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Android Application Development For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Donn Felker, Michael Burton

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Using SDK Tools for Everyday Development

The SDK tools are the building blocks you use in developing Android apps. New features packed into every release enable you to develop for the latest version of Android.

Saying hello to the emulator

Google provides not only the tools you need to develop apps but also an awesome little emulator to test your app. The emulator has some limitations (for example, it cannot emulate certain hardware components, such as the accelerometer) but not to worry — plenty of apps can be developed and tested using only an emulator.

When you’re developing an app that uses Bluetooth, for example, you should use a physical device that has Bluetooth on it. If you develop on a speedy computer, testing on an emulator is fast; on slower machines, however, the emulator can take a long time to complete a seemingly simple task. If you’re developing on an older machine, use a physical device. When you’re developing on a newer, faster machine, use the emulator.

The emulator is handy for testing apps at different screen sizes and resolutions. It isn’t always practical or possible to have several devices connected to your computer at the same time, but you can run multiple emulators with varying screen sizes and resolutions.

Getting physical with a real Android device

The emulator is awesome, but sometimes you need a physical device for testing. The Dalvik Debug Monitor Server, or DDMS, allows you to debug your app on an actual device, which comes in handy for developing ...

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