In the previous post I showed a small sketch I made about the possible screen about my word game project. I have read some brief tutorials specifically about Android development and I really tried to read some of the good Android documentation provided by Google but apparently it was too much for my excitement level and I really wanted to get hands-on. I probably regret later skipping the reading part!
What is needed? You are going to need Android SDK, most likely an IDE (not mandatory but helps). If you are using an IDE, you probably want to debug your project as well, so you are going to need a plugin as well. Get the Android SDK (http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html), if you use Eclipse like I do, then ADT (http://developer.android.com/tools/sdk/eclipse-adt.html) is a good choice. Downloading is done via Eclipse plugin management, instructions here: http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing/installing-adt.html
Installing Android SDK is straight forward, at least for Windows. Setting up the IDE (Eclipse in my case) was easy if you know how to manage plugins. Then you are good to go. Run the the “SDK Manager” so it checks updates, downloads them and keeps your SDK up to date.
If you don’t have any existing Android device you need to rely on virtual device(s). Virtual device is an emulator emulating the a hardware (and software). You can set up your virtual device by using the Android SDK. Run the AVD tool from your SDK, it’s named “AVD Manager”. You can run it separately from SDK folder or from “SDK Manager” by selecting “tools” -> “Manage AVDs..”.
How you know what device you need to emulate? Of course you can have several, if you i.e. need to test different screen sizes and resolutions. You probably can select older API level as well if you have downloaded it via “SDK Manager”, but I had only level 18 (currently the latest) so I chose that. Instructions here: (http://developer.android.com/tools/devices/managing-avds.html)
Here’s a nice chart about the API level distribution which helps you when you are selecting the target API level for you Android project: (http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html) I read somewhere that rule of thumb could be trying to target around 80% of the possible devices. So currently to be on the safe side API level 10 would be more than enough.
Now the IDE has been set up, giddy up my brave IDE, it’s time to trot to real challenges!
p.s. It’s Friday 17:41 o’clock and I am going to open a bottle of red wine and steer my ride to help me with my first Android Project aka word game.