Development Tools

The Android SDK includes a variety of custom tools that help you develop mobile applications on the Android platform. The most important of these are the Android Emulator and the Android Development Tools plugin for Eclipse, but the SDK also includes a variety of other tools for debugging, packaging, and installing your applications on the emulator.

Android Emulator

A virtual mobile device that runs on your computer. You use the emulator to design, debug, and test your applications in an actual Android run-time environment.

Android Development Tools Plugin for the Eclipse IDE

The ADT plugin adds powerful extensions to the Eclipse integrated environment, making creating and debugging your Android applications easier and faster. If you use Eclipse, the ADT plugin gives you an incredible boost in developing Android applications:

o It gives you access to other Android development tools from inside the Eclipse IDE. For example, ADT lets you access the many capabilities of the DDMS tool — taking screenshots, managing port-forwarding, setting breakpoints, and viewing thread and process information — directly from Eclipse. o It provides a New Project Wizard, which helps you quickly create and set up all of the basic files you'll need for a new Android application. o It automates and simplifies the process of building your Android application.

o It provides an Android code editor that helps you write valid XML for your Android manifest and resource files.

For more information about the ADT plugin, including installation instructions, see Installing the ADT Plugin for Eclipse. For a usage example with screenshots, see Hello Android.

Dalvik Debug Monitor Service (ddms)

Integrated with Dalvik, the Android platform's custom VM, this tool lets you manage processes on an emulator or device and assists in debugging. You can use it to kill processes, select a specific process to debug, generate trace data, view heap and thread information, take screenshots of the emulator or device, and more.

Android Debug Bridge (adb)

The adb tool lets you install your application's .apk files on an emulator or device and access the emulator or device from a command line. You can also use it to link a standard debugger to application code running on an Android emulator or device.

Android Asset Packaging Tool (aapt)

The aapt tool lets you create .apk files containing the binaries and resources of Android applications.

Android Interface Description Language (aidl)

Lets you generate code for an interprocess interface, such as what a service might use.

sqlite3

Included as a convenience, this tool lets you access the SQLite data files created and used by Android applications. Traceview

This tool produces graphical analysis views of trace log data that you can generate from your Android application. mksdcard

Helps you create a disk image that you can use with the emulator, to simulate the presence of an external storage card (such as an SD card).

The dx tool rewrites .class bytecode into Android bytecode (stored in .dex files.) activityCreator

A script that generates Ant build files that you can use to compile your Android applications. If you are developing on Eclipse with the ADT plugin, you won't need to use this script.

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