Workshop Information


1. Primary resources for the course will be the website

and the Android Developers site

2. Some programming experience is desirable. Prior experience with android is not required. Knowledge of Java and XML will be very useful, but not absolutely essential for participants who are willing to learn (working code will be available for all topics covered).

3. Participants will be expected to bring a portable computer having wireless network connectivity (any fairly recent Mac, PC, or Linux system should work), with the Android SDK and Eclipse IDE with Android plugin installed. Step by step instructions for obtaining and installing the software (all of it is free) may be found at under Getting Started > Installing Software; if you encounter problems installing software, contact x at x@y for help. You should test the software installation by at least running a sample application to be sure that it is working. Complete instructions for doing this are at (see Installing Software and Installing Sample Packages in the table of contents menu on the left).

4. If you have an Android device you are encouraged to test directly on your device, but having an Android device is not essential for participation since the Android SDK has rather realistic virtual devices that can be used to test programs. If participants use an Android device, they will be expected to already have it configured for development. This normally requires no more than changing a setting on the phone, connecting it to the computer with a USB cable, and possibly installing a USB driver. Instructions for setting up a device for development are given at under Appendices > Installing on a Device; if you encounter problems setting up your device for development, contact x at x@y help.

6. If you have problems with any of the above, or with Android in general, remember that googling the error string and related keywords is the best Help Desk. Most problems are not original and their solutions probably have been posted more than once on the Web.

7. It is recommended that you install all versions currently available for the Android SDK unless you have a disk-space problem (Android 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 3.1, the Galaxy Tab add-on if you are so inclined, and the Google Maps API for each). This permits you to configure emulators to quickly test your applications against any version of the Android operating system in both phone and tablet formfactors (and on devices if you have them). Note that there are some dependency issues in installing all of it, so it will generally take more than one pass to get everything [e.g., Google maps for API 8 (Android 2.2) won't install until API 8 is installed, ...]. This installation and dependency check should be handled automatically by the Android SDK and Window Manager in Eclipse, but you have to manually check boxes and agree to terms.

8. If you want to get a head-start, read the sections from under the heading Overview of Android for background, and looking at the projects WebView Demo and Mapping Demo, which are the first ones that we will tackle.