I’ve experimented with native Android development before but was amazed at how many topics we managed to cover and in just a short period of time. It didn’t take long for me to start picking up some great new tips and tricks.
There were quite a few people with a Flash development background attending and Rich did a great job explaining Android concepts in reference to ActionScript and Flex. Its quite surprising to see how similar a lot of it is and that certainly helped get us up and running quickly.
The first day we covered a lot of theory and deconstructed various sample files, each explaining a particular topic or use of an API.
We talked about layouts, click handlers, using 9-patch images, resource handling, ViewAnimator with ViewFlipper and TextSwitcher, the intents mechanism, triggering multiple activities, using a Spinner widget and the ArrayAdapter, Toast messages, alert dialogs and status bar notifications.
The second day we did some more advanced styling, talked about threading (both low level as using AsyncTask), covered saving state of your application with SharedPreferences, learned how to work with SQLite databases as well as XML and code-based animation and working with sensors (compass and GPS).
After all that we still had half a day to work on a hands-on project. Most of us added additional features to a Pub Quiz starter project we were handed – adding score keeping, sound and vibrate functions, styling the app, adding animations,…
There is possibly an advanced workshop coming up next year, which I certainly hope to make it out for. If you get a chance to attend “The Android Workshop“, I can highly recommend it!