The Android SDK includes a variety of tools that help you develop mobile applications for the Android platform. The tools are classified into two groups: SDK tools and platform tools. SDK tools are platform independent and are required no matter which Android platform you are developing on. Platform tools are customized to support the features of the latest Android platform.
The SDK tools are installed with the SDK starter package and are periodically updated. The SDK tools are required if you are developing Android applications. The most important SDK tools include the Android SDK and AVD Manager (
android), the emulator (
emulator), and the Dalvik Debug Monitor Server (
ddms). A short summary of some frequently-used SDK tools is provided below.
dmtracedump. For more information on using
dmtracedump, see Profiling with Traceview and dmtracedump
NinePatchgraphic using a WYSIWYG editor. It also previews stretched versions of the image, and highlights the area in which content is allowed.
.apkfiles by ensuring that all uncompressed data starts with a particular alignment relative to the start of the file. This should always be used to align .apk files after they have been signed.
The platform tools are typically updated every time you install a new SDK platform. Each update of the platform tools is backward compatible with older platforms. Usually, you directly use only one of the platform tools—the Android Debug Bridge (
adb). Android Debug Bridge is a versatile tool that lets you manage the state of an emulator instance or Android-powered device. You can also use it to install an Android application (.apk) file on a device.
The other platform tools, such as aidl,
dx, are typically called by the Android build tools or Android Development Tools (ADT), so you rarely need to invoke these tools directly. As a general rule, you should rely on the build tools or the ADT plugin to call them as needed.