03-24-2010, 10:19 AM
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Advanced blackberry development covers advanced topics that hobbyists probably wouldn't deal with - such as writing your own media players, advanced encryption techniques, etc. I have the book but I haven't had a need for it yet.
Beginning Blackberry emphasizes backwards compatibility to get your app on as many devices as possible (OS v4.2 onwards). OS v.5 which is covered in the 2nd book has more advanced features which will probably provide a better programming experience, but your apps will only work on the latest blackberry models. If you want to write an app that leverages newer features of the OS, go with the v5 book, but if you want to reach a wider audience, go with the classic beginning blackberry book.
Of course if you use the older techniques, they will still work on OS v5, so you can't lose anything by staying backwards compatible.