How to Set Up the Android SDK - dummies

By Barry Burd

The Android Software Development Kit (SDK) includes lots and lots of prewritten, reusable Android code and a bunch of software tools for running and testing Android apps. You get four useful tools in one download. Here’s how:

  1. Visit the Android SDK website.

  2. Click the Download button on the web page.

  3. Agree to all the legal mumbo-jumbo.

  4. Choose between the 32-bit and 64-bit downloads.

    After you make a choice, one last Download button appears.

  5. Click the last Download button and save the download to the local hard drive.

    The downloaded file is one big .zip archive.

  6. Extract the contents of the downloaded archive file to the local hard drive.

In Windows, the blank space in the name Program Files confuses some Java software. If you want, extract the .zip file’s contents to the C:Program Files or C:Program Files (x86) folder. But make a mental note about your choice (in case you run into any trouble later).

The .zip archive that you download from the Android SDK website contains these two components:

  • The eclipse component: It contains a customized version of the popular Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE). You can compose, run, and debug Java applications in the Eclipse environment. This customized version of Eclipse includes the Android Development Toolkit (ADT) — extra plug-ins for working with Android apps.

    The sdk component: (Yes, only half of the large Android SDK download is the SDK component.) The SDK component contains the Android software library (one or more versions of the Android API). This component also contains a bunch of software tools for running and testing Android apps.

Note the location on the hard drive where the sdk component lands.