Versions of the SDK, Java, and Eclipse are available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
Android code is written using Java syntax, and the core Android libraries include most of the features from the core Java APIs.
The biggest challenge with Android, as with any new development toolkit, is learning the features and limitations of its APIs.
The power of Android comes from its APIs, not from Java, so being unfamiliar with all the Java specific classes won’t be a big disadvantage.
To get started, you’ll need to download and install the following:
- The Android SDK
- Java Development Kit (JDK)
The Android SDK is completely open.
you can use any text editor or Java IDE you’re comfortable with and use the developer tools in the SDK to compile, test, and debug the code snippets and sample applications.
Developing with Eclipse
Using Eclipse with the ADT plug-in for your Android development offers some signifi cant advantages. Eclipse is an open source IDE (integrated development environment) particularly popular for Java development. It’s available to download for each of the development platforms supported by Android (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux) from the Eclipse foundation homepage:
Installing Eclipse consists of uncompressing the download into a new folder. When that’s done, run the Eclipse executable. When it starts for the fi rst time, create a new workspace for your Android development.
The ADT plug-in for Eclipse simplifi es your Android development by integrating the developer tools, including the emulator and .class-to-.dex converter, directly into the IDE. While you don’t have to use the ADT plug-in, it does make creating, testing, and debugging your applications faster and easier.
The ADT plug-in integrates the following into Eclipse:
❑ An Android Project Wizard that simplifi es creating new projects and includes a basic application template
❑ Forms-based manifest, layout, and resource editors to help create, edit, and validate your XML resources
❑ Automated building of Android projects, conversion to Android executables (.dex), packaging to package fi les (.apk), and installation of packages onto Dalvik virtual machines
❑ The Android Emulator, including control of the emulator’s appearance, network connection settings, and the ability to simulate incoming calls and SMS messages
❑ The Dalvik Debug Monitoring Service (DDMS), which includes port forwarding; stack, heap, and thread viewing; process details; and screen capture facilities
❑ Access to the device or emulator’s fi lesystem, allowing you to navigate the folder tree and transfer fi les
❑ Runtime debugging, so you can set breakpoints and view call stacks
❑ All Android/Dalvik log and console outputs
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