Handheld systems, such as smartphones and tablets are now the most common way for people to access and interact with computing services. The demand for application development skills is therefore growing at a breathtaking pace. These skills, however, are multi-‐ faceted, requiring students to master computer science and engineering principles, to learn the details of specific mobile application platforms, and to design artistic and engaging user interfaces that respond to how, where and why handheld applications are used.
This course will cover the fundamental programming principles, software architecture and user experience considerations underlying handheld software applications and their development environments. To bring these concepts alive, the course will involve in-‐depth, hands-‐on examples, implemented in the Android Platform, the fastest growing segment of the handheld system user base. Students will apply these teachings, also using the Android Platform, in laboratory projects and in a large-‐scale semester project.
Note: This course is part of a Coursera Specialization
This course and two others, led respectively by Drs. Douglas Schmidt and Jules White of Vanderbilt University, have been designed to complement each other. Click here to find out more about the Mobile Cloud Computing with Android (MoCCA) Specialization. Therefore, some of the programming assignments and the course project for these courses will be coordinated.
This course focuses on handheld systems and the design of user-facing applications, and will be taught first. The first Vanderbilt University course, Pattern-Oriented Software Architectures: Programming Mobile Services for Android Handheld Systems will focus on systems programming topics, such as middleware services and background processing. The second Vanderbilt University course, Programming Cloud Services for Android Handheld Systems will focus on connecting Android mobile devices to cloud computing and data storage resources, essentially turning a device into an extension of powerful cloud-based services on popular cloud computing platforms, such as Google App Engine and Amazon EC2.
Nevertheless, each of these courses stands alone. Students are not required to take all of them. Those who do, however, will gain a much more detailed, end-to-end understanding of handheld systems and their applications.
• Lecture #1 – The Android Platform
• Lecture #2 – The Android Development Environment
• Lab #1: Setup: Students identify required software & install it on their personal computers. Students perform several tasks to familiarize themselves with the Android Platform and Development Environment.
• Lecture #3 – Application Fundamentals
• Lecture #4 – The Activity Class
• Lab #2 – The Activity Lifecycle & Reconfiguration: Students build applications that trace the lifecycle callback methods issued by the Android platform and that demonstrate Android's behavior when the device configuration changes (e.g., when the device moves from portrait to landscape mode and back).
• Lecture #5 – The Intent Class
• Lecture #6 – Permissions
• Lecture #7 – The Fragment Class
• Lab #3a - Intents & Permissions: Students build applications that require starting multiple Activities via both standard and custom Intents.
• Lab #3b - Permissions: Students build applications that require standard and custom permissions.
• Lab #3c – Multi-pane and single-pane User Interfaces: Students build an application that uses a single code base, but creates different user interfaces depending on a device's screen size.
• Lectures #8 – User Interface Classes - Part I
• Lectures #9 – User Interface Classes - Part II
• Lab #4 – ToDoManager: Students build a ToDo list manager using the user interface elements discussed in lecture. The application allows users to create new ToDo Items and to display them in a ListView.
• Mini-Project - Modern Art User Interface: Students build a complete application from scratch that presents a simple user interface and allows users to manipulate it. The user interface layout will be inspired by the work of Modern Art masters such as Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson. Our collaborators from the Museum of Modern Art in New York will provide some background material for us.
• Lecture #10 – User Notifications
• Lecture #11 – The BroadcastReceiver Class
• Lecture #12 – Threads, AsyncTask & Handlers
• Lecture #13 - Alarms (optional)
• Lecture #14 - Networking (optional)
• Lab #5 – Tweet app: Students build an app that downloads and displays Tweet data. The app uses an AsyncTask for downloading data over the network. The app will also user BroadcastReceivers and User Notifications to apprise the user of the apps behavior and state.
• Lecture #15 – Graphics & Animation I
• Lecture #16 – Graphics & Animation II
• Lecture #17 – Multi-touch & Gestures
• Lecture #18 – MultiMedia
• Lab #6 - Bubble Popper: Students write an application to display and animate bubbles (graphics that look like bubbles) on the device's screen. When users touch the screen where a bubble is displayed, the bubble pops. The app will also accept gesture input, allowing the user to change the direction and speed of the bubble, using a fling gesture.
• Lecture #19 – Sensors
• Lecture #20 – Location & Maps
• Lab #7 - Place Badge Collector: Students build an application that uses location information to collect Badges for the places they visit.
• Lecture #21 – DataManagement
• Lecture #22 – The ContentProvider Class
• Lecture #23 – The Service Class
• Lab #8 - Place Badge Collector Content Provider: Students build a ContentProvider to store the Place Badges they collect with the app from Weekk 7 application that uses location information to collect Badges for the places they visit.
• Mini-Project - iRemember. We'll implement the front end of a complex handheld application involving many of the concepts presented in the class.
This course is directed to Sophomore- or Junior-level undergraduate students. Students should already know how to program in Java, but are not expected to have studied mobile application development. If you don't already know Java, buthave strong familiarity with other programming languages, you can improve your Javaknowledge, by taking one of the many Java tutorials and online courses available on the web. As discussed above, this course assumes previous programming knowledge. It also assumes that you are willing to search for, read and learn from Android's developer documentation. Based on our previous experience, students who don't meet these criteria often end up being quite frustrated with the course. In short, this course is not designedfor truly novice programmers. If your background is not appropriate for this class, considerfirst taking a less programming heavyintroduction to Android such as, " Creative, Serious and Playful Science of Android Apps ",by Lawrence Angrave of the University of Illinois and Urbana-Champaign.
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