From past to present in the United States Android has pretty much been a T-Mobile operating system. Yes, I know that T-mobile doesn't make or brand the operating system. But the only people that were on T-Mobile had the choice of an Android device (the G1). At present the same is true, only T-Mobile customers have the choice of using Android. But in the near future other devices using Android will be rolling out, both for phone and non-phone applications. So I've decided to div into Android.
It may be some months before I am able to get hardware that I'll also be able to use as a primary device so I'm going to stick with using the android emulator for now. For any one wanting to get started with Android development you probably want to get the emulator and dev environment up and running. While there's a variety of development environments that you could use every thing I describe is going to be centered around the Eclipse environment. The instructions below will help you get your Android environment up and running and configure the emulator so that you can see an emulated android device run.
Installing the Android SDK
The Android SDK can be downloaded from http://developer.android.com. The installation could not be simpler, you just download the SDK for the development operating system of your choice (I downloaded both the Widnows and OS X version, there is also a Linux version) and then unzip it to the path of your choosing. I unzipped it to c:\tools on the windows system.
Eclipse is a free IDE available from Eclipse.org. While it is not restricted to being used only for Java you will find that it is most strongly associated with Java. You can download the Eclipse IDE for the operating system of your choice from http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/. I downloaded "Eclipse IDE for Java Developers" for both OS X and for Windows. The installation is simple; unpackage the zip file to a folder. My Eclipse installation is in c:\tools\Eclipse on my installation.
Configuring Eclipse for Android Development
Start the Eclips IDE. Go to the "Help" menu and open "Install New Software" (the exactwording seems to varry some across Eclipse versions). In the "Work With" text box enter http://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/ and select "Add." In the tree view below select all the Android tools and then select "Finish." After the updates isntall you will need to restart Eclipse. Once restarted go to the "Window" menu and select "Preferences." Under the "Android" select select "Browse" and navigate to your Android SDK installation.
Starting the Emulator
From the "Window" menu select "Android AVD Manager." By default you have no android devices listed here so you will need to create a new device. In the input areas below enter a name for the configuration you are creating, select an Android version from the drop down, and select a screen resolution. Then press "Finish." Once the device is created you can start it by typing the following at the command line.
emulator -avd <MyDeviceName>