4. The Android SDK Manager

Each version of Android has its own SDK (Software Development Kit) that enables you to create applications for the Android platform. Since you just went through the setup wizard, you’ll already have the latest version of the SDK available to you.

Installing a New SDK

However, it’s useful to know how to install additional versions of the SDK so that you can develop for all supported versions of Android.

SDKs also allow you to create AVDs (Android Virtual Devices) that are customized to your personal configuration for the purpose of testing your app.

From the Android Studio welcome screen, click Configure.

The menu will slide across and present the Configure menu. Select the SDK Manager option.

Once it launches, you’ll see a window like the one below:

 

The first tab of this window, SDK Platforms, lists the Android SDK platform available for download.

Enable the Show Package Details option to see individual SDK components, such as the platform itself and the sources pertaining to the API level like system image. Take note of the checkbox next to the SDK platform; it will be pre-selected if an update is available.

By default, the SDK Manager installs the latest packages and tools. Select the SDKs as shown in the screenshot above. If you wish to install other SDKs, just select them for installation.

The SDK Tools tab lists developer tools and documentation along with the latest versions. Similar to the first tab, checking the Show Package Details will display available version of SDK tools.

The first three components in this list, for example, are Android SDK Build ToolsAndroid SDK Tools and Android SDK Platform-Tools. Each contains components that are designed to assist in the development of Android and work across multiple SDKs. Go with the default selection on this tab.

The SDK Update Sites tab displays the update sites for Android SDK tools and add-ons. You’re not limited to what’s listed because you can add other sites that host their own Android SDK add-ons, and then download them from those sites.

For the purpose of setting up correctly, select the options that are checked in the screenshot above. Click Apply at the bottom if it’s active. You’ll be presented with a confirmation dialog for the chosen packages; accept and continue. Click OK to close out the window.

The window will disappear and the SDK Manager will download and install the selected items. Once it’s done, click Finish. You’ll be directed back to the SDK Manager window where clicking OK will take you back to the Welcome to Android Studio.

Now the fun begins!