First Impressions with Android Development

I'm fairly late to the Android development party, this weekend I decided to install the SDK and see what it's all about.

Installing the Android SDK and an emulator was simple enough. Almost everything is open source, which is awesome. Tedious licensing agreements for development tooling is insane.

I didn't have the newest JDK (OpenJDK 8 doesn't come with Ubuntu 14.04), so I extracted the open source Zulu Java 8 JDK in my user directory and set JAVA_HOME accordingly, rather than use what Oracle offers. To run the emulator, I had to enable virtualization in my BIOS, it's in the security settings for Lenovo Thinkpad T420 laptops. I also had to install some additional packages via apt-get to run the SDK on my 64 bit distro:

sudo apt-get install lib32z1 lib32ncurses5 lib32bz2-1.0 lib32stdc++6

Once the SDK was running, I signed up for the free Udacity Developing Android Apps course. I didn't go into it with very high hopes because a lot of the open source documentation I come across is terrible. Was pleasantly surprised though.

Even though the material wasn't 100% up to date with the newest SDK, there are explanations about what's changed and what is now deprecated. They have a github repository set up with branches for every section of the course. They'll show you a video, then offer a diff link (usually along with additional documentation), then explain what the code in the diff does. I'm about 75% done after two days, and it seems to be working for me. I don't think I'll be a master of Android development at the end, but it will be enough to get started with my own app.

More posts about Android development to follow I think. Seems fun :)

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