best android books [learn android app development asap]

14 Best Android Books in 2021 [Learn Android App Development ASAP]

What is Android?

Android is an operating system for mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. It’s open source, meaning you can add features and alter the source code. Android applications are built using Kotlin or Java.

🍩 Most versions of Android are named after sweets such as Jelly Bean, Kit Kat and Donut. Yum!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

TLDR: Best Android Books


🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide


💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Head First Kotlin: A Brain-Friendly Guide

💸 Best Value 💸
Kotlin in Action

🎖️ Honorable Mention 🎖️
Kotlin and Android Development featuring Jetpack

Best Android Books

1. Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide

Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide is one of the overall best Android books.

↘️ Ideal for: Kotlin developers with some experience
↘️
Topics covered: Android 8 and beyond, Android Studio

Android Programming follows in the footsteps of The Big Nerd Ranch Guide’s in-person Android Bootcamp. Using hands-on example apps and clear explanations, you’ll learn practical techniques for developing Android apps in Kotlin.

You’ll also:

  • create apps that integrate with other apps
  • develop apps with audio
  • download and display photos from the web

And beyond.

➡️ Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide is a hands-on guide for using Kotlin to create Android applications.

Object diagram in Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide

🏁 Bigger, better, faster, stronger! Build additional Android apps with the course Modern Android App Development with Java on Educative.io.

2. Head First Kotlin: A Brain-Friendly Guide

Head First Kotlin is one of the best Android books for beginners.

↘️ Ideal for: Kotlin newbies
↘️
Topics covered: Kotlin fundamentals, higher-order functions, OOP, functional programming

We love Head First.

Head First Kotlin is a hands-on complete introduction to Kotlin programming. Using cognitive science and learning theory, it’s designed to provide a multisensory learning experience. Rather than walls of text, your mind will be engaged with image-rich, page-turning lessons.

In addition to learning Kotlin fundamentals, you’ll discover:

  • generics
  • lambdas
  • higher-order functions

You’ll also explore object-oriented programming (OOP) and functional programming.

➡️ Ideal for beginners, Head First Kotlin is a visually stimulating introduction to the world of Kotlin programming.

Installing IntelliJ IDEA in Head First Kotlin

💥 Geena’s Hot Take

Head First books are some of the best out there, and Head First Kotlin is no exception.

Using a mix of text and tons of illustrations, you’re almost guaranteed to learn the material better than other books.

So if you need to learn Kotlin, we highly recommend this book above any other on our list.


🏁 Put all this theory mumbo jumbo into practice with the course The Ultimate Guide to Kotlin Programming on Educative.io.

3. Kotlin in Action

Kotlin in Action is one of the best Android books at an affordable price.

↘️ Ideal for: experienced Java developers
↘️
Topics covered: functional programming, writing clean code

Kotlin in Action teaches experienced Java developers the basics of Kotlin. From there, you’ll learn how to build applications to run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and Android devices.

With this example-rich text you’ll learn how to build production-quality applications. You’ll also dive into:

And much more.

➡️ Kotlin in Action was written by some of the core developers of Kotlin.


🏁 Stop reading and blast your retinas off with the video course Kotlin Fundamentals on Pluralsight. 👁️👄👁️

4. Kotlin and Android Development featuring Jetpack

Kotlin and Android Development featuring Jetpack is one of the only Android development books that covers Jetpack.

↘️ Ideal for: Android developers
↘️
Topics covered: Jetpack, Kotlin, Android development

Jetpack? You may think we’re talking about the WordPress plugin but actually? We’re talking about Android Jetpack, a suite of libraries that enables you to:

  • follow best practices
  • reduce boilerplate code
  • write code that works

Kotlin and Android Development featuring Jetpack is a wildly hands-on adventure where you’ll work on building fun apps such as:

  1. Penny Drop – full game including die rolls, customizable rules and AI opponents
  2. Android Baseball League – real app, fake league, you’ll build on what you’ve learned in Penny Drop

With these fully functional apps, you’ll work on concepts like:

  • asynchronous and web service calls
  • persist and retrieve data
  • display data
  • send notifications to a user’s phone

And much more, all while using tools, libraries and Jetpack best practices.

➡️ With Kotlin and Android Development featuring Jetpack, you’ll learn how to build Android apps using Kotlin and Jetpack.

What Android developers are saying about Kotlin and Android Development featuring Jetpack

The author has a conversational writing style that makes the book easy to read and follow, and I really liked his example applications…

Craig, Android Developer


🏁 Learn how to make an Android app with the course Comprehensive Step by Step Guide on How to Make an Android App on BitDegree.

5. Android Cookbook: Problems and Solutions for Android Developers

↘️ Ideal for: Java developers, Android developers
↘️
Topics covered: 230 recipes, tooling, layouts

Android Cookbook contains 230 problems and solutions contributed by three dozen Android developers including:

And beyond.

This book is ideal for developers experienced with Java and Android basics.

➡️ Android Cookbook contains 230 Java problems for Android developers.

You’ll find step-by-step instructions in Android Cookbook

🏁 Discover how to Build a Simple Android App with Java on Treehouse.

6. Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide

↘️ Ideal for: Kotlin newbies, new and experienced Android developers
↘️
Topics covered: fundamentals, IntelliJ IDEA

Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide is geared towards new and experienced Android developers. Based on The Big Nerd Ranch’s in-person Kotlin Essentials course, you’ll work with hands-on exercises to learn the basic concepts of Kotlin as well as advanced features.

You’ll also get an introduction to the development environment IntelliJ IDEA by JetBrains.

By the end of this book, you should be able to write reliable Kotlin applications.

➡️ Kotlin Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide teaches both Kotlin fundamentals and advanced concepts.


🏁 Take the Kotlin Crash Course for Programmers on Educative.io.

7. Android Studio 4.2 Development Essentials – Kotlin Edition

↘️ Ideal for: experienced developers, Android Studio newbies
↘️
Topics covered: Android Studio, Kotlin

In Android Studio Development Essentials, you’ll learn Kotlin under the umbrella of Android Studio 4.2. First you’ll discover the layout and tools on Android Studio. Then you’ll work directly with the code editor.

You’ll also learn Kotlin fundamentals such as:

And object-oriented programming.

➡️ In this edition of Android Studio Development Essentials, you’ll learn how to use Android Studio with Kotlin programming.


8. Android Studio 4.2 Development Essentials – Java Edition

↘️ Ideal for: experienced developers, Android Studio newbies
↘️
Topics covered: Android Studio, Java

In Android Studio Development Essentials, you’ll learn Java under the scope of Android Studio 4.2. First you’ll discover the layout, tools and code editor of Android Studio.

You’ll also discover:

  • view models
  • lifecycle management
  • app navigation
  • live data
  • data binding

And beyond.

➡️ In this edition of Android Studio Development Essentials, you’ll learn how to use Android Studio with Java programming.


9. Android Programming for Beginners

↘️ Ideal for: Android and Java newbies
↘️
Topics covered: coding fundamentals, design patterns, real-world applications

Android Programming for Beginners teaches users how to build in-depth Android apps with no prior programming experience. After learning Java coding fundamentals, you’ll dig into Android development concepts such as:

  • building functional user interfaces
  • adding user interaction, sound and animations to apps
  • creating real-world Android applications with design patterns

And beyond.

➡️ Android Programming for Beginners is newbie-friendly!

What Android developers are saying about Android Programming for Beginners

… The author really goes over the detail needed to understand building an Android application …

Christopher West, Android Developer

10. Android Programming with Kotlin for Beginners

Android Programming with Kotlin for Beginners is one of the best Android books for building projects.

↘️ Ideal for: Android and Kotlin newbies
↘️
Topics covered: Kotlin, Android, object-oriented programming

Android Programming with Kotlin for Beginners is a hands-on book for absolute beginners. You’ll build plenty of Android apps from the ground up while learning how Kotlin and Android interact. You’ll also learn how to:

  • build a graphical drawing app using OOP
  • build practical layouts using NavigationView, ScrollView and more
  • add user interaction, sound and animations to applications

You’ll also build a simple database that stores and sorts user data.

➡️ Android Programming with Kotlin for Beginners is a project-based book.


11. How to Build Android Apps with Kotlin

How to Build Android Apps with Kotlin is one of the best Android books for experienced Kotlin developers.

↘️ Ideal for: experienced Kotlin developers
↘️
Topics covered: creating apps, lifecycle, simplifying app development

How to Build Android Apps with Kotlin is a hands-on guide to building Android apps. It’s for experienced Kotlin developers who will learn how to:

  • create maintainable and scalable apps
  • navigate the Android development lifecycle
  • simplify app development

You’ll then learn how to publish your applications to the Google Play store.

➡️ How to Build Android Apps with Kotlin is for experienced Kotlin developers.


12. Professional Android

Professional Android is one of the best Android books containing hands-on exercises.

↘️ Ideal for: professional Android developers
↘️
Topics covered: best practices, lifecycle

With Professional Android, you’ll build tons of projects while exploring different platform features. Starting with basic Android concepts, you’ll quickly graduate to more challenging Android development. Along the way, you’ll learn:

  • best practices and techniques
  • lifecycle of Android apps
  • design for all mobile platforms

And how to utilize Google Play services.

➡️ Professional Android is meant to build your Android skills to a professional level.


13. Kotlin Programming By Example

↘️ Ideal for: Kotlin newbies
↘️
Topics covered: Kotlin basics, building Android applications

With Kotlin Programming by Example, you’ll build 3 real-world applications to strengthen your Kotlin programming skills. After learning Kotlin fundamentals, you’ll:

  • develop RESTful services for Android apps
  • create efficient, reactive Android apps
  • implement an MVC architecture pattern
  • deploy Kotlin microservices to Amazon Web Services (AWS)

And much more.

➡️ Kotlin Programming by Example is a fun, project-based book teaching basic Kotlin concepts.


14. Beginning Android Development With Kotlin

↘️ Ideal for: programmers with some basic coding skills
↘️
Topics covered: Android development, Kotlin fundamentals

Beginning Android Development with Kotlin starts you off by immediately building an app: a BMI calculator. But the fun doesn’t stop there. You’ll take a journey into building multiple applications using the minimum skills necessary.

Then you’ll learn how to publish your applications.

➡️ Building Android Development with Kotlin is a project-heavy immersion into the world of Android app development.


Best Android Books: Conlcusion

Today we looked at the best Android books including:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide


💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Head First Kotlin: A Brain-Friendly Guide

💸 Best Value 💸
Kotlin in Action

🎖️ Honorable Mention 🎖️
Kotlin and Android Development featuring Jetpack

So regardless of your needs, we think these are the best Android books out there.


Android developers are also reading:


  1. What are the best Android books?

    Overall, we think Android Programming by The Big Nerd Ranch Guide is the best Android book. For newbies, we liked Head First Kotlin by Dawn and David Griffiths. And for value, we enjoyed Kotlin in Action by Dmitry Jemerov and Svetlana Isakova.

  2. Do you use Java or Kotlin for Android?

    You can use both Java and Kotlin to develop Android applications. It comes down to personal preference (or what your employer prefers). Check out today's post where you can find books and courses about Kotlin and Java development in Android.

  3. Does Android work on tablets?

    Yes, Android works on tablets, but not all tablets use Android. Because Android is open source, you can use it to work on most devices. Learn more about how Android works with books listed in today's post.

  4. Are all Android phones smartphones?

    Yes, all Android phones are smartphones. But not all smartphones run on Android. In today's post, we look at different books you can read to learn how to use Android.

  5. Where can I learn Android?

    You can learn about Android's features and functions with books, courses and tutorials. Our favorite book to learn Android is Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. Today we're looking at plenty of books to get you started learning Android development. You can also look into a few courses we have listed.