Setup & Installation
January 27, 2013 in Setting Up Shop
If your looking to get into developing Android applications the first step is to download the Google Android Software Development Kit (SDK). You can download the SDK from http://code.google.com/android/download.html. If you wish to run the SDK you’ll have to check your system to make sure it meets the following requirements.
The following is a suitable platform for development.
- Windows XP or Vista
- Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later (x86 only)
- Linux (tested on Linux Ubuntu Dapper Drake)
You will also need to install a suitable development environment such as:
- Eclipse (Now Bundled with the Android Development Bundle)
Android Development Bundle (Recommended)
- Other development environments or IDEs
JDK 5 or JDK 6 (JRE alone is not sufficient)
Not compatible with Gnu Compiler for Java (gcj)
If you have downloaded the files listed above your ready to continue to the following steps. I’ll be walking you through installing the development environment on a Windows 7 64 bit laptop, other installations should be similar, however if you run into trouble leave a comment on this article. Once You’ve downloaded the packages extract the files and place them on your desktop to better follow along with this guide.
Before installing each of these programs lets go over what these programs are and what they do. If your not looking for background information skip ahead to get started right away. It’s always helpful to know what each element of your development environment does, and why you need it. Quite often in computers optimization is a necessity, especially when it comes to Android. Here is what each of these programs are:
Eclipse is a multi-language software development environment comprising a workspace and an extensible plug-in system. It is written mostly in Java. It can be used to develop applications in Java and, by means of various plug-ins, other programming languages including Ada, C, C++, COBOL, Fortran, Haskell, Perl, PHP, Python, R, Ruby (including Ruby on Rails framework), Scala, Clojure, Groovy, and Scheme. It can also be used to develop packages for the software Mathematica. Development environments include the Eclipse Java development tools (JDT) for Java and Scala, Eclipse CDT for C/C++ and Eclipse PDT for PHP, among others.
The initial codebase originated from IBM VisualAge. The Eclipse SDK (which includes the Java development tools) is meant for Java developers. Users can extend its abilities by installing plug-ins written for the Eclipse Platform, such as development toolkits for other programming languages, and can write and contribute their own plug-in modules.
Released under the terms of the Eclipse Public License, Eclipse SDK is free and open source software (although it is incompatible with the GNU General Public License). It was one of the first IDEs to run under GNU Classpath and it runs without problems under IcedTea.
Android Development Tools Plugin
Android Development Tools (ADT) is a plugin for the Eclipse IDE that is designed to give you a powerful, integrated environment in which to build Android applications. ADT extends the capabilities of Eclipse to let you quickly set up new Android projects, create an application UI, add packages based on the Android Framework API, debug your applications using the Android SDK tools, and even export signed (or unsigned) .apk files in order to distribute your application.
Developing in Eclipse with ADT is highly recommended and is the fastest way to get started. With the guided project setup it provides, as well as tools integration, custom XML editors, and debug output pane, ADT gives you an incredible boost in developing Android applications.
The Java Development Kit (JDK)
The Java Development Kit (JDK) is an implementation of either one of the Java SE, Java EE or Java ME platforms released by Oracle Corporation in the form of a binary product aimed at Java developers on Solaris, Linux, Mac OS X or Windows. Since the introduction of Java platform, it has been by far the most widely used Software Development Kit (SDK). On November 17, 2006, Sun announced that it would be released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), thus making it free software. This happened in large part on May 8, 2007, when Sun contributed the source code to the OpenJDK.
Installing The Android SDK
Installing the Android SDK is pretty straight forward. All you need to do is extract the files from the zip archive by right clicking on the file icon and choosing “Extract Here.” Once extraction is complete open the folder and you will find the Android SDK icon, click it to launch the program. We are going to install the Android SDK to C:\Program Files\android-sdk\
Installing the Java Development Kit (JDK)
This installation is pretty straight forward as well. Simply double click on the file and follow the directions to install. For us to get started we are just going to accept all the defaults and continue. Once installation is finished we will need to start up two programs. The Android SDK and Eclipse to make sure everything went smoothly.
In the not so far away past, four different elements had to be installed and put together manually, it seems that The people over at Google and Android wanted to make things easier, so all the packages necessary were bundled into one. With the exception of the JDK. Without these libraries, your copy of Eclipse will not run.
Navigate to your C:\Program Files\android-sdk\ and C:\Program Files\android-sdk\eclipse\ directories and search for the icons. The Android SDK will be the Android Logo and the Eclipse Logo for the Eclipse program. Place a shortcut on your desktop by right clicking and creating a shortcut. Then load the programs… Great! if everything started smoothly we are ready to begin digging into this new development environment. Stick with us as we cover various aspects of the development suite.
Would you like to develop and code straight from your tablet or smart phone?
Aide – Android Development IDE is a development platform to develop Android applications straight from your Smart Phone or Android Tablet. You can do nearly everything in this piece of software as you can from the main development environment. The free version has some limitations, and the professional version costs $9.99. I use both to develop my applications and together they offer extensive capability AND mobility. Check out the free version for yourself.