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What Is Android Development Requirements

By Author: Emilia Rakel
Total Articles: 42

Beside of the actual java class library the Android SDK (latest version 1.1r1) contains all the tools that are necessary to build an Android application. Typically every Android SDK version consists of:

Developer Tools
As already mentioned above the SDK comes with a bunch of tools that relieve the creation of an Android app. In the following only the most important tools are described: - aapt - Android Asset Packaging Tool Creates *.apk-files which contain all the resources as well as the program itself. Those ZIP-format based files can be transferred to and installed on an Android phone or the emulator. - adb – Android Debug Bridge The main purpose of this tool is to set up connections to a real Android device or an Android emulator instance in order to transfer and install (apk)-files on it. With adb the developer also has the possibility to remote control the devices shell. - dx – Dalvik Cross-Assembler The dx is used for merging and converting Java-Standard-ByteCode Classes (*.class) into one single binary file (*.dex) that can be executed by the Dalvik VM. These *.dex-files are subject to be put into an *.apk-file together with resource files. - ddms - Dalvik Debug Monitor Service

This tool provides port-forwarding services, screen capture on the device, thread and heap information on the device, logcat, process and radio state information, incoming call and SMS spoofing, location data spoofing, and more

Emulator and System Images
The SDK also contains an emulator that is able to simulate almost all the functionality of an actual Android device. This is achieved by booting so called system images which represent the Android OS with the whole software stack of a real Android device. Documentation, Sample Code

Of course the SDK also provides the developer with a comprehensive documentation which consists not only of an API reference but also of programming guidelines as well as detailed descriptions for the several tools. There are also a few code examples that will allow understanding the typical workflow of an Android application right away.

IDE Support
Although it is possible to develop Android apps with every modern IDE Google recommends doing so is by using the Eclipse IDE with a special plug-in called ADT (Android Development Tools). The ADT makes use of all the Dev Tools that come with the SDK and therefore supports and simplifies all the steps from assembling the classes over packaging and signing to running the final application on the emulator.

The ADT is not just speeding up the testing process but also relieves the developers work in terms of UI creation and application description. For that reason the ADT offers the developer graphical representations of what has otherwise have to be written in XML.

Developing an application on the Android platform requires the following:

- knowledge of programming in Java
- knowledge of XML (optional but recommended)
- Android SDK (requires x86 OS like Windows, Linux, Mac; JDK version >=5)
- Eclipse IDE (at least version 3.3) with Android Development Tools (ADT) plug-in
(optional but recommended)
- Android powered smartphone (optional for testing purposes)

Notice that JavaME and JavaSE applications aren’t runnable on Android as the class libraries as
well as the generated bytecode are different.
Resource: http://androidteblets.blogspot.com

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