Installing the SDK:

Here is a list of steps that you can follow in order to successfully install Android SDK on your system:

Step 1. Preparing Your Development Computer

Before getting started with the Android SDK, take a moment to confirm that your development computer meets the System Requirements. In particular, you might need to install the Java Development Toolkit (JDK), if you don't have it already.

If you will be developing in Eclipse with the Android Development Tools (ADT) Plugin—the recommended path if you are new to Android—make sure that you have a suitable version of Eclipse installed on your computer as described in the System Requirements document. If you need to install Eclipse, you can download it from this location:
The "Eclipse Classic" version is recommended. Otherwise, a Java or RCP version of Eclipse is recommended.

Step 2. Downloading the SDK Starter Package

The SDK starter package is not a full development environment—it includes only the core SDK Tools, which you can use to download the rest of the SDK components (such as the latest Android platform).
If you haven't already, get the latest version of the SDK starter package from the SDK download page.
If you downloaded a .zip or .tgz package (instead of the SDK installer), unpack it to a safe location on your machine. By default, the SDK files are unpacked into a directory named android-sdk-<machine-platform>.
If you downloaded the Windows installer (.exe file), run it now and it will check whether the proper Java SE Development Kit (JDK) is installed (installing it, if necessary), then install the SDK Tools into a default location (which you can modify).
Make a note of the name and location of the SDK directory on your system—you will need to refer to the SDK directory later, when setting up the ADT plugin and when using the SDK tools from the command line.

Step 3. Installing the ADT Plugin for Eclipse

Android offers a custom plugin for the Eclipse IDE, called Android Development Tools (ADT), that is designed to give you a powerful, integrated environment in which to build Android applications. It extends the capabilites of Eclipse to let you quickly set up new Android projects, create an application UI, debug your applications using the Android SDK tools, and even export signed (or unsigned) APKs in order to distribute your application. In general, developing in Eclipse with ADT is a highly recommended approach and is the fastest way to get started with Android.
If you'd like to use ADT for developing Android applications, install it now. After doing that come back here to resume the Android SDK installation.
If you prefer to work in a different IDE, you do not need to install Eclipse or ADT. Instead, you can directly use the SDK tools to build and debug your application.

Step 4. Adding Platforms and Other Components

The last step in setting up your SDK is using the Android SDK and AVD Manager (a tool included in the SDK starter package) to download essential SDK components into your development environment.
The SDK uses a modular structure that separates the major parts of the SDK—Android platform versions, add-ons, tools, samples, and documentation—into a set of separately installable components. The SDK starter package, which you've already downloaded, includes only a single component: the latest version of the SDK Tools. To develop an Android application, you also need to download at least one Android platform and the associated platform tools. You can add other components and platforms as well, which is highly recommended.
If you used the Windows installer, when you complete the installation wizard, it will launch the Android SDK and AVD Manager with a default set of platforms and other components selected for you to install. Simply click Install to accept the recommended set of components and install them. You can then skip to Step 5, but we recommend you first read the section about the Available Components to better understand the components available from the Android SDK and AVD Manager.
You can launch the Android SDK and AVD Manager in one of the following ways:
  • From within Eclipse, select Window > Android SDK and AVD Manager.
  • On Windows, double-click the SDK Manager.exe file at the root of the Android SDK directory.
  • On Mac or Linux, open a terminal and navigate to the tools/ directory in the Android SDK, then execute:

Available Components

By default, there are two repositories of components for your SDK: Android Repository and Third party Add-ons.
The Android Repository offers these types of components:
  • SDK Tools — Contains tools for debugging and testing your application and other utility tools. These tools are installed with the Android SDK starter package and receive periodic updates. You can access these tools in the <sdk>/tools/ directory of your SDK.
  • SDK Platform-tools — Contains platform-dependent tools for developing and debugging your application. These tools support the latest features of the Android platform and are typically updated only when a new platform becomes available. You can access these tools in the <sdk>/platform-tools/ directory. Android platforms — An SDK platform is available for every production Android platform deployable to Android-powered devices. Each SDK platform component includes a fully compliant Android library, system image, sample code, and emulator skins. 
  • USB Driver for Windows (Windows only) — Contains driver files that you can install on your Windows computer, so that you can run and debug your applications on an actual device. You do not need the USB driver unless you plan to debug your application on an actual Android-powered device. If you develop on Mac OS X or Linux, you do not need a special driver to debug your application on an Android-powered device.
  • Samples — Contains the sample code and apps available for each Android development platform. If you are just getting started with Android development, make sure to download the samples to your SDK.
  • Documentation — Contains a local copy of the latest multiversion documentation for the Android framework API.
The Third party Add-ons provide components that allow you to create a development environment using a specific Android external library (such as the Google Maps library) or a customized (but fully compliant) Android system image. You can add additional Add-on repositories by clicking Add Add-on Site.

Step 5. Exploring the SDK (Optional)

Once you've installed the SDK and downloaded the platforms, documentation, and add-ons that you need, we suggest that you open the SDK directory and take a look at what's inside.
The table below describes the full SDK directory contents, with components installed.
Name Description
add-ons/ Contains add-ons to the Android SDK development environment, which let you develop against external libraries that are available on some devices.
docs/ A full set of documentation in HTML format, including the Developer's Guide, API Reference, and other information. To read the documentation, load the file offline.html in a web browser.
platform-tools/ Contains platform-dependent development tools that may be updated with each platform release. The platform tools include the Android Debug Bridge (adb) as well as other tools that you don't typically use directly. These tools are separate from the development tools in the tools/ directory because these tools may be updated in order to support new features in the latest Android platform.
platforms/ Contains a set of Android platform versions that you can develop applications against, each in a separate directory.

<platform>/ Platform version directory, for example "android-11". All platform version directories contain a similar set of files and subdirectory structure. Each platform directory also includes the Android library (android.jar) that is used to compile applications against the platform version.
samples/ Sample code and apps that are specific to platform version.
tools/ Contains the set of development and profiling tools that are platform-independent, such as the emulator, the Android SDK and AVD Manager, ddms, hierarchyviewer and more. The tools in this directory may be updated at any time using the Android SDK and AVD Manager and are independent of platform releases.
SDK Readme.txt A file that explains how to perform the initial setup of your SDK, including how to launch the Android SDK and AVD Manager tool on all platforms.
SDK Manager.exe Windows SDK only. A shortcut that launches the Android SDK and AVD Manager tool, which you use to add components to your SDK.

Start Developing:

Congratulations! Now you have successfully installed the Android SDK onto your system and now you can start developing Android apps right away.
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