Last week i’ve read the book Learning Android by Marko Gargenta.
It is a really very “neat” one,probably most suitable one to start with Android development. It is like a big tutorial walking you through the whole process of development a twitter-like app starting from environment set-up till a complete application where you can read and post tweets. Neither a reference book nor providing an in-depth look to android stack components,however it is supplying theoretical basis and putting you in action for a very rapid development experience.
The book starts with an overview of Android stack and the summarizes main building blocks;activities,intents,services,broadcast receivers and content providers. Right after this relatively short introduction,it dives into development and you grasp insightful understanding of main blocks and UI artifacts on the fly as you develop.Application code is satisfactorily detailed -even line by line in some cases- so you do not miss anything and end up having no questions by the end of each chapter.Moreover,lots of hints and tips take place to make better use of Eclipse IDE and to avoid some chronical exceptions. I also should add that it is fairly easy to read since structured very well into chapters and each chapter boiled down to sections in a concise manner.Even it includes a considerable amount of code (listing) it is a joy to read it.
As to downsides, as i said,it is more like a tutorial enriched by conceptual side knowledge.But not sure if this is a true disadvantage if you would like to make a fast start to Android application development.
All in all,i definitely recommend this book to beginners.It is really a great feeling to have an application up and running already just after you finished the first book you read about Android,if you are a beginner.If you already develop Android Apps and need some more low level structured and more detailed one or a reference book, this might not be the best choice.