Mac may need in order to create your own iOS applications, but if you are over the green strange kind of guy, Android and IDE (integrated development environment) is also available in OS X (among other platforms).
If you are willing to move from the creation of iPhone apps, or you’re itching to create the next big thing for Android, IDE installed is one step of the journey. Or, if we are moving very quickly, why not start the course?
Why bother with Android?
If you’re familiar with in OS X and iOS development, you could ask yourself why even bother with Android?
Many developers iOS shy away from because of the fragmentation of Android device and the need for further correction / re-create applications for the issuance of various of the operating system – which there are many. I’m not going to try to sell you on any of the two countries is the best, as they both offer many benefits for developers, but I will say that the creative application who are looking to earn a living from their applications, and find some kind of balance between the hardware never a bad idea.
Additionally, you’ll find that the overall experience is far less restrictive with Android. For one, Google Play (Android’s App Store) doesn’t have many of the same restrictions as Apple, nor does it require the $99 annual fee for developers (it’s $25 on Google). Google provides you access to Android’s inner workings (by means of an open source model) which allows you to create things like emulators, boot loaders, and customized docks, icons, start screens — you name it — that just aren’t possible with iOS.
If you’re strictly looking at revenue numbers, Apple’s App Store is still going to be your primary target. While Google Play has 60-percent more annual downloads than the App Store, Apple’s App Store actually accounts for 70-percent more yearly app revenue. That’s not to say you can’t be profitable on Android, or that you should avoid the platform altogether, quite the contrary actually.
While applications may have higher revenue numbers in Apple’s App Store, and download numbers are much higher with Google play, which makes it an exciting platform to test and adjust the free app before launching a premium version or freemium.
Eclipse with ADT or Android Studio?
In the past days, you had confused than ever between one group of Eclipse and ADT choice (Android Developer Tools) Assistant, or Android official studio, which is based on IntelliJ platform – for Java-based IDE.
Fortunately, I experienced a recurrence of the recent streamlining the process a bit with only one version, called Android Studio.
In fact, while the use of Eclipse option still exists, Google recommendation officially start the migration process in the Android Studio as a support for ending ADT. If you need help migrating your projects, it should be for this blog Developers Android Last help you out.
Now, if you’re just looking for simulation, which comes bundled with Studio Android, it is important to note that there are more ways other light to do it on your Windows, OS X, or PC based Linux without the need for huge for Android Studio download and install. On a Mac, try BlueStacks, or you can download and run Android on your computer and Windows only. If you are looking for ultra-lightweight robot simulation, try this emulator for the browser Chrome.
Get up and running with Android Studio
We must first download and install the Android Studio, a package consisting of:
Android Studio IDE
Android SDK (software development) Group
Android 5.0 (popsicle) platform
Android 5.0 emulator system image with Google applications programming interfaces
Let’s get started.
Launch the .dmg file, and drag Android Studio into the Applications folder.
Open Android Studio and follow the steps laid out by the setup wizard. Occasionally, you’ll run into an error saying the file is “damaged” or untrustworthy and should be moved to the trash. If this happens, you’ll just need to adjust your security and privacy settings to allow the application to run by going to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General and then selecting Anywhere where it says “Allow apps downloaded from:”
If you need to use Android SDK tools from the command line, you can access them by opening up Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and using the following:
Just remember to add your username in place of
Adding SDK Packages
The Android SDK (software development kit), which comes with the Android Studio package, does not include everything you need to start developing Android apps. The SDK itself is a utility used to separate your tools, platforms and components into packages by using the Android SDK Manager.
So, as such, we’ll have to add some packages in order to get everything ready for development. Don’t worry, it’s a simple process.
First open the SDK manager under Tools > Configure > SDK Manager.
Note: From here on, to keep this concise, we’re going to assume that if I don’t mention something specifically, it means one of two things:
- It’s pre-selected and it’ll install automatically once we’re done.
- You don’t need it… at least right now.
Ok, let’s continue. Select the following:
- Android SDK Tools
- Android SDK Platform-tools
- Android SDK Build-tools (highest version)
Open the folder for the highest version of Android in the list (5.1.1 as of this writing) and select:
- SDK Platform
- ARM EABI v7a System Image
Open the Extras directory and download the following APIs for the Android Support Library:
- Android Support Repository
- Android Support Library
Open the Extras directory and download the Google Play services package for even more APIs. Add:
- Google Repository
- Google Play Services
Install the packages
- Click Install 22 packages (or however many the SDK manager reports).
- Click each package name on the left to accept the license terms for each.
- Click Install.
Note: Do not exit the SDK manager until the install is complete!
Once the install is complete, you can dive right in and start developing and even run Android apps right from your trusty Mac (or Hackintosh) running OS X.
Porting iOS Apps to Android
Due to a lack of similarity in the two operating systems, there isn’t anything that offers a plug and play solution for porting apps from the other OS.
However, there is a program called Apportable I felt was worth pointing out. Apportable essentially translates Swift and Objective-C to run ARM and x86 machine code that Android is able to understand. You’ll also find additional plugins for further lightening your development load, such as the SpriteBuilder Plugin. That said, not all Apple APIs are available on Apportable, so while it’s the best we’ve got, it still isn’t a plug and play solution.
The main benefits of Apportable are in faster cross-compiling without the need for emulators, virtual machines or a Java-programmed alternative. While Java makes for great cross-compatibility in mobile apps, it leaves both the iOS and Android versions feeling, well, not native. In fact, most feel like cheap ports from the other OS.
Again, this isn’t a perfect solution, but it should significantly lighten your workload if you must move back and forth between Android and iOS.
Happy developing, and be sure to share what you come up with us here at Make Use Of.