The Android SDK includes all the tools and APIs you need to write compelling and powerful mobile
applications. The biggest challenge with Android, as with any new developmenttoolkit, is learning the
features and limitations of its APIs.
If you have experience in Java development, you’ll fi nd that the techniques, syntax, and grammar
you’ve been using will translatedirectly into Android, although some of the specifi c optimization techniques
may seem counterintuitive.
If you don’t have experience with Java but have used other object-oriented languages (such asC#), you
should fi nd the transition straightforward. The power of Android comes from its APIs, not from Java, so
being unfamiliar with all the Java specifi c classes won’t be a big disadvantage.What You Need to Begin
Because Android applications run within the Dalvik virtual machine, you can write them on any platform
that supports the developer tools. This currently includes the following:❑ Microsoft Windows (XP or Vista)
❑ Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later (Intel chips only)
To get started, you’ll need to download and install the following:
❑ The Android SDK
❑ Java DevelopmentKit (JDK) 5 or 6
You can download the latest JDK from Sun at
If you already have a JDK installed, make sure that it meets the version requirementslisted above, and
note that the Java runtime environment (JRE) is not suffi cient.
Downloading and Installing the SDK
The Android SDK is completely open. There’s no cost to download and use the API, andGoogle doesn’t
charge to allow distribution of your fi nished programs. You can download the latest version of the SDK
for your development platform from the Android development home page at TheSDK is presented as a ZIP fi le containing the API libraries, developer tools, documentation, and
several sample applications and API demos that highlight the use of particular API features. Install...