The Android Software Development Kit (SDK) is an important component of Android development that beginners can tackle. It's a collection of bundled files that you'll need to start creating Android apps. It consists of tools such as the Virtual Device Manager (emulator) and the ADB Bridge, as well as a library of additional code that can run Java programs on the Android platform. For more information about the features of the Android SDK, see the Android SDK beginner tutorial.
Read also: Java Tutorial for Beginners
How to Install the Android SDK
This may all sound pretty complicated, there is good news: you do not have to worry much about the Android SDK do. The majority is done for you in the background.
The SDK is now included in Android Studio. Android development for beginners is getting easier and easier, and this relatively new change means you only have to do one single installation to get your development environment up and running. It even comes with an open Java Development Kit (JDK) so you do not have to install the latest version separately.
Installing Android Studio is just as easy and we have instructions that will help you here. Again, just download the installer and follow the steps. At one point you have the option to choose a path for the SDK to be installed. Make a note of this as it might come in handy later.
Setting up Android for beginners has become a relatively streamlined process. These are some pretty big files so be prepared for those and some longer download times.
Updating the SDK
When you install Android Studio, you automatically receive the latest version of the Android SDK. The SDK is constantly updated with new features and security updates. It's up to you to make sure you keep up with these changes so you can support the latest versions.
For this purpose Android Studio offers a so-called SDK to Manager. This is a program designed to download parts of your SDK. Open the manager by clicking Tools> SDK Manager . The SDK Platforms and SDK Tools tabs display a list of files.
The SDK platforms are the Android platforms for which you can develop. You need at least one to create a working app. If you choose the latest version, you can support all the latest features of Android.
New versions of Android should be backward compatible As a professional developer who wants to use an innovative feature, it is probably okay to ignore this tab after completing the initial installation , This facilitates beginners the Android development.
See the SDK Tools tab for a list of the other elements that make up the SDK. You can install these individually. Those who have a blue box with a crossed out stroke can be updated. The most important are the Android SDK build tools, the Android SDK Platform tools and the Android SDK tools. You can also use the Android emulator and system images if you plan to run and test your apps on your PC.
In the meantime, you can mostly forget the SDK Manager if you're a beginner
Let you know if updates are mandatory, so you can largely forget the SDK Manager (and you'll be prompted by Android Studio itself to carry out an update). Now you know how to start supporting the latest versions of Android as soon as you move from a beginner to a yes status.
Using the Android SDK on Its Own
You may be wondering if you can use the Android SDK for yourself or if you would ever need it.
The only use case where this is practical is if you ever need another integrated development environment (IDE) such as Unity (instead of Android Studio). Unity is a game engine and a "game maker" that can be used to create Android games. They use a completely different user interface and even a different programming language (C #), but they still need a copy of the Android SDK so that this program can be compiled into an APK that runs on Android. The same goes for Android development with other tools like Xamarin.
If you want to make it as easy as possible to start Android development as a beginner, I recommend you continue to install Android Studio together with the SDK (They still need the JDK). In this process, note only the path where the SDK is installed. You need this to tell other IDEs where the SDK is located on your computer. You can enter the path for the SDK anywhere in your preferences (Google is your friend if you're not sure where it is). Copy it now and paste it. Installing the Android SDK this way is easier for beginners and also means you have Android Studio handy if you ever want to try out traditional Android development.
Read also: Learn about Android Studio and the files that make up your app
Note that depending on your IDE, you may need to install the Java Development Kit (JDK) separately and provide a path to it. To install the JDK, simply go to this page at Oracle.com and download the latest version. Once this is done, click on the EXE file and follow the steps by clicking Next.
Some IDEs let you automatically download Android Studio when you complete the setup process New for Unity.
Installing all these additional files takes up a lot of space on your computer. If you really want to keep things to a minimum, you can always download the "Command-line tools only" option. You can do this by scrolling down the page on which you found Android Studio and downloading the zip file for your specific operating system. Instructions for use can be found here. From here, you can invoke the command-line tools. Theoretically, this can also be useful if you ever want to use a specific tool included in the SDK, such as the ADB bridge.
Downloading and installing the Android SDK is everything! This is one of the first and most important steps in terms of Android development for beginners. Well done!
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