Setting up Java and the Android SDK for app development

Setting up the Android emulator

Here's how to install all the support files you need to start writing, testing and distributing Android apps

Creating apps for Android doesn't have to be hard: it's possible to write your masterpiece in an accessible high-level language, as we describe in our Write and sell Android apps with Basic 4 Android feature.

But installing the Java and Android Software Development Kits (SDKs) with all the required components can be fiddly. Here's a simple four-step guide to setting up.

Downloading and installing the Java development kit

Downloading and installing the Java development kit

The first step is to download and install the Java Development Kit (JDK) - you'll find it at http://www.pcpro.co.uk/links/220ida2. Choose the Windows x86 version, even if you’re using 64-bit Windows, since this is what the Android SDK and B4A expect. Accept the default installation options – there aren’t many – and let the installer do its thing.

Downloading and installing the Android SDK

Downloading and installing the Android SDK

Next download and install the Android SDK from http://www.pcpro.co.uk/links/220ida3. This contains the basic components needed for Android development. Once it’s installed, run the SDK Manager, which allows you to download the resources required to develop and test apps for the various versions of Android.

Installing SDK components

Installing SDK components

We can install support for as many versions of Android as we like, but version 2.2 (Froyo) supports all the features our app requires, so there's no need to lose compatibility with older handsets by targeting a more recent version. Deselect any pre-ticked components, click to expand the 2.2 tree, tick the SDK Platform and click “Install packages”. If you want to add other components later, you can re-run the SDK Manager at any time.

Setting up the Android emulator

Setting up the Android emulator

Finally, let’s set up our Android emulator. Launch AVD Manager, click New and type in a name for your virtual device. Click Target and choose Android 2.2. Default settings should appear for this OS version: you can safely accept these. Click Create AVD, then Start... to boot up your virtual Android device.

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