Sunday, 3 November 2013

Android App Development Tools

Android Development Tools (ADT) is a plugin which allows you to create Android apps for mobile phones. You can set up your Android projects, create an application UI, add packages for the Android Framework API, export signed and unsigned .apk files so you can distribute your apps, and debug your apps using the Android SDK tools.

Developing with ADT in the Eclipse IDE is the best way to develop apps. The various features of it, which includes tools integration and asimply guided project setup, should mean that developing apps is a much more manageable task.
The main functions are as follows:

  • It’s a full Java IDE. This means there is Android-specific refactoring, integrated navigation between Java and XML resources, analysis tools to understand performance and usability issues, support for more complicated projects, and a template-based wizard to set up simpler Android projects. 
  • It has graphical UI builders. You can build detailed Android UI using drag and drop, see how your UI looks like on a variety of devices, switch themes and platform versions without building, and view editorial assistance to help with working with custom UI components. 
  • It has on-device developer options. This enables you to debug over USB, capture bug reports onto a device, view CPU usage on screen, and getdetailed debugging information onscreen.
  • It allows you to develop on hardware devices.You can use any commercial Android device, or even multiple devices, transfer your app to connected devices directly from the IDE, and debug, test, and profile live on the device. 
  • You can develop on virtual devices. You can also emulate advanced hardware such as cameras, sensors, and telephony. You can even develop and test for broad device compatibility.
  • It allows for powerful debugging. There is a full Java debugger which allows you to debug on-device and gives you access to Android-specific tools. There is a built-memory analysis function, as well as performance profiling and OpenGL ES tracing. You can use graphical tools to debug and optimise UI and view analysis of your app’s bandwidth use. 
  • There’s a fully scriptable test environment. Here you can view integrated reports using standard test UI and create and run unit tests on physical devices or emulated ones.
  • C and C++ support is available.As well as support for compiling and packaging existing C and C++ code, there is also support for packaging multiple architectures in single binary for much broader compatibility.

What’s available in the Dev Tools app

The Dev Tools app is installed on all systems included with the SDK and is also usable with Android emulators. You’ll be able to more easily test and debug your Android apps.
It relies on a rangeof permissions which aren’t available for third parties. If you wanted to install Dev Tools on a real development device, you would need to build a system image for the device and sign the Dev Tools app with the same key as the system image.
The Dev Tools application has the following options:

  • Debug app. This lets you select the app you want to debug. 
  • Wait for debugger. This blocks your app from loading until a debugger attaches to it. 
  • Show screen updates. A pink rectangle will flash on any screens that are being redrawn. 
  • Immediately destroy activities. This option will tell the system to destroy an activity the moment it’s stopped.  
  • Show CPU usage. This will display CPU meters at the top of the screen which show CPU usage.
  • Show background. This option displays a background pattern when there aren’t any activity screens up.

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