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Android development

  • February 15, 2011

Today I am giving a recap on how I went about installing a windows environment for developing Android applications.

The recomended way to develop Android applications is to use Eclipse with the ADT plugin, but before we focus on that here are some links on how to setup Android development without Eclipse Android Developer Guide for other IDEsAnt Project , Text Editor here or hereWindows Command LineNetbeans.   As you can see there are lots of different ways and if the way you want to develop is not here with a little searching I am sure you can find what you are looking for anyhow back to Eclipse for Windows.

Today I am going to focus on setting up the Eclipse environment.  I began by following the instructions on the Android developers site.  The first thing I installed was the JDK which I thought was confusing because the site linked me to a page that looked like :

Notice the little SDK link, that is where you are supposed to go to get the tools needed.

The next step is to install Eclipse.  I installed the recommended version of Eclipse “Eclipse Classic”.  Strongly recommend against this unless you know a lot about installing plugins into Eclipse.  I had a lot of problems trying to install the Android plugin because Eclipse didn’t know where the repositories were to get the stuff it relied.  I spent an hour or more searching out where the missing repositories were located and gave up after I found about 75% of them.  If you want to go the Eclipse plugin route I would recommend installing the Java or RCP versions of Eclipse.

Now it was time to download the SDK starter package.  Once this is installed make sure you add the tools directory to your path file here is an example on setting it for Windows 7.  This will make it so you don’t have to use the full path to the tools.

Next I installed the ADT plugin for Eclipse as I said earlier I was not able to install it using the recommended “Eclipse Classic” but it wasn’t as bad using a packaged environment.  Everything downloaded and installed just fine until I got a failed certificate warning.  The thing I failed to do was check the box that said I trusted the site

Fortunately it wasn’t to painful to run the installation again.  I installed all of the components available, which took a while.  This is where I updated my path variable make sure to include both tools and platform-tools.

Before creating a Android project make sure Eclipse is up to date by going to help -> Check for Updates.  Also make sure everything is up to date with your SDK manager.

Now we should be ready to create a android application.

I followed the basic Hello World Tutorial without any problems.  Here is the icon in my emulator:

And here is an example of the app running:

To recap here are a few things to remember:

  1. Don’t install “Eclipse Classic”
  2. Update your path variable
  3. Make sure all your content is up to date.
  4. Don’t forget to create a Virtual Device using Android SDK and AVD Manager.

Conclusion:

This seems like a lot of work to get Android working in an existing IDE especially if you don’t use Eclipse all the time.  That said if you are looking for an environment that does the work for you so all you have to do is code and tell it to run it will be worth the extra time and effort to get it installed into Eclipse.  The main drawback I have found for developing using Eclipse is you need a real beefy machine unless you are willing to wait and wait for Eclipse to perform it’s actions (it is a resource hog).  So if speed is an issue you might try a solution that does not include Eclipse.

I hope this is helpful and you enjoy making Android apps.

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