Holiday gift ideas for the aspiring Android developer

by Joey deVilla on December 12, 2018

Android Apprentice and Kotlin Apprentice: Learn from a couple of great books

I learned iOS programming from iOS Apprentice, which is one of the more fun programming books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It’s put out by the developer tutorial site RayWenderlich.com, who have since expanded their offerings to cover Android programming in addition to iOS programming. Android Apprentice is for developers who want to learn Android programming from scratch, while Kotlin Apprentice focuses on the Kotlin programming language, which is rapidly becoming the preferred language for Android development. Both are excellent resources, whether you’re new to Android programming, Kotlin, or even programming in general.

Moto X4: So much Android for so little money

For just a smidge over $200, you can get the perfect Android phone for the developer on a budget (or in my case, a perfect second phone that also runs Android): the Moto X4. It has solid engine under the hood (Snapdragon 630, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage), good display (LCD, 5.2 inches, 1920 by 1080 pixels, 424 ppi), better-than-you’d expect cameras (12 megapixel rear, 8 megapixel front), and a 3,000 mAh battery. These specs put it squarely in the middle of the pack of the current phones, for a price that’s only slightly higher than a much slower, much sadder bargain device. Its metal body feels more like one of a premium phone, and unless you’re running the more intensive games, you probably won’t notice the X4’s performance difference from higher-end models. It’s makes a great phone for the Android developer who wants to target a wide range of devices. That’s a lot of bang for the buck, and that’s why it’s my Android development phone.

Don’t take just my word on the X4; here are a number of glowing reviews from other sources:

Logitech K380 keyboard: Feels good, man

A $30 keyboard shouldn’t feel this good, and it most certainly shouldn’t be be able to switch among three devices with a single keystroke. But that’s exactly what Logitech’s K380 keyboard does, which is why it’s the keyboard I use at my home office (where I work on RayWenderlich.com and personal projects). I prefer it to Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard. Come to think of it, I should get one for use during my day job at Sourcetoad.

Want more than just my opinion? Check out these videos:

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