As an intro to the real world of programming, Android is perfect. It is simple, it is widely used, and it is Java. Android is like the Windows of 10-15 years ago. It is like the wild-west of programming where anyone can be successful with a little hard work and some luck. As a programmer, starting your portfolio off with some nice looking Android applications will go a long way.
Android only requires knowledge of the Java language and some very basic Google'ing skills. Java in itself is one of the best learning languages today. It's documentation is the best and most standard across libraries around and is taught in high school computer science programs across the country. As long as you have some basic Java knowledge and the drive to learn more, Android will be easy.
Developing a beautiful app is now easier than ever since Android 4.0. Default UI elements are actually appealing and very cohesive. And with the release of ICS, Google finally released some design documents on how an Android application should look and function. They have put everything in place to get you on your feet and running to your first app. Speaking of that, it only costs a one time fee of $25 to publish to the market.
Here are some resources you should definitely take advantage of to become a better programmer.
Getting Started: Get up and running with your first app!
Android Design: How your app should look and act!
Library Documentation: How to make your app look and feel the way you want!
Becoming A Better Android Programmer: How your apps should be structured