The point of this article is to get you up and running in an Android programming environment as quickly as possible. To do this, I've made a few decisions about the toolset, so that the environment most closely matches what we use in our Android training here at Falafel. To create the screenshots, I'll use a Windows 7, 64-bit operating system and install the latest JDK, Eclipse IDE and Android tools.
To start developing Android applications in the Eclipse IDE, you need to install four pieces of software:
Installing the JDK
- On the Oracle downloads page at http://oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html, select the JDK download.
- Select the operating system platform you want to install against using the Platform drop down list. Read the License Agreement and check the box if you agree with its provisions. You may need to register as an Oracle developer. When you're finished, click the Continue button.
- In the Available Files section, click a link to download an installation file.
- After the installation file downloads, execute the file to display the Java Setup wizard Welcome screen. Click the Next button to continue.
- In the Custom Setup screen of the wizard, leave the default settings and click the Next button to continue.
- A progress dialog will display for the overall installation.
- A new dialog for the runtime environment (JRE) will display. Click the Next button to continue.
- Progress will display for the overall installation. Wait for the installation to complete.
- On the Complete page of the Java Setup wizard, click the Finish button.
Install the Eclipse IDE
- In the Eclipse downloads page at: http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/, click the download link for the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers. Select the link for your computer operating system (Windows 32 bit or Windows 64 bit). Make sure that both the JDK and Eclipse are the same version, either both 32 bit or 64 bit.
- Unzip the download to the location where you want to run Eclipse from. Test the installation by running Eclipse.exe and making sure the Eclipse IDE displays.
- If there's an error, such as "The Eclipse executable launcher was unable to locate its companion shared library.", try unzipping the file a second time. On Windows, the large Java installations can fail to fully expand in some cases.
- To get started using an Eclipse workspace, click the icon in the middle right of the Eclipse welcome screen.
Android Platform SDK Starter Package
- In the Android Developers website, "Installing the SDK" page, http://developer.android.com/sdk/ click the download link for your operating system. I found issues with the Windows "exe" installer download, so stick with the zip file instead.
- Un-compress the zip file to a location on your hard drive and then run the "SDK Manager.exe" from that location. This will display the Android SDK Tools Setup wizard. Click the Next button to continue.
- When the "Choose Packages to Install" page of the wizard appears, leave the defaults to accept all the packages and click the Install button.
- The installation page will display progress as the packages are downloaded and added.
- When the installation is complete, the Android SDK and AVD Manager dialog will display a list of the Installed Packages. Close the window to complete the installation.
Android Developer Tools (ADT) Plugin
- Run Eclipse.
- Select Help | Install New Software.... from the Eclipse menu.
Enter https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/ in the Work With entry and click the Enter button.
- Select the Developer Tools checkbox, then click the Next button. This will display the Install Details page of the wizard.
- In the Install Details page of the wizard, click the Next button.
- In the Review Licenses page of the wizard, read the License Agreement, check the box if you agree with its provisions and click the Finish button.
- When the installation completes, click the Restart Now button.
Now you have all the pieces you need to develop Android software, including the Eclipse IDE complete with Android project templates and emulator. That should be enough to make you semi-dangerous.
If you want to become even more lethal, join us for a two day online class. This class takes you from a standing start "hello world" through deployment on the Android marketplace. For details see https://store.falafel.com/p-101-android-development-online-training.aspx.