would recommend getting hold of some learning materials, as this isn’t a JavaScript fundamentals book. We also make extensive use of the excellent jQuery JavaScript library to make life generally easier during development. If that is something that is new to you, we recommend having a jQuery tutorial or two handy as well. If you have experience with Prototype, MooTools, or another of jQuery’s “competitors,” then you should be able to adapt the sample code in the book with relative ease.
In terms of mobile web apps (and other JavaScript-rich web apps), learning how to structure your applications for readability and maintainability is important. This is one of the reasons that we have chosen to work through a couple of small application-sized projects in the book rather than small code-snippets showing particular functionality. This will allow you to become familiar with the different technical aspects of mobile web app development, and also gain an understanding of how you might effectively put a real-world mobile web application together.
If you are already familiar with web application development, this book should make the transition to mobile web app development simple. If, however, you are coming from a mobile application development perspective, and are looking to explore the web app approach, having those extra learning materials will make a big difference.

What’s in This Book

This book is structured around two application samples that will teach you the various aspects of mobile web app development. Chapters 2–6 deal with the first mini application of a simple “To Do List”, and Chapters 8–12 guide you through the beginnings of building a simple locationaware game.
In and around these two “main meals” we have three “snack” chapters. Chapter 1 is focused on getting you up and running with the basic concepts for writing Android web apps. Chapter 7 is a short look at working with interactivity and the HTML5 canvas. And finally, Chapter 13 takes a look at some of the things that might be coming our way in the world of mobile apps.

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