Photo by Rob Bulmahn
Thank you very much for all the positive feedback on our recent post on the best Objective-C video tutorials. We want everyone to benefit from our research, so hearing from you is very motivational for us. Many of you have been asking for a similar list of video resources for learning Android app development. Our initial focus is on developing iOS apps, so we weren’t actively looking at the Android platform. However, since we’ll be developing for Android in the near future anyway, we decided to do some upfront research on what kind of video resources are available online.
We really like the video tutorial format, especially when learning a new development environment. Video tutorials easily demonstrate how to set up the IDE, work with the debugger, and test on the emulator or on a real device. Also, it’s a big time-saver to have a good instructor walk you through difficult concepts and code snippets rather than struggling through it on your own.
Below are the best Android video tutorials we have found while doing our initial research. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, we hope this list can assist you in your app development process.
Treehouse offers an Android development track, which starts you off by building a simple crystal ball app that tells you the future when you shake the phone. This beginner course introduces you to basic Java programming, setting up the development environment using Eclipse, and some basic concepts in the Android SDK. You also learn how to debug and run your app on the emulator or on your device. Finally, it walks you through the steps to publishing your app on Google Play and the Amazon App Store.
Once you’re done with the beginner course, you can dive into more advanced project-based classes where you can build a blog reader app, or build a messaging app similar to Snapchat. Among other things, these projects teach you how to request data from the web, parse and use JSON format, and interact with a backend cloud storage service (from Parse.com) for handling user accounts and file/message storage.
New courses are added pretty much weekly and you get access not just to the Android tutorials, but to other videos for Web Development/Design, iOS Development, Ruby on Rails, and more. Most of the Android development video tutorials are taught by Ben Jakuben, who has a calm, easy-to-understand teaching style that may be ideal for beginners.
Pricing: Free 14 day trial. The $25/month Basic Plan gives access to 1000+ videos, code challenge engine, and forum access. $49/month Pro Plan gives access to everything in the Basic plan plus talks by industry professionals, exclusive workshops, and interviews.
Lynda.com offers close to 15 Android courses, consisting of 600+ video tutorials. A popular tutorial to start with is Android SDK Essential Training, which covers installing the ADT bundle with the Eclipse IDE, and everything you need for creating your first Android project. Then, you can take the Android Studio First Look course for an overview of the integrated development environment (IDE) for the Android platform. Many of the Android courses are taught by David Gassner, who teaches at an easy to understand pace.
After learning the basics, take the Building and Monetizing Game Apps for Android course, where you learn how to use Cocos2d-x to build a game. Also, you learn how to monetize your game by enabling ads and in-game purchases. You can watch the video below for a quick overview of the game app course, taught by Todd Perkins. If building games doesn’t interest you, try the Building Mobile Apps with Google Maps Android API v2 course, where you learn everything about incorporating Google Maps to your Android app.
Many other project-based and feature-based video tutorials are available on Lynda.com. You can easily filter by skill level ( beginner / intermediate ) or instructor to find the course that best fits your needs. Similar to TeamTreeHouse, new courses are added weekly ( almost daily ), and a membership provides unlimited access to all the tutorials.
Pricing: $25/month Basic Plan gives access to unlimited videos and the $37.50/month Premium Plan gives access to project file downloads in addition to all the videos. The annual premium plan allows you to download the courses to your mobile device for offline viewing.
This is where Android developers from Google post videos on the latest features and tools in the Android development world. These videos are helpful for staying in tune with the latest developments in Android. Also, if there is a specific new feature you’d like help with, chances are you’ll find it here, and you will get a chance to hear about it directly from the developers at Google.
Take a look at the Google I/O 2013 – The Android Sessions playlist for in-depth sessions from the 2013 Google I/O conference. You can learn about Android Studio, the IDE announced by Google in the 2013 conference, find out new features in Google Play services, and watch demos of using Google Maps in Android. The DevBytes playlist has great, short videos with the answers you seek for some of your coding questions.
The Android Design in Action playlist has longer, 30-40 minute videos, which discusses various elements of Android design. Watch videos on how to deal with common user experience issues, what kind of image layouts work best, and how to create responsive designs. Finally, This Week in Android Development gives a quick weekly summary of the new videos posted to this YouTube channel.
