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Android Developer Tools Essentials by Mike Wolfson

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Chapter 2. Essential Tools

This chapter describes the fundamental tools that you need in order to start developing Android applications. In it, I will show you how to use the SDK Manager to download various development resources, and discuss using the command-line tools (in particular the Android Debug Bridge – ADB).

SDK Manager

The SDK Manager is a GUI tool designed to make it easy to download and install the required components. It is likely the first tool you will encounter, and the one you will use most often. The SDK Manager allows you to update the Android SDK and install additional components.

SDK Components

The Android SDK has a modular structure, which means that the major components of the SDK are collected into separate packages. This makes it easy to install only the components you need for your particular unique use case. The packages you install are determined by the version of the OS you are targeting, if you use third-party services (like Google Maps or Analytics), and if you plan to support specific hardware (like a particular chipset or a dual screen). The modular structure has two important benefits. The first is that disk storage is not wasted on downloading unnecessary components. This is important because each platform requires at least 100MB of space, and this can grow rapidly when optional packages are included. The other advantage is that managing dependencies within a project is streamlined because it is possible to control exactly which software you are working ...

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