Chapter 3. Quick Start

In this chapter, you will learn how to set up your environment for Android development. I’ll go beyond just listing where you can download the software, and will cover some of the best practices in getting set up. I’ll look at development operating system choices as well as the Android tools available. You will see the good, the bad, and the ugly of the various tool and platform choices that you’re about to make (or that someone else has already made for you).

By the end of this chapter, you will have your entire development environment set up. You’ll be able to write a Hello World application, build it, and run it on the emulator (or a physical device, if you want).


I’m going to use ~ to refer to your home directory. On Mac OS X, that’s typically something like /Users/marko. On Linux, it would be /home/marko, and on Windows Vista and 7, C:\Users\marko (in Windows XP, it would be C:\Documents and Settings\marko). Also, I’m going to use Unix-style forward slashes and not Windows backslashes to denote file path separators.

So, if you’re on Windows, just change ~ to C:\Users\YourUserName and / to \. Other than that, everything should be pretty much the same for different operating systems, regardless of whether you use OS X, Linux, or Windows.

Installing the Android SDK

The Android Software Development Kit (SDK) is all you need to develop applications for Android. The SDK comes with a set of tools as well as a platform to run it and see it all work. You can download ...

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