Installing the Android SDK: My first steps


AndroidToday marks the first day of my official, end-of-year, get-caught-up on Android learning tour. And the first step is to install the SDK. Since I want to use Eclipse, I’ll need to install whatever Eclipse plugins/addons are available too. Let’s get started.


Installing the SDK

The Android SDK is on the Google Android Developer site. The SDK is a little difficult to understand. WIth enough reading over and over, I finally understand that the SDK has at least two parts:

  1. A general SDK that is platform independent
  2. A set of platform-specific tools.

If you don’t have the SDK at all, the best way to get both of these SDK pieces is to download and install the “Starter” SDK. After downloading it, unzip or install it into any convenient directory. Just make sure you have read/write access to this install directory. I installed these initial SDK files into ~/bin/android-sdk-macosx. Once you’ve done this, you will have both parts of the SDK, the general SDK and the platform-specific tools.

Updating the SDK

Apparently you can update the platform-specific tools without affecting other parts of the SDK. I have not done this yet because I am installing for the first time. When I do update, I’ll let you know the results.

Installing the Eclipse Plugin

This is probably the easiest part of the installation. Open your Eclipse IDE and open your menus selection Help->Install New Software. You can then add the Google Eclipse Plugin repository as shown below. Type in for the software repository address.

Screen Shot 2011 12 22 at 11 45 27 PM

You’ll see a list of software tools including the Android SDK plugin. Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to install. Soon you’ll have everything you need to begin developing on the Android platform:

  1. The JDK
  2. Eclipse
  3. The Android SDK
  4. The Eclipse plugin for Android development (ADT)

I think there may be one more step…creating a target Android device for the emulator, but that may have to wait until the next blog.


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