Introduction to Android
Android, one of the leading operating systems in mobile platform is increasingly being adopted by many mobile phone manufacturers. I have witnessed the revolution it brought in the mobile platform and a simple fact that you using your Android powered mobile without a hint of J2ME & Symbian platforms in the market which prospered not so long ago tells the success story of Android. It’s incredible pace of growth at 1 million device activations per day across the globe and 1.5 billion app downloads a month from play store will lent the credence to the dictum.
With its huge market share and increasing user base, it is the best platform for creative and skilled application developers to present their talent. As Android application development is based on Java, any beginner level developer who have little idea of object oriented programming can begin their journey in Android application development and parallelly learn Android programming constructs.
Setting Up Android Development Environment
We can safely divide the process of setting up the Android Development Environment into two steps, Installing Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and Android SDK. It is up to you to decide on which IDE you want to develop but as of now there are primarily two IDE software that support Android development, Eclipse and Android Studio however the latter is an unfinished product while I am writing this post. Google has bundled everything that you are going to need such as Eclipse IDE & Android SDK into a single package and named as ADT Bundle (around 480 MB). This package contains Eclipse with preinstalled ADT Plugin, SDK tools, latest Android Platform, Android Platform tools and latest Android system image for emulator. You can download this from official Android Developers Page.
After finishing the download just extract the bundle to your standalone disk and execute SDK Manger.exe application.
You might have noticed that things are already set up for you to start where you can directly start working by opening Eclipse unless if you have any specific requirement of working at a particular API level other than the latest API level provided by this bundle. You will get to know more about these API levels as you progress through your development career in Android applications. For now, just assume it as to the version of Android you want to build an application. Install the packages that needs to be updated and also check on check box beside the android version if you wish to have them installed in your PC. Generally, you might want to install the lowest API level for which you want to support your newly developed application so that you can test if your application is behaving as expected.
Install ADT Plugin if Existing IDE
If you are already a Java developer, probably you might have installed Eclipse already in your PC. To leverage the Integrated development environment potential for Android application programming, you have to install ADT Plugin.
To install this plugin open Eclipse and goto “Help” menu and click on “Add New Software”.
It will open you the “Available Software” window, where you need to provide the ADT Plugin URL and it is
Then it will show you the list of tools that are available at provided your URL. Select the Developer Tools and click on Next to continue ADT Plugin installation.
Install JDK & JRE if not installed
Please note that we are using ECLIPSE as a development environment to work on Java programming. Hence it is a pre-requisite to install JDK and JRE on your PC to develop android applications. You can download the latest version of JDK & JRE from
1. What is ADT Plugin ?
ADT stands for Android Developer Tools, It is a plugin for Eclipse IDE to provide you with an integrated development environment to build Android Applications. Read more at ADT Plugin Page.
2. What are API Levels ?
As a developer you communicate to the built in functionality of an application using API’s and API levels are similar to that you see as version changes for an application but Please note that version and API level are independent here. You can add the functionality to an API without changing the version of the application and vice versa you can change the version of an application without changing API functionality.