What Dev Tools Are Used For Android?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by HiRez, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Sorry, I know this is a Mac forum, but I figured some of you would know. I'm not giving up iPhone development, but wouldn't mind dabbling in Android too. Can it be done on the Mac? What tools do people use? Does Google have their own IDE, can Xcode be used, or is it real basic like TextMate and Terminal style?

    EDIT: Also, while there's been much written about Android vs. iOS from a user perspective, and discussions of "walled garden" vs. "open" regarding the app stores, how do the two stack up from a development perspective (ie. coding, debugging, packaging, and getting it into the store)?
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Hate to ask the obvious, but did you read any of this...


    ? ;)

    The Eclipse IDE, which is discussed there as the preferred environment, does have a MacOS version. :)


    There are other things like this that might be worth reading....


    Unlike the situation with iOS development, you are not required to use the "official" IDE (and there is a discussion of alternatives in the first link above). Cheers. :)
  3. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Google App Inventor. Just released yesterday. Other than that, you need to install Eclipse and the Android SDK. There are videos and tutorials to show you how to do that.


    EDIT: Just realized it's an invite only thing... sorry!
  4. mrbash macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2008
    From a development perspective, Android is easier to program and debug if you are talking about native apps. I also find the APIs for Android to be more robust.

    You can produce webapps using a JavaScript like language for iOS, but it gives you a limited API and functionality compared to the native app. But if you aren't doing anything too snazy, it will work just fine.

    As HiRez mentioned there is the Android App Inventor, which lets you visually create apps using lego like blocks. I actually wrote a paper on visual programming languages in 95. I actually think this is going to be the future of software development.
  5. wakka092 macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2007
    Coding on Android to me seems more efficient. You don't have to worry about memory aside from a few random APIs with "cleanup" methods, the Dalvik JVM does garbage collection. However, iOS bests Android on ease of user interface design, but the layouts are much more intelligent. XML based too. Also no worrying about autoresizing masks. Packaging is easy, you codesign using a self-signed certificate you whip up in Terminal. Beyond that, it's a handful of clicks to package. No big deal.

    The best part of Android development to me is publishing. The process is similar, but your apps are immediately available, and you can watch your payments accumulate as you receive them, in PayPal fashion, via Google Checkout, of course.

    Just know that if you ever make an app free even if it started as a pay app, you cannot change it back to paid. Which sucks if you have an app no one downloads until you make it free, and then it's a hit. :p

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