AIDE—Developing for Android on Android

If you start with one of the templates, you can compile it and run it right away to see how the process works. Click on the menu button, and select the Run option. This will pop up a dialog, informing you of each step being done. It will compile your code, link it and create an APK file. In order to run it, this APK file needs to be installed. So an installation dialog will appear asking if you want to install it. Once installed, it then will start up, and you will have your very first Android application, developed completely on Android.

Figure 5. Security requires that you approve any app being installed.

Figure 6. After compiling and installing, AIDE will run your new program.

All of the apps that you develop in AIDE are structured as projects. Anyone used to using IDEs, like Eclipse, should be familiar with that. This means if you want to work on a different app, you need to close the current project and open a new one. To close a project, click the menu button, select More and then Close Project. This still will leave you in the main directory of your current project.

To see your other projects, click on the ".." entry in the file pane to move up one directory. Here, you should see three standard entries, then a folder for each of your projects. The first entry is a tool to let you clone a Git repository to your Android device. The dialog that pops up allows you to enter a repository URL and a directory name. If you already have done some development work and have the code on Dropbox, you can download the relevant folder directly within AIDE.

Figure 7. You can create new projects several different ways.

Figure 8. Cloning a Git repository is a fairly easy task.

The third option is to create a new project. Selecting this option brings up the dialog you saw when you started AIDE the very first time. To load a project into the IDE, it isn't enough simply to select the project folder. Within the folder is an option to "Open this App Project". This loads all the meta information about your project, like its properties and resource file locations.


Joey Bernard has a background in both physics and computer science. This serves him well in his day job as a computational research consultant at the University of New Brunswick. He also teaches computational physics and parallel programming.


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