Android Overview Tutorial: Development Environment
Developers (using Java) need to use the Android SDK in order to build Android apps. As for the development environment, Google recommends developers to use the Eclipse IDE along with the ADT Plugin for Android development. This section talks about how to install the Android SDK, Eclipse IDE and the ADT Plugin in order to complete the Android development environment setup
Android SDK Download
The Android SDK can be downloaded free from the Android Developer website. The Android SDK is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms. For Windows, Google recommends downloading the Android SDK installer.
Android SDK Tools Setup
Once you’ve downloaded the installer, launch the Android SDK Tools Setup as shown below.
The installer tries to detect a valid Java Development Kit installation (JDK) on your computer. If you do not have a JDK installed, you can download it from the Oracle Java Downloads page.
In the next step, the installer prompts you to choose the location where to install the Android SDK. Unless you want to use another drive/ directory, it is recommended that you use the standard path chosen by the installer as shown below.
In the next step, the installer prompts you to confirm whether you want to create a Start Menu folder for Android SDK Tools.
If you do not want to create a shortcut, check the ‘Do not create shortcuts’ checkbox as shown below.
Once you click ‘Next’, the installer copies the required files and creates the required shortcuts on your computer.
That’s it – the Android SDK Tools installer has completed and the next step is to run the SDK Manager to download appropriate Android SDK.
Android SDK Manager
The Android SDK Manager shows a listing of various Android SDKs (along with corresponding API levels) and their installation status. By default, it will show the ‘Android SDK Tools’ as Installed and all other components as Not Installed.
Unless you want to develop for a specific Android version, it is recommended to choose the latest Android SDK (4.0 in this case). Click the ‘Install 6 packages’ button in order to start installing the appropriate SDK. The Installer will list the various components chosen for installation and prompt you to accept the license terms as shown below.
Click on the ‘Install’ button to start the SDK installation. The installer shows a progress bar reflecting the status of installation as well as the expected completion time.
You can see the installation logs by clicking on the log window icon at the bottom right of the window.
Once the installation completes, it will prompt you to restart ADB.
Click on ‘Yes’ and the log window will show that the Android SDK installation has been completed successfully. Click the Close button in order to exit the installer.
Most Java developers are familiar with Eclipse. The installation of Eclipse is beyond the scope of this tutorial. If you do not have Eclipse already installed on your computer, download the ‘Eclipse IDE for Java Developers‘ installer and follow the standard installation steps.
Installing ADT Plugin for Eclipse
Google provides the Android Development Tools (ADT) plugin for Eclipse IDE for Java developers as it provides a powerful, integrated environment in which to build Android applications. ADT provides several useful tools including build, debug, and simulation of your Android apps. The system requirements for installing ADT Plugin are listed on the System Requirements page on Android Developer website.
In order to install ADT, launch Eclipse and select the Help -> Install New Software option as shown below.
Click the ‘Add’ button on the subsequent screen.
Add the following values on the ‘Add Repository’ popup.
Once you click the ‘OK’ button, Eclipse fetches the ADT Plugin information from the specified URL. It provides a list of tools available for installation as shown below.
Select the ‘Developer Tools’ and click the ‘Next’ button to begin the ADT plugin installation. The installer then calculates dependencies and generates a list of components that will be installed as shown below.
Click on ‘Next’ and then check the ‘I accept the terms of the license agreement’ radio button to continue the installation.
Click on ‘Finish’ to proceed. The installer will show a progress bar indicating the installation status as shown below.
Eclipse may prompt you that you’re installing software that contains unsigned content. Click ‘OK’ to continue the installation.
Once the installation completes, the installer will prompt you to restart Eclipse.
Restart Eclipse and that’s it – your ADT plugin is installed.