Imagine your playing an Android game, you’re winning already but ended losing because of some minor problem caused by a fixable bug. Naturally, you’ll get frustrated and irritated by the fact that the game’s developers will take a few more months (or years) to release the next update. Thanks to Google’s Android SDK, you can now personally (and manually) fix, profile, and develop your own Android applications. Most importantly, it is provided free for everyone who needed tools to work with Android from a computer. Although, this one needs a lot of your patience since it requires a higher set of skills in order to utilize its features. But is it really worth your time?
A reliable toolset for creating and updating Android applications
You don't need to wait for the updates when you can do it yourself.
Android SDK is a toolset that enables developers to create and update different apps for Android devices. It gives mobile software developers the opportunity to manually fix, text, profile, debug, and update their own software within the same platform. This toolset includes a debugger, an emulator, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), sample projects with source code as well as the required libraries to build Android apps. These tools are platform-independent and are essential in creating Android apps, regardless of the version you are working for. Most importantly, it comes with an emulated virtual device that is fully functional that allows you to test out your work in progress.
Now that you have a basic knowledge about the toolset, you should also understand that even if it contains almost everything you need to create and further develop an Android software, it still needs the support of other important command-line tools such as Platform tools, and the Android Emulator, in order for you to get started.
These tools are customized and used to support new features of Android’s latest version, as well as the prior versions. It works along with Build tools for encryption, security, and file size purposes. One of the tools included in this group is the Android Debug Bridge (adb). It can be used to install an Android app file on any of your devices and allows you to access additional shell tools like bmgr and logcat.
This emulator is a QEMU-based device-emulation tool that allows you to debug and test your apps in an actual Android runtime environment even without using any physical devices. Running the emulator will require you to have a system image, an additional tool to your toolset. Each platform version contains the supported system images. You can download these system images while creating Android Virtual Devices (AVDs) within its manager. Simply select either Intel or ARM-based on your development computer’s processor.
Android SDK platform
To compile your apps, you’re required to have at least one platform in your environment. While to provide the best user experience on your latest devices, you’ll need to have the latest platform version as your build target. You’ll still be able to run your app on older versions but you must build against the latest version in order to utilize new functions featured when running on devices with the latest OS version.
In order to properly run this set of tools, you’ll need an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Although the SDK can be used to write programs in the command prompt, the most common method is by using an IDE. This is where Android Studio comes in, it allows you to compile and edit your code, or test your app before releasing it on Google Play. Installing Android Studio is also the easiest way to get a working set of tools on your PC. It will also keep your Android SDK tools up to date with its automatic updates and the Android SDK Manager.
This set of Android development tools is easy to set up and run. Its user interface is a little bit blunt and traditional but it’s also straightforward and intuitive. The whole process using this toolset is not intuitive enough for novice app developers. However, there are lots of available documentation and tutorials online that can help in assisting you in using Android SDK.
Where can you run this program?
You can download the toolset for free. It is highly compatible with Windows (recommended), Mac OS X, and Linux. There are two ways to get a copy of the toolset’s compressed file. The first one requires you to download the whole Android Studio file which already contains the toolset (and other Android development tools). While the other one is way more complex than the first one. You can download the zip file easily but setting it to your computer varies from the OS you’re using. But no need to worry since step-by-step tutorials are available online.
Is there a better alternative?
Android SDK will allow you to experience a fast and reliable development environment which will definitely give you more reasons to work hard with your projects. It’s more likely a playground for professionals rather than a paradise for beginners since using it will require you adequate knowledge about the app development process. On the other hand, having it for free will help you save a considerable amount of money. Using it will allow you to fix and make necessary improvements to certain Android apps without the trouble of waiting for the developers to finally release the updates.
Should you download it?
Yes. Since it’s efficiently fast, reliable, and especially trust-worthy solely for the reason it’s created by Google. Although it’s free, there are other (better) alternatives out there for you to explore such as Unity 3D and Visual Studio.