Android operating system for mobile phones has made phones better and more comfortable to use, but a very large part of that is down to the apps. If you visit the Android market, you can grasp how many varieties of applications are available.
You too, can create an application if you know how to do it. To create your own application, you will need to install Android Software Development Kit (SDK) which works in combination with Eclipse. Don’t think you need the Android SDK? Think again. You would need to use and get familiar with the SDK, if you want to jailbreak/root your Android phone at some point, for example.
There are some prerequisites, which you will need to have downloaded before proceeding. Some of them are as follows –
- Eclipse version 3.4 or above.
- Eclipse IDE for developing.
- Java Development Kit version 5 or 6.
- Android SDK and Development Tools plug-in.
The steps required are –
1) First of all, you will need to download all the prerequisites, and install them in the same location of your hard drive. (For example “C: \Android”). If you already have them downloaded earlier, just extract them to a specific location of your drive.
2) Start Eclipse. Go to its Help menu, and select the option that reads “Install new software”. This will allow you to integrate the Android SDK with Eclipse.
3) In the Add Repository box, add the name “ADT Plug-in” and write “https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/” in the space for Location. Select “Ok”.
4) In the next screen, checks the box named “Developer Tools” and then proceed by clicking on “Next”. In the next window, you will be shown a list of packages and tools to be downloaded. It is not required to change any of those. Just click on “Next” and read the license agreements to ensure you are not violating any of them. Click on “Finish”. It will take some time for the download and installation to complete. Finally when it completes, close Eclipse and restart it.
5) Now go to the Window menu, and select the option “Preferences”. Select the name Android from the tree directory structure given towards the left. Click on the button that appears on upper right of the screen, and select the Android SDK that you previously installed on the hard disk, and then click on “Ok”.
6) Now click on the button that appears. Select the option that says “virtual devices”, and again press the button next to it to add a new Android Virtual Device, which you will need to test your applications without actually attaching a device. This is more or less like a virtual simulation of your application that you are going to develop.
In the new dialogue box, you will need to set the name and the target of your project. A target defines a relevant application interface that your program is going to look like. Then choose the total amount of memory that will be available to it. You can specify something like 1000 Mb. Then you can select the peripheral device that you want to emulate like Bluetooth or GPS etc. Then click on “Finish AVD” button to create the new virtual disk.
7) Finally go to File menu, select “New” and then select “Project”. Choose the option “Android”. Provide an appropriate project name, select build target as “Android 2.2”, and click on “Finish”. Now you are ready to work on your first project.