Getting Started with the Android SDK

As a module 4 student at the Turing School, I wanted to use our “Scale Up” project to explore what it takes to create an Android App. I chose to follow along with a Google-authored Udacity course to get started. I have some suggestions that will save time and frustration for Android SDK beginners.

Getting through the steps below will save you the headache of troubleshooting your Android Studio environment mid-lesson or mid-project. I suggest getting through all 6 steps before attempting to write your own code, especially if you are inexperienced with Java.

If you are unfamiliar with Github, start here.

git clone https://github.com/udacity/Sunshine-Version-2.git sunshine
cd sunshine
git checkout origin/1.01_hello_world
  • (option A, if you have an Android device) On your phone, go to Settings -> About phone and tap “About phone” 7 times. Click on the new button called “Developer options” appear above “About phone” and make sure the Developer options setting is “On”.
  • (option B, if you want a virtual Android simulator) Fair warning: the Android simulator can take a lot of memory to run. After all, it’s simulating some beefy hardware. In Android Studio, go to Run -> Run ‘app’, click the button “Create New Virtual Device”, and choose your virtual device. I personally have a Nexus 5X, and I think it’s a fine choice. Click “Next” and you will see many options for Android software to download. In order to make sure you’re learning and troubleshooting in the most current environment, download a software version with the highest API level. At the time of this writing, mine is Nougat 7.1.1 at API level 25. Note that this is the target API, not the minimum-supported API.
(option B, creating a virtual Android device)
  • Build your project. In Android Studio, go to Build -> Make Project. This might give some errors that you will need to troubleshoot. My favorite is a bug that is enabled by default, but isn’t yet fixed for Gradle version 2.2 and up. If you get an error message related to a .getPluginGeneration() method, try disabling Instant Run (Android Studio -> Preferences/Build, Execution, Deployment/Instant Run: uncheck the feature) and then build again. Once your build executes successfully, we can run the program!
Gradle getPluginGeneration() error fix
  1. Now that you have an Android device ready, run your app by going to Run -> Run ‘app’ and selecting your device. Your virtual device may take a couple minutes to launch. You also may need to “Run ‘app’” again after it launches. Regardless, you should see an app launch with the ever-underwhelming “Hello, World” text displayed. Congratulations! Now you’re ready to move on to the fun stuff.

The second post in my Android App development adventure can be found here!

Chris

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