Android-Fu: Awesome Apps for Ice Cream Sandwich and Beyond

Location: Portland 255 Level: Intermediate
Presentation: external link
Average rating: ****.
(4.58, 19 ratings)

Attendee prerequisites for this tutorial are listed below.

Come and learn how to build apps for Ice Cream Sandwich (and beyond!) This workshop is for existing object-oriented programmers, but you don’t necessarily need to know Java. (we’ll teach you just enough to be dangerous). Learn the Android SDK, how to be efficient in Eclipse and everything you need to know to pretend you’re a UX and Interaction Design guru.

Existing programmers of almost any language will learn the ins and outs, philosophies and ideologies, loopholes and drawbacks and quirks (and there are many) of the Android Ice Cream Sandwich platform. Attendees will come away confident with the skills to build an application for Android that rivals apps for that other phone platform in usability and look. You’ll come away with a functional app that looks pretty and works great on the latest phones and tablets.

Tiny computers in our pocket are part of the glorious reality that we live in! Build apps and conquer the world. This session is not 100% programming, it’s 50/50 UX and programming – and the programming we work on is going to give you a taste of what you can do and why you should do it, not dive into every facet of the Android SDK (we don’t have time for that!)

Topics covered will include:

  • Why, as a programmer, you need to understand interaction design when building for mobile
  • The core features, capabilities and limitations of the Java Android SDK (Ice Cream Sandwich Android-Fu)
  • Java, and why it doesn’t suck on Android
  • Resource constraints, and how to remember that they exist on a TINY FREAKIN’ COMPUTER


If you want to do the tutorial work in your usual working environment, you will need to follow the following steps BEFORE you attend the tutorial. Time is tight, and we don’t have enough time to wait for people to download SDK components!

  1. Install the SDK:

    You’ll need to follow the Android Developer Guides’ instructions for installing the SDK. Versions for x86 Linux, Mac OS X and Windows can be found at: For Unixy people, I suggest installing under /opt or $HOME/opt.
  2. Install Eclipse:

    We will be using the Eclipse IDE for our demos during the tutorial. You can use other code editors, but Eclipse contains the only way to visually assemble user interfaces in Android. For Windows and Mac users, you can download Eclipse (we suggest the Classic version) from
  3. Install the Android Development Tools for Eclipse:

    The instructions for doing so can be found at
  4. Install an Android Platform:

    Our code is tested against Android version 4.0.3 (SDK Platform 4.0.3, API 15), so you will need to install that platform at least. Instructions for this can be found at:
  5. Install git:

    Some code samples will be stored in a public git repository — if you want to follow along with these, you’ll need a git client installed.
  6. Bring pens and paper!

QUESTIONS for the speaker?: Use the “Leave a Comment or Question” section at the bottom to address them.

Photo of Paris Buttfield-Addison

Paris Buttfield-Addison

Secret Lab Pty. Ltd.

Paris is co-founder of Secret Lab Pty. Ltd., leading production and design efforts in the mobile game and app development space. A frequent speaker at conferences, workshops and training sessions, Paris enjoys discussing engineering, product development, design and other facets of the mobile and game development worlds. Recent conferences include Apple Australia’s /dev/world/2011 in Melbourne (and 2008, 2009 and 2010), a keynote at CreateWorld Brisbane 2010 (and a speaker in 2009 and 2011), IxDA’s Interaction 11 in Boulder (March 2011), XMediaLab Location-Based Services in Malmo, Sweden (January 2011), a tutorial and a session at OSCON 2011 and many others.

Paris is the co-author of the books ‘iPhone and iPad Game Development For Dummies’ and ‘Unity Mobile Game Development For Dummies’. The books cover game development on mobile platforms such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices in languages/frameworks such as Objective-C, CocoaTouch, Open GL ES, Unity, C# and JavaScript. They also cover game design techniques, principles and patterns.

Paris founded and led ithinkitworks P/L from 2001 to 2008, spearheading product development and design efforts on a variety of platforms including desktop Linux, Windows, Mac OS, Palm OS, Windows Mobile/Pocket PC and others.

Paris is also a highly experienced software developer, product and project manager. Key experiences include Objective-C/Cocoa on the Macintosh and iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad platforms, Java on Blackberry and Google Android and C# on Windows Mobile. Open GL ES and Unity are also favourites.

Paris recently spent 2 years leading Meebo Inc.‘s mobile strategy; Meebo is one of the world’s fastest growing consumer internet companies and is based in Mountain View, CA. Paris is currently working on his next book, this time with O’Reilly (Learning Cocoa with Objective-C Third Edition), whilst working towards the completion of his PhD in Human-Computer Interaction.

Photo of Christopher Neugebauer

Christopher Neugebauer

AlphaSights | Python Software Foundation

Christopher is a semi-professional nerd, and recent first-class Honours graduate in Computer Science of the University of Tasmania. Previously an intern at Google in Sydney, he currently works in mobile and web development for Secret Lab, a boutique development studio based in Hobart, Australia for clients throughout the world. Since he likes it when developers share their experiences, he has twice organised application development miniconfs at (in 2010 and 2011).

When not coding, Christopher can be found taking long, artificially-lit walks down fake beaches, arguing the benefits of Python to anyone who won’t listen, and watching other people drinking beer.

Photo of Jon Manning

Jon Manning

Secret Lab

Jon is the co-founder of Secret Lab, the world’s least not-evil mobile development studio. Jon heads up the development team at Secret Lab, develops mobile applications for Meebo, and is a PhD student at the University of Tasmania in Australia.

Comments on this page are now closed.


james smith
07/18/2012 9:16am PDT

Fantastic session! Great structure and content. Engaging presenters, particularly the big guy in the hat. Everyone was fantastic, even if they did speak a bit too fast!!

Picture of Christopher Neugebauer
Christopher Neugebauer
07/18/2012 6:31am PDT

Hi there!

Slides for this talk are now available at

Katie DeVrie
07/17/2012 5:29am PDT

Great!!! Thank you!! Slides please?

Picture of Christopher Neugebauer
Christopher Neugebauer
07/17/2012 1:06am PDT

Hi James,

Yes, this talk is very design-heavy, and many of the exercises are done on paper. You’ll get plenty out of it without your laptop.


James Jenkins
07/17/2012 12:13am PDT

will I get something out of this if I don’t have a laptop with me?

Picture of Christopher Neugebauer
Christopher Neugebauer
07/15/2012 6:12am PDT

Hello there! We’ve posted most of the coding exercises into a Git repository at

If you can clone this before attending the talk, that’d be awesome :)


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