Obviously with all the iPhone 3G hoopla from last week, there's been a lot of Apple, Apple, Apple here and elsewhere. But the iPhone isn't the only viable smart phone platform in town (though I'd argue it's still the best one and, oddly enough, already the most mature). I'm also interested in Google's Android platform, which should debut this year and expand dramatically to more devices into 2009. If you're interested in Android as a development platform, you'll want to check out Ed Burnette's next book, which you can now buy online in beta form:

Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform
by Ed Burnette

Android combines the ubiquity of cell phones, the excitement of open source software, and the corporate backing of Google and other Open Handset Alliance members. The result is a mobile platform you can’t afford not to learn. This book will get you started.

This title is currently available in Beta. Buy it now, and you'll be able to download successive releases of the PDF as the authors add material and correct mistakes. You'll get the final PDF when the book is finished.

If you buy the combo pack (Beta PDF + Paper Book) now, you'll get the Beta PDF now and the paper book when it's released on or about October 15, 2008.

About this Book

Android is a new software toolkit for mobile phones, created by Google and the Open Handset Alliance. In a few years, it’s expected to be found inside millions of cell phones and other mobile devices, making Android a major platform for application developers. That could be your own program running on all those devices.

Getting started developing with Android is easy. You don’t even need access to an Android phone, just a computer where you can install the Android SDK and the phone emulator that comes with it. Within minutes, Hello, Android will get you creating your first working application: Android’s version of “Hello, World.”

From there, you’ll build up a more substantial example: an Android Sudoku game. By gradually adding features to the game throughout the course of the book, you’ll learn about many aspects of Android programming including user interfaces, multimedia, and the Android life cycle.

If you’re a busy developer who’d rather be coding than reading about coding, this book is for you. To help you find what you need to know fast, each chapter ends with “Fast forward” section. These sections provide guidance for where you should go next when you need to read the book out of order.

This looks really interesting. I'm going to see about talking with Ed about Android soon. Perhaps some sort of a Q & A or whatever.