Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tuning Eclipse for Android Development

The standard IDE for Android development is Eclipse. For the most part, Eclipse has all the tools and goodies I need to get my job done. I'd consider it second to Visual Studio which is pretty good in my opinion. Listed below are some of the things I do in my eclipse environment to tune it better for Android development.

1. Download Eclipse Color Themes plugin
Fastest way to get a clean dark color theme for your source code.
Eclipse Color Theme with Obsidian preference selected.
2. Increase the font size
Having big 23" monitors is a must for a developer. Having a big font improves readability, reduces clutter, and is more friendly on the eyes. Especially useful if you don't have 20/20 vision.

3. Associate Android SDK Jars as User Libraries (optional)
Libraries that get updated like the v4 support library will automatically be applied to all projects that include it as a user library instead of a jar within the project itself.
Another advantage is if you're creating a Java (not android) project so that you can export your code as a jar file from eclipse.

4. Associate JAVA_HOME environment variable to a 32-bit JDK
There seems to be subtle problems with Java 64 bit. Rather than dealing with ways to fix them the 32 bit version works fine. Both can co-exist on the same machine without problems.

5. Install Apache ANT (optional)
You might need it right away but having ANT might come in handy later down the road especially if you want to build a library and want a way to automatically package it up or you see a build.xml file somewhere. Download ANT and extract it to the base Android SDK folder.

6. Add Android SDK tools to your PATH environment variable
You'll eventually need access to tools like adb and draw9patch.
[ANDROID SDK DIRECTORY] \platform-tools
[ANDROID SDK DIRECTORY] \apache-ant\bin

Well that's pretty much all the customizations for Eclipse that I use. 


  1. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.