Getting Started with Android Deployment and Debugging

As usual with Android, getting started on a process usually involves a few hiccups. Here is a complete list of the steps it took for me to get started with deploying apps directly to my Android phone from my Windows development box.

  1. Install the Android SDK.
  2. Add the Android SDK's Platform Tools directory to your path (so that you can run the adb tool).
    • Click Start
    • Right click on Computer, select Properties from the menu
    • Click Advanced System Settings on the left
    • Click Environmental Variables
    • Double-click on PATH in the User Variables list, append a semicolon and the Android SDK Platform Tools folder (e.g. ";C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools")
  3. Install the ADB driver for your device.
    • If you have a Google device (e.g. Nexus One), install the Google ADB driver.
    • If you have a non-Google device (e.g. LG Optimus V), search for "[your device brand and product name] adb driver", which should turn up the necessary driver. Using the example of the LG Optimus V (VM670 aka LG LGP500), the LG Mobile Support Tool must be installed (be prepared for a uniquely awful user interface).
  4. On your Android device, go to Settings | Applications | Development. Enable USB debugging. You might as well enable the other two options, as well.
  5. Plug in your Android device.
  6. Create and compile an Android project. Locate the .apk file, which will be in your project's bin directory.
  7. Open a command prompt and type, adb install pathToYourPackage.apk. If you have an emulator running, you may need to tell adb to only reference the USB device with the -d switch.

    Incidentally, I had some trouble getting my PC to recognize the Android over USB initially. It took a few minutes for me to realize that the power adapter for my USB hub had come unplugged.

About Jeff Fitzsimons

Jeff Fitzsimons is a software engineer in the California Bay Area. Technical specialties include C++, Win32, and multithreading. Personal interests include rock climbing, cycling, motorcycles, and photography.
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