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What is Android SDK

The main tools is Android SDK (software development kit). It contains libraries, debugger, documentation and tutorials, Android emulator and you can get it on

How to install Android SDK tools

After downloading the Android SDK from, unzip the content into desired folder (e.g. /opt/android-sdk on Ubuntu or any other GNU/Linux distribution).

Note: If you are a Windows user, Google recommends getting the installer (the latest version is installer_r20.0.3-windows.exe) that will configure the tools automatically.

Download, run the installer file and follow the steps.

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Android SDK Manager configuration

When you start the Android SDK Manager you will see a list of items and whether or not they are currently installed on your machine.

After you select the items to be installed, click the Install button. The download process could take a time depending on your selection, so we advise to get only what you need at that time and install other items later.

Mandatory packages are SDK Tools, SDK – Platform Tools and the SDK platform for which you want to write the Application. Select other packages depending on your need, although most recommended packages are – Documentation, Code Samples, USB Driver, Google API, Google Analytics SDK, Google Admob Ads SDK (If you want to show ads in your App) etc. Don’t select unnecessary packages – that you don’t need now – otherwise it may take much time to download/install all those stuffs.

Note: You should at least choose the latest Android SDK platform and the Extras. At the time of writing, the latest SDK platform is SDK Platform Android 4.1, API 16.

Each version of the Android OS is identified by an API level number. For example, Android 4.1 is level 16 (API 16). For each level, two platforms are available, e.g.:

  • SDK Platform
  • Google APIs by Google Inc.

The main difference is that Google API contains some additional APIs provided by Google (e.g. Google Maps). So, if you need these additional features you need to create an AVD with Google APIs platform.

You will be asked to choose the packages to install, select the Accept All option and click the Install button.

The installation process could take some time, so be patient. After the installation, you will be asked to restart the ADB (Android Debug Bridge); choose Yes.

Full Android development environment setup tutorial read here.

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