Google launches free course to help non-mobile devs code like Android pros

Web and other developers that haven't gone mobile can take advantage of some new free material Google is handing out to rally support for its wearables, cars and smartphones.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Google

If you're a developer that hasn't yet got their hands dirty with Android, Google is offering free material to help you how to "think and code like seasoned Android developer".

Google announced a new online training program 'Developing Android Apps: Android Fundamentals' on Tuesday, offering material to help developers familiarise themselves with the Android SDK and new 'projects' in Android Studio. Google is also partnering with Udacity.com to offer a free two-week trial of a guided course that serves as an on-ramp to an Android app development course costing $150 a month.

The course isn't aimed at people new to programming but rather "experienced developers" who haven't made the move to Android or mobile development — which of course doesn't just mean smartphones and tablets but also Google's efforts with Android Wear, the Open Automotive Alliance, and Android TV.

"The course offers step-by-step training in which you'll build an Android app, and learn best practices of mobile development in general and Android development in particular,"Reto Meier, head of Google's Android scalable developer advocacy, said.

Members of Google's developer relations team help outline the material — the free part — which includes videos, quizzes and forums that can be found Udacity.com. Anyone who wants ongoing feedback and guidance from "coaches" will need to enrol in the Udacity course.

Unlike emerging mobile OS rivals, one thing Google doesn't have a problem with is developer support. Nonetheless, as Google acknowledged when it launched 'Android Training' in 2011, more developers and more apps make Android smartphones a more compelling choice for consumers. The same holds true as Android appears on new form factors.

Other courses Google offers with Udacity under a similar free and paid format cover mobile UX design to help developers make higher quality apps and mobile web development. 

The courses are designed to complement Google's existing materials for developers such as documentation, samples, and videos.

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