Learn To Develop On Android With MAD Skills
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Monday, 16 November 2020

Modern Android Development (MAD) Skills is a free series of videos and articles by Google that teaches the modern ways of doing development on the Android platform.

When Google talks about modern Android development it means:

1.Android Studio
4.App Bundles.

Therefore this series reflects Google's notion of what the best approach for developing for the platform is. How? Let's check an extract of a MAD associated article Navigation Component: An Overview:

Before Navigation component, navigation tasks in an application were created very manually. You’d add a listener in your code for whatever UI element triggered a navigation action and then write the code to, say, launch an intent to show a new activity. Or transition to a Fragment.

You also needed to correctly handle the Back and Up actions, when the user clicked on the device’s Back button or the Up button in the ActionBar. The way these two related-but-different actions were handled created… inconsistencies between applications.

With the Navigation component, we now have standard APIs, plus a visual tool in the IDE, to help make the entire process clearer, easier, and more consistent. You use the design tool to create navigation destinations and define the navigation paths, or actions, that take the user between destinations in your graph. Then you add the code which connects user interaction in your app with those actions to navigate appropriately. 

To this end MAD offers a mix of videos posted on YouTube as well as articles posted on Medium. The list is constantly updated with new content, but for the time being the available material focuses on the Navigation Component of Jetpack as well as App Bundling:

  • Introduction to Navigation - MAD Skills

  • Navigation: Overview - MAD Skills

  • Navigation: Dialog destinations - MAD Skills

  • Navigation: SafeArgs - MAD Skills

  • Navigation: Deep links - MAD Skills

  • Navigation: Live Q&A - MAD Skills

  • Introduction to App Bundles - MAD Skills

  • App Bundles: Everything to know about Play App Signing - MAD Skills

  • App bundles: Building your first app bundle - MAD Skills

  • App Bundles: Configuring your app for Play Feature Delivery - MAD Skills

  • App Bundles: Testing bundles with bundletool and the Play Console - MAD Skills

Note the Live Q&A. At the end of a section you'll find a Q&A or AMA session where anyone can ask questions beforehand to the Android team and have it answer them in that session.
The first Q&A was on Navigation and was posted on October 29, while the second which is going to be on App Bundles is scheduled for November 19. So if you've got something to ask, do so now using the #AskAndroid tag on Twitter.


MAD is yet another effort by Google to make developing for its platform an easier proposition. Despite its novelty it has found me critical in the sense that whenever a new method of developing is brought to the platform it completely breaks ties with the past, therefore forcing you to once again start learning from scratch.

I've said what I think in Android Jetpack Compose Is Welcome, But What About The Churn?, and was gratified when CommonsWare shared my view and further elaborated on the theme, arguing that such kind of migrations should be progressive. Have a read of Issue #31 of his jetc.dev newsletter on that matter.

An extra incentive to learn the Jetpack approach is that with the recent introduction of Jetpack Compose for Desktop you can now transfer the knowledge gleaned in tutorials on Jetpack for Android to other platforms such as Windows, Linux and macOS. I've detailed that in Introducing Jetpack Compose for Desktop. As such, MAD will prove more valuable than just on Android's internals.

In the end does the MAD Skills series succeed in making that transition as smooth as possible? Maybe, it's a good start.


More Information

MAD Skills

MAD Skills on YouTube

Get Started with the Navigation Component

jetc.dev Issue #31

Related Articles

Introducing Jetpack Compose for Desktop

Android Jetpack Compose Is Welcome, But What About The Churn?




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Last Updated ( Monday, 16 November 2020 )