12 Android blogs you should be following

analyzing AndroidWeekly data: Part One

The AndroidWeekly email digest is a fantastic way to stay on top of the latest Android news. Each week includes articles from the most popular and influential blogs as well as worthwhile reads from passionate developers. I’m not affiliated with AndroidWeekly, but I have found it very useful over the years and see it as a great way to take snapshots of the Android community overtime. This is the first part of a series I dive into the data from the AndroidWeekly archive. If you’re interested in the data and my analysis, check out the end of this post.

The 10 most influential blogs from the last year

1. Styling Android

Styling Android is a technical guide to improving the UI and UX of Android apps. Mark Allison, the force behind Styling Android, hasn’t taken a week off from blogging in years, making him by far the most prolific Android blogger. He has done deep dives into ConstraintLayout, the latest functions in Nougat, and building a Santa voice modulator from scratch.

2. Philosophical Hacker

Matt Dupree used to be a professor and now he brings his academic lens to Android development. His posts are comprehensive but still easy to read. He has written about cryptography, quotes Nietzsche in his criticism of God Objects, and why he doesn’t use Robolectric.

3. Google Developers

Google Developers has articles from Google Developer advocates, designers, and engineers. You’ll find overviews of new libraries and tooling, like the APK analyzer, in addition to plenty of tips and tricks, including how to make a jumping pin. Of course, we know influential members of the community and the experts at Google do not always agree.

4. Hackernoon

Hackernoon has a number of contributors and includes has articles about much more than Android, such as machine learning. Other topics, like using Gradle apply to Android developers and a larger community. Similarly, SLAPing your functions and the Law of Demeter apply to almost all developers.

5. Riggaroo.co.za

In 2016 Rebecca Franks became a GDE and also started getting frequently featured in Android Weekly. She has written about automated testing, A/B testing, Android Things, custom Android Studio templates, and more!

6. Novoda

Novoda works with companies to design great apps. Apparently it is also part of their mission to engage with community. Their blog is all about learning and sharing, with topics like Android Things, Android Wear, and how to really make use of the Layout Preview. They also have a GitHub project dedicated to Android samples.

7. AndroidPub

AndroidPub is another site that represents the combined efforts of a number of writers. They talk about a number of specific concepts, like why not to put view != null checks in your Presenters, how to remove all !! from your Kotlin code, and how to use RxJava and DiffUtil together.

8. My Life With Android

My Life With Android focuses on how to architect your app. Hannes Dorfmann introduced Mosby to help developers bring an MVP pattern to their apps. He has also written about the Repository pattern and the much less commonly discussed Model-View-Intent (MVI) pattern.

9. Dan Lew Codes

Dan Lew has been making the Trello app great for several years. Along the way he has shared lessons from adding offline support to the Trello app, using RxJava to retry network requests, and how to handle schema upgrades.

10. The Droids On Roids

This group has apparently been around for several years, but I’ve only started seeing their blog posts pop up in the last year or so. A lot of their posts are UI oriented like Meaningful Motion with Shared Element Transition and Circular Reveal Animation, Animating Markers with MapOverlayLayout, and Shared Element Transition with RecyclerView and Scenes.

11. jeroenmols

Joeroen Mols is currently the Lead Android developer for the Philips Hue. He has written about unit testing, code coverage, continuous integration, and much more. He has shared some of his projects, including a WiFi file transfer tool in the Play Store, and also has a useful and popular GitHub repo, LandscapeVideoCamera.

12. Commonsware

Mark Murphy has been taking deep dives into Android topics for quite some time. He takes on the serious topics and does it well. You can always count on him to investigate the changes in the latest Developer Previews for the latest Android version, how to tackle particularly annoying struggles like rendering PDFs, and network security concepts like certificate pinning.

Rest of the top 25

The Android community is amazing! There are so many more people who should be recognized for their work. Here’s the remaining blogs from the top 25 along with the number of times they have been featured in AndroidWeekly in the last year.

13. medium.com/google-developer-experts     6
14. blog.mindorks.com 6
15. m.signalvnoise.com 6
16. www.raywenderlich.com 5
17. upday.github.io 5
18. code.tutsplus.com 5
19. blog.egorand.me 5
20. yalantis.com 5
21. tech.trello.com 5
22. www.andevcon.com 4
23. medium.com/@manuelvicnt 4
24. medium.com/azimolabs 4
25. segunfamisa.com 4

Data Source: AndroidWeekly Archive

The AndroidWeekly archive has links to all the AndroidWeekly emails since it started in 2011. I downloaded each edition, parsed the HTML, and saved the data in CSVs. Several editions weren’t available in the archives, but everything else was there.

For anyone else who is interested in looking at the data, it is available here. Each item includes six fields: description, title, section, site, issue_num, and link.

Analysis

I did my analysis in a Jupyter notebook, primarily making use of Pandas. My full analysis is available here. The data processing for this post is very simple — future posts will get much more interesting. After loading the data from the CSV files, my first step was to filter out the non-articles.

Next, I created rules to handle links to online media platforms that have many different authors, such as GooglePlus, Medium, and SpeakerDeck. In these cases, I found adding the first part of the path after the domain was sufficient (e.g. medium.com/google-developers)

Then I was able get the most popular blogs from the last 52 weeks. And the result is the most popular sites from the last year! The list below includes the site link and the number of times each site was featured on AndroidWeekly in the past year.

1.  blog.stylingandroid.com                37
2. www.philosophicalhacker.com 15
3. medium.com/google-developers 13
4. hackernoon.com 13
5. riggaroo.co.za 13
6. www.novoda.com 12
7. android.jlelse.eu 11
8. hannesdorfmann.com 8
9. blog.danlew.net 7
10. www.thedroidsonroids.com 7
11. jeroenmols.com 7
12. commonsware.com 7

Follow me to get updates on the rest of the AndroidWeekly data analysis series.

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