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I want to get into Android app development. Can I can do it on the Raspberry Pi?

I know I've got enough space on my card, but the Android developer site won't tell me what the Linux system requirements are.

I've got the model B, and I'm running Raspbian.

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You can write all of the code you want on your Raspberry Pi with vim and the like. However, as far as testing it, debugging it, and running emulators for Android projects, I'd say no. There's just not enough memory or processor power. At best, you could get the code off of the RPi, take it to another machine with the development tools, and run it there.

  • Wait, aren't there ARM emulators for Android? Why couldn't they work on Pi? – IgorGanapolsky May 15 '16 at 22:10
  • I was able to install Android Studio onto a RPi 3. However it's almost unusable. It would take hours for every build, but I was able to do a little bit of Android development, before I gave up. – user67191 Jul 16 '17 at 10:14
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You may definitely install Eclipse on your raspberry pi (sudo apt-get install eclipse), then you need to download and install Android SDK from Google.

There should not be any problem with Java libraries, there's a version of JDK for ARM, but you may need to recompile some of the required ADT tools for ARM architecture (source code is available from Google). Besides that, you may try to install Android Development Tools (ADT) Eclipse plug-ins directly from Eclipse.

If you don't want to use Eclipse, there are Apache ANT scripts that build android applications from the source, you'll need only Android SDK and a copy of ADT program to download the resulting .apk file to your device over USB. You won't be able to use emulator (I don't know if there's an ARM version), but working with the real Android device over USB connection might work.

All in all, it's not a very easy path to follow, and the development experience is not going to be very pleasant (compared to the development on PC), but still seems possible.

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I don't think that a small computer like Raspberry Pi would be able to run Android Emulator. Even when you work on PC, you may have noticed some time is taken by the emulator to load (despite of having so much RAM). You need to understand, that Raspberry Pi is not meant to completely replace your desktop PC but can surely provide you with a low cost alternative capable of much power.

You may download Eclipse or simply write your code on Pi, but testing it can't be done.You shouldn't try to run the emulator on your Pi.

  • How about now? Can we use Raspberry Pi 3 board to run APKs? – Bay Oct 12 '16 at 21:16

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