New Android SDK Tools and ADT Revision 17

Android with Screwdriver and Spanner InlaidThe Android Developers blog just announced an update for the Android SDK Tools and ADB. This new release, version 17, brings many improvements to the build process. Here are some of my favourite new features:

  • Added check for Android API calls that require a version of Android higher than the minimum supported version. This will save you from having to test your app on Android 1.6 for example, only to have it fail due to an API call that was introduced in Android 2.1
  • Added a feature that allows you to run some code only in debug mode. Builds now generate a class called BuildConfig containing a DEBUG constant that is automatically set according to your build type. You can check the (BuildConfig.DEBUG) constant in your code to run debug-only functions such as outputting debug logs.
  • Added feature to automatically setup JAR dependencies. Any .jar files in the /libs folder are added to the build configuration (similar to how the Ant build system works). Also, .jar files needed by library projects are also automatically added to projects that depend on those library projects.
  • Updated the resource chooser to show the resolved value for resources. For example, when selecting @string/hello the chooser displays a resolved value such as “Hello World”). The resource chooser also now allows you to edit the chosen value directly.

There are plenty more changes to be found in the SDK Release Notes and ADT Release Notes. The Android Emulator can now run x86 system images at native speed, thanks to contributions from Intel. Lint has also received a major upgrade, with 40 new rules checking for performance and code issues.

Android SDK Tools Update

Version 17 is a must-download release, as it fixes a number of problems with the build framework, including the dreaded “Conversion to Dalvik format failed with error 1″ message when using external JAR files.

Many developers will also be pleased with the new Network Usage feature in DDMS. This provides a very powerful monitoring framework which allows you to analyse your app’s network usage in real time.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to the Android Developers website and download the latest release now! :) Feel free to share your thoughts about the new SDK in the comments, or on the forum thread. Has it improved your coding efficiency?

  • AndrewOnSteroids

    I really wonder, what’s the point in programming apps for money making if it’s completely useless? Well, it’s interesting and you can programming just for programming, but if your goal to make money then what the point to spend so much time when you should spen 90% on marketing and only 10% on developing? I was impressed when saw how my co-worker hit more than $1k per month with the app he made in “5 minutes”.

    • Christopher Jenkins

      Diving in myself to learn, making money on the side will just be a bonus

      • AndrewOnSteroids

         Completely agree with you. I created apps just for fun when I started. When I built my first apps I thought that people will love it and I will be able to earn something. But installs were low. Now I can say that completely shitty apps makes me more money than those I built with some big idea.

  • AndrewOnSteroids
  • Tara Bacon

    Another wonderful announcement which will reversible add more android users. Android really impress me so much on every announcement and release of their updates. Keep up the good work. 

  • Shobhit Bakliwal

    But the Eclipse plugin is still very buggy. Stops providing me information many a times about Log-cat for example. They should really do something about it.

  • Steve

    Is this blog dead? I was really looking foward for your progress :

    • David Webb

      Nope, it’s not dead – I’ve just been busy! The latest income report is now online:

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  • rabbyapk

    i have a apk blog. How to earn more money use my blog

  • Anderson Joey

    Excellent post man!
    I strongly agree with your point that the Strong Relationships with your customer is the key,and Use the Language Your Customers Use. These two points are the main key points which we have to focus in B2B Marketing.
    Android apps

  • Nam Harry

    Android really impress me so much on every announcement and release of their updates.