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Quick tip: adding Android SDK and Virtual Device Managers to Eclipse

File this under “Stuff that should have always worked this way by default”…

The Android Development Toolkit (ADT) comes with two important applets – the SDK Manager, and the Android Virtual Device Manager.  The SDK Manager is the tool that downloads and installs all the Android APIs, build tools, etc.  The Virtual Device Manager allows you to create and customize the Android emulators.  You can setup as many different device emulators as you desire, each with different form factors and Android OS levels

Two very important tools, but neither is available directly from Eclipse (which is where I spend most of my time when developing SMP apps for Kapsel or native Android).  On Windows, they’re executables located in the android-sdk\tools\lib folder.  So, you could create shortcuts out on the desktop, or pin them to the tart menu, but that means leaving Eclipse to launch them.  Too much trouble for me…  It’s even more complex on my Macbook!  You have to open a Terminal window, navigate to the /tools folder, and run android avd or android sdk.  I mean, I went to the trouble of installing the ADT plugins into Eclipse – the least they could do is give me an easier way to run these critical apps!

Well, I found a way to add them to the Window menu in Eclipse, and it was so easy it made me wonder why this isn’t the default behavior…  (The screen shots here are for the Mac version of Eclipse Kepler, but this is exactly the same for Windows and Linux).

Go to Window > Customize Perspective…

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 8.13.05 PM.png

Select the Command Groups Availability button, and check ON the Android SDK and AVD Manager option.

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 8.13.32 PM.png

Now, when you return to the Window menu, you’ll see the two options for Android SDK Manager and Android Virtual Device Manager right under the Navigation… option. 

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 8.14.05 PM.png

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