As you may know, the Android development system is available for the Raspberry Pi from the Debian project here: https://packages.debian.org/buster/android-sdk However, they do not include Android Studio. Is there a good tutorial on how to develop Android apps on the Pi without Android Studio?

  • @JaromandaX The article describes making PWAs, not native Android apps, on the Pi. – aklingam Sep 30 '20 at 9:30
  • oops, sorry - yeah, there's nothing out there - probably because compilation is apparently way too slow on a pi (based on a similar question in this forum) – Jaromanda X Sep 30 '20 at 9:37
  • @JaromandaX The IDE would be the thing that slows the Pi down, not the compilation. Though it would be a debugging nightmare, technically you could use vim and ant to work with Android on a device with less power than a Pi Zero. – aklingam Sep 30 '20 at 10:43
  • No matter what, this is going to be an absolutely dreadful experience. If there is any other option at all, don't do this. In fact, even if there isn't any other option, don't do this: Find something more realistic to do with your time, such as building a motorcyle blindfolded (yes, a joke, but I think these might be on par difficulty and enjoyability wise), until you have a proper laptop or something to run AS on. – goldilocks Sep 30 '20 at 15:02

After you install the Android SDK, you can open the SDK Manager and install the tools and Android APIs. Then you can install Eclipse with sudo apt-get install eclipse. After you install a plug-in called Android Development Tools (ADT), you should have a normal development experience. One aspect of the development that might be different is the testing process. Because the Pi isn't powerful enough to run an Android emulator, you'll have to build the whole app and install it on an actual device every time you want to test your app. Another issue with this method would be the fact that Eclipse isn't lightweight and you might have issues with less powerful Pis.

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    Have you done this yourself recently (run eclipse + ADT)? Official support ended 5 years ago and WRT "you'll find a lot of tutorials too", I dread to think how old they are; Android has changed in some fundamental ways (support lib -> androidx/jetpack, etc). – goldilocks Sep 30 '20 at 16:34
  • ...Looking at SO, there's not much evidence to support your claim that "a lot of people" still do this: stackoverflow.com/… ... stackoverflow.com/questions/61222513/… Methinks you are leading someone down a garden path into some very dark woods. Mebbe with a plank overlooking the water. How about: reddit.com/r/androiddev/comments/fbstjd/… – goldilocks Sep 30 '20 at 16:34
  • @goldilocks Really sorry, I've edited my post removing that line. I never used Eclipse for Android development and assumed that a user base existed because of a large amount of SE Posts I found. When I checked my History and looked at the dates on the posts, I found out that they're 6-7 years old. WRT the deletion of this post, I think the OP won't find using Eclipse as difficult as you mentioned. Gradle is still supported on Eclipse, so the fundamental changes to Android you mentioned shouldn't be a factor. ... – aklingam Oct 1 '20 at 9:03
  • ... The EOL for ADT should also not be a factor because ADT can still be used if the OP's application isn't too complicated and doesn't target the latest Android APIs. Also, an official plugin for Android development called "Andmore: Development Tools for Android" is a version of ADT that still has support. WRT why I picked Eclipse instead of AS in the first place, I wasn't sure if Eclipse itself could work on a Pi. I've had issues running AS on a Laptop with an i3 and 4GB RAM. – aklingam Oct 1 '20 at 9:04
  • WRT fundamental changes, I meant those tutorials you have thankfully dropped reference to. So as is I guess this is fine but not an idea I would upvote ;) That Andmore still has support may be secondary to the fact that the latest version is 3+ years old... – goldilocks Oct 1 '20 at 13:48

Android programming is not possible natively on the Raspberry Pi, because the various Android packages do not include the SDK manager which is needed to download related software. The SDK manager is now a part of Android Studio which has not been ported to the Pi.

However there is one way to build Android apps on the Pi, by using Qemu to emulate an x86_64 running any x86 Linux distro and then installing the x86 Android Studio in that. It is very slow but it seems to work. This is a case where it might be wise to overclock the Pi, and you should run Qemu with the -smp option to specify multiple cores.

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