This is OpenCourseWare from the Harvard Extension School, which gives an overview of building mobile applications in the most popular development platforms. There are 5 Android lectures in total ( lectures 2 through 6 ), where you first get a Java Primer, and then an overview of the Android SDK, Activities, Views, Resources, Assets, Intents, Storage, and Threads.
This course focuses on the Android and iOS development platforms, but you also get a brief introduction to HTML 5, Windows Mobile, and Cross Development Platforms. This is perfect for someone who wants a holistic view of the mobile application space.
The video tutorials are available in mp3 and mp4 format, so you can download it to view offline, or on-the-go. All the slides, and source code used in the lectures are also available for download. The downside may be that this is a course from 2012. There are more recent courses available, like this 2013 summer course, but we still find the format of the 2012 course to be a bit richer in content.
Formerly marakana.com, the Android Bootcamp Series is packed with content for anyone willing to start Android development. There are 29 videos, starting off with an introduction to the Android stack; then you build a Hello World app, while getting introduced to the main building blocks of Android. After that, you get a thorough overview of the Android UI, Threading, Security, Preferences, Services, Databases, and more.
Each video lasts about an hour, and the sessions are taught by Marko Gargenta, who co-founded Marakana, which was later acquired by Twitter. The videos were recorded live during the bootcamp training sessions, so the lectures are interactive, where Marko answers questions from the audience as he goes through his presentations. Most of the videos are centered around code, so it will be much easier to follow if you have prior Java development experience.
There are other, more recent, Android videos available at NewCircle. There are multiple videos from AnDevCon ’13, like Mastering the Android Touch System, or Migrating Your Apps to the New Gradle Build Process, that will help answer some of the questions you may have.
At Udemy, you pick and choose the courses you want to take, so you are not committed to a monthly or annual plan. One of the most popular free courses are Learn Android Programming From Scratch – Beta by Eduonix Learning Solutions. There are 22 lectures and 5 quizzes with a total 3+ hours of content. This course provides an introduction to Android programming and is great for someone with basic knowledge of programming to start creating Android apps.
Another popular free course is called Android App Development By Example, by Pablo Farias Navarro. As the title suggests, you learn through examples by creating an Android app that integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and the Google Maps API. You will get to see the full process, from downloading the Android SDK to deploying your app to the Google Play store. This course is around 2+ hours long and consists of 19 lectures.
In the paid course category, there are courses like, Java Essentials for Android, where you can brush up on your Java skills, and Android Development with Appcelerator Titanium, which gives you a taste of cross-platform app development. There are also courses for extreme beginners, who have no programming knowledge called Android Development Without Coding – Beginner Lessons.
Pricing: Free/Paid. You pay for each course you take, but there are quite a few courses that are free.
There are 200 videos, each between 5-10 minutes in length. There are a wide array of topics that these videos cover: Installation, JSON parsing, working with XML, Widgets, OpenGL, Text to Speech, and putting the app on the Google Play store. Since it’s divided up into short videos with good descriptions of what each is, it’s useful when you are searching for a specific feature you need help with.
The videos are very practical, as most of the videos jump straight into coding in the Eclipse IDE. It’ll be good to have prior programming experience because the tutorials here don’t spend too much time on the programming concepts, and are more feature focused.
We’ve seen some mixed reviews on the short, fragmented videos, since it makes it a bit hard to watch straight through without going through a bunch of ads. However, we still found these tutorials to be useful when we jump around to the topics we were interested in.
This Android Development tutorial for beginners focuses on creating apps using MIT’s App Inventor. Even if you are not a beginner, if you haven’t worked with App Inventor before, this video tutorial series is great for learning it. App Inventor for Android is an open-source web application provided by Google and maintained by MIT. App Inventor allows beginners to create professional looking Android apps very easily.
This series has 20 video tutorials and you learn by building a Zombie GPS app, weather app, a contact app, a texting app, a secret chat app, and more, using App Inventor. Derek Banas mentions that almost 80% of the questions he gets on how to code something in Android can be easily done in App Inventor. It’s definitely worth checking out this tutorial if you want a taste of what App Inventor can do for you.
Derek Banas also has a more traditional Android Development Video Tutorial, if you are not interested in learning App Inventor. Similar to the App Inventor tutorials, the 26 video tutorials here cover the basics by building sample applications.
Let us know more
Do you have any other Android Video Tutorials that you would like to share? Please share it with us in the comments section below!
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