Developing an application itself is not that difficult, but preparing your computer and an emulator or device so that you can go about that development can be a bit fiddly. Hopefully the instructions here will help you prepare your development computer. Remember, if you have any problems then feel free to ask questions at the bottom.
1. Eclipse and JDK
The first thing you need is a working copy of Eclipse and Java. If you completed the previous tutorial then you will already have this working…if for some reason you don’t have Eclipse installed, jump back to this lesson and follow the instructions there.
2. Android SDK
We now need to download extra software so that we can develop Android Applications. The first thing you need is a copy of the Android Software Development Kit. This can be found at the Android developer website here. This website is one of the best resources available when it comes to Android application development so I would suggest perusing it and bookmarking it for later use!
At the link you will find multiple download options, I suggest downloading the zip file and simply unzipping it inside the “eclipse” folder where your copy of Eclipse is installed. The folder containing all the Android SDK files should be called “android-sdk” and have no other subfolders before the main Android SDK content.
3. Update Android SDK
Before we tell Eclipse how to find this Android stuff, we need to update it. So inside this “android-sdk” folder you’ve created should be an executable file called “SDK Manager.exe“, ensure you have Internet connectivity and open this program.
What happens now is the manager finds all the latest Android platforms and development tools that you can choose to download. You only need three things to begin Android app development:
- Android SDK Tools: This should already be installed and comes with your downloaded Android SDK zip file. If for some reason the SDK Manager says it isn’t installed, select it for install.
- Android SDK Platform-tools: This is necessary for app development and just provides more tools specific to the different platforms you can program for.
- SDK Platform: For this bit you need to choose at least one platform that you’re going to program for. If you have a device you’d like to program for then choose it’s platform, if you don’t then just choose Android 2.3.3 (API 10). This is the most popular platform currently being developed for. You only need to download the “SDK Platform” option from within the platform you choose, not all the other stuff.
Then you can click on “Install packages…” and after agreeing to any terms and conditions it will download and install the options you chose.
4. Android Development Tools Plugin for Eclipse
Now we need to prepare Eclipse so that it can recognise Android projects, to do this, open Eclipse and follow these instructions:
- Select Help > Install New Software….
- Click Add, in the top-right corner.
- In the Add Repository dialog that appears, enter “ADT Plugin” for the Name and https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/ for the location
- Click OK (Note: If you have trouble acquiring the plugin, try using “http” in the Location URL, instead of “https”).
- In the Available Software dialog, select the checkbox next to Developer Tools and click Next.
- In the next window, you’ll see a list of the tools to be downloaded. Click Next.
- Read and accept the license agreements, then click Finish.
- When the installation completes, restart Eclipse.
5. Configure ADT Plugin
We’re nearly there! Now you just need to link The ADT Plugin from Eclipse to your Android SDK, to do this:
- Select Window > Preferences…
- Select Android from the left panel.
- You may see a dialog asking whether you want to send usage statistics to Google. If so, make your choice and click Proceed. You cannot continue with this procedure until you click Proceed.
- For the SDK Location in the main panel, click Browse…and locate your downloaded SDK directory.
- Click Apply, then OK.
If you haven’t encountered any problems, then the installation is complete! If you have then feel free to ask questions below…it can be fiddly to get working.
Okay, now let’s get something started…