So, I want to keep the theory very minimal and just focus on implementing a variety of lightweight applications. People who know Java (or even C# or any OO language) should be in a comfort zone.
Alright let’s get the recipe out for developing android apps. Here is what you need.
- JDK 6 or above
- Eclipse IDE for JEE developers. You can download it from http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/download.php?file=/technology/epp/downloads/release/indigo/R/eclipse-jee-indigo-win32.zip. Needless to say, extract it and open it after you have downloaded it.
- Android SDK. You can download it from http://dl.google.com/android/android-sdk_r16-windows.zip.
- Eclipse plugin for Android so that you can play with android applications from/within Eclipse.
- Open eclipse, go to Help->Install new software->Click ‘Add’->Type ADT in the Name textbox and https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/ in the location textbox.
- Select the Developer Tools checkbox and click Next, again Next, Accept the licence agreements and finally hit Finish
- Now that’s going to take 10-15 minutes of your time depending on the speed of your connection. You may have to restart eclipse after this process.
- After restarting eclipse it may ask you to configure the android SDK. You can either choose to download a fresh copy of android SDK or give the location of Android SDK that you have downloaded earlier.
- Android SDK is a fundamental starter package. Say, you’re developing an application that will run on Android 3.0, then you need to have the Android 3.0 platform and tools installed. Go to Window->Android SDK Manager you will see the screen below. You can select Android 3.0 or anything that suits your requirement and install. This is a time consuming process.
- The application that you will build will be run in an android device, but what if you have a different version of android phone or sometimes don’t even have it(yes, it’s quite common!!!)? You can configure an android emulator or Android Virtual Device. Go to window->AVD Manager. You can create new Android virtual device(s) targeting any platform. So the applications can be run in any of these during development. I have configured a Virtual Device called ‘HoneyComb‘ for Android 3.0 platform as shown below.
There you go!!! We are all set to develop simple android apps.
Btw what is HoneyComb?