Android SDK vs Android Studio

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Android SDK

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Android SDK vs Android Studio: What are the differences?

The Android SDK (Software Development Kit) and Android Studio are essential tools for developing Android applications. Let's explore the key differences between them.

  1. Installation Process: The Android SDK is an essential component for Android app development and needs to be installed separately before setting up Android Studio. On the other hand, Android Studio is a comprehensive integrated development environment (IDE) that includes the Android SDK along with other tools and features, making it a one-stop solution for Android app development.

  2. User Interface: The Android SDK provides a command-line interface and various tools to build, debug, and test Android applications. It offers flexibility and control over the development process but requires manual configuration and setup. In contrast, Android Studio provides a user-friendly graphical interface, which includes a code editor, layout editor, and an emulator, simplifying the development process and enhancing productivity.

  3. Code Editor: The Android SDK allows developers to use any code editor of their choice for writing Android applications. It provides libraries, APIs, and command-line tools to build and test apps. On the other hand, Android Studio has its own powerful code editor with features like code completion, debugging, and refactoring tools. It offers a seamless development experience by integrating all the necessary tools within the IDE.

  4. Project Structure: The Android SDK requires developers to manually set up the project structure and manage dependencies. This gives them more control and flexibility over the project configuration. In contrast, Android Studio sets up the project structure automatically, managing dependencies through its built-in Gradle build system. This simplifies the project setup process and reduces the time required for configuration.

  5. Additional Features: One of the key advantages of using Android Studio over the Android SDK is the availability of additional features. Android Studio provides various tools like a layout editor, APK analyzer, built-in emulator, and an advanced profiler. These features aid in designing layouts, analyzing APK performance, testing apps, and optimizing code.

  6. Plugin Support: Android SDK allows developers to use external plugins and libraries to enhance their development process. It offers flexibility and customization options by allowing developers to choose and integrate the plugins of their choice. In contrast, Android Studio comes with a wide range of built-in plugins and supports third-party plugins from its plugin marketplace. This reduces the effort required to find and integrate external plugins efficiently.

In summary, while the Android SDK is a fundamental component for Android app development, Android Studio provides an integrated development environment with a user-friendly interface, automatic project setup, advanced features, and plugin support, making it a preferred choice for developers seeking a comprehensive development solution.

Advice on Android SDK and Android Studio

The problem I have is whether to choose Android Studio or Visual Studio? I have to develop a simple app for a school project that can work on both iPhone and Android.

The most important factors for me are Android and iOS compatibility. Although note that i would like to become a Software Engineer when i finish my course. (I'd like to work for Apple, just saying!)

After that id like easy integration for Google Ads and such if i do develop another app that people actually use to support development. (I'd also like to stick with one easy programming language that's compatible with a wide variety of platforms since i'm a beginner and have only ever used Pascal)

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Replies (1)

First of all - Android Studio and Visual Studio are IDE's. Tools to create code. What you are asking is programming framework. I assume that when you are talking about Android Studio you mean Native Android Development and by Visual Studio you mean Xamarin.

If you want to create crossplatform app then Native Android Development is NOT a way to go. Xamarin might work for you, BUT - you'd rather recommend you to go with Flutter. It's much more performant than Xamarin, programming model is friendlier for developer and technology seems just more refined. It's also officially supported by google, so no worries about support.

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Decisions about Android SDK and Android Studio
Omran Jamal
CTO & Co-founder at Bonton Connect · | 7 upvotes · 574.1K views

We actually initially wrote a lot of networking code in Kotlin but the complexities involved prompted us to try and compile NodeJS for Android and port over all the networking logic to Node and communicate with node over the Java Native Interface.

This turned out to be a great decision considering our battery usage fell by 40% and rate of development increased by a factor of 2.

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Pros of Android SDK
Pros of Android Studio
  • 289
    Android development
  • 155
    Necessary for android
  • 128
    Android studio
  • 86
    Mobile framework
  • 82
    Backed by google
  • 27
  • 21
    Eclipse + adt plugin
  • 5
    Powerful, simple, one stop environment
  • 3
  • 3
  • 176
    Android studio is a great tool, getting better and bet
  • 103
    Google's official android ide
  • 37
    Intelligent code editor with lots of auto-completