Join David Gassner for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know before starting this course, part of Adding Google Maps to Android Apps.
- This course is designed for software developers who want to build Android apps that add interact maps, specifically from the Google Maps service. I'll be using the Google Maps Android API v2 which is a part of a larger collection of APIs known as the Google Play services library. I'll be showing you how to control the map, including setting the type of map that's displayed and controlling its target, its zoom level, and other characteristics, and I'll show you how to add markers and other graphical elements, and how to work with the user's current location.
This is an intermediate course, and it assumes that you have basic knowledge of Java and Android development. But if you need to remind yourself of any of those basic skills, lynda.com has a lot of courses you can choose from. The Java programming language is a little bit different in Android than it is in the Oracle SDK, mostly because it doesn't implement everything from Oracle. For example, there are no Java 8 features, and while most of the syntax that was introduced in Java 7 is supported, it's not universal.
But learning basic Java is the right way to start. You can watch the courses, Java Essential Training and Java Advanced Training, to learn what you need to know to work in this course. I also assume that you understand basic Android development skills, including how to create screens with activities and layouts, how to navigate between screens using intents, and how to handle events. Here are some course you might find helpful, for basic Android development skills, watch Developing Android Apps Essential Training, and particularly, if you're moving to Android Studio for the first time, you can watch Android Studio Essential Training.
I also talk a little bit in this course about persistent data storage, and you can learn about all those options in the course, Android SDK: Local Data Storage. You'll need a certain set of software and hardware to follow along with the course. You'll need the Java Development Kit from Oracle, and you can download that for free from http://java.oracle.com and you'll need Android Studio and the Android SDK. You can get that for free, again, from http://developer.android.com/sdk. I'll be using Android Studio 1.3, specifically, a beta version.
So in order to follow along, I recommend that you use that version or a later version. If you're still using an older version of Android Studio, you can upgrade to version 1.3, and if it's still in beta at the time you watch the course, just configure your update dialogue to watch the beta channel instead of the stable channel, and then you should be able to upgrade. Because the Google Play services APK is not supported on the Android emulator, you'll need an Android device for testing and development. Make sure that it's one that has Google Play services.
I always use Nexus devices because they let me work with a pure version of Android, but you should also be able to work with devices from Samsung, HTC, LG and other device vendors. Make sure that it has Android 4 or later, and again, make sure that the Google Play services library is installed. If you have the Google Play Store, then you're ready to go. Examples of devices where you won't find those components include the Kindle Fire and the NOOK. So that's everything you need to get started with this course, in terms of both the basic knowledge of developing with Java and Android, and the software and hardware you'll need to work with the exercise files that accompany the course.
- Getting a Google Maps API key
- Adding the Google Play services library
- Setting a map's initial state
- Geocoding addresses
- Displaying different types of maps
- Working with the current location
- Adding and customizing map markers
- Drawing on maps
- Preparing map apps for deployment