Getting Started with Android

Android is a Java based operating system that runs on Linux Kernel. Android applications are developed using Java and can be ported quite easily to a new platform. The most exciting feature of Android is that we have access to anything that the operating system has access on. So let us get ourselves in to downloading and installing what is needed for us to develop applications in android.

Requirements:

  1. Eclipse
  2. JRE/JDK
  3. Android SDK

Android itself is not a language, but it is an environment, within which we can run the applications. You can actually use any IDE to begin your development. However, the Open Handset Alliance and Google endorse on Eclipse Java IDE over any other.

 

Few Reasons why Eclipse is the recommended IDE for Android Applications:

  • Eclipse is one of the most fully featured, free, Java IDEs available. It is also very easy to use with a minimal learning curve.
  • The Open Handset Alliance has released an Android plugin for Eclipse, that allows us to create Android specific projects, compile them and use the Android Emulator to run and debug them.

 

Here, we will be dealing with installations in Windows.

Downloading and installing the JRE:

       Before you begin with the installation of Eclipse, we would need the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) set up.  You can download the latest version of JRE from here. Well I suggest you to download the full JDK as you would need it at your later stage of developing apps in Android.  Begin the installation of the JDK, by going through the default settings till you hit ‘finish’.

 

Downloading and installing Eclipse:

You can download the ecipse ide for java developers from here. Once you have downloaded, make sure you have it unzipped to the program files folder. And also include the jre folder inside the eclipse folder.

Once the eclipse installation commences you will be prompted to create a default workspace or folder.

After you select a location for your workspace, click OK.

At this point your development environment is downloaded and installed.

Downloading the Android SDK:

You can download your Android SDK from here. Well, there is no set up or installation process for the android SDK, rather you have to follow a few steps to associate your SDK with the Eclipse Development Environment.

Downloading and Installing the Android Plugin for Eclipse:

  1.        Open the Eclipse Application, you can download the android plugin from within the Eclipse IDE.
  2.        Choose Help | Eclipse Market Place
  3.        Type in Android plugin in the Find box.
  4.        Click ‘Install’ on the Android Development Tool for Eclipse.

Configuring the Android Plugin:

  • Choose Windows -> Preferences -> android
  • On the SDK location, find the location of your downloaded SDK and fill in.
  • Check the Automatically Sync Projects to Current SDK check box and then click Apply.
  • The final step in setting up the Android SDK is to put it into your PATH statement. If you are using a Microsoft Windows machine, right-click Computer (or My Computer, depending on your version of Windows) andselect Properties to open the System Properties dialog box.
  • Click the Advanced tab.Click Environment Variables to display the window of the same name. This is where you can edit your PATH statement.
  • Under System Variables, find the variable PATH and double-click it.
  • SDK—separated from the existing paths by a semicolon—and click OK to apply your changes, and click OK again in the Environment Variables window

The Android SDK, Eclipse and the Android Plugin for Eclipse are now fully configured and ready for development. In the coming posts, we will see how to really start with the application development with Android.

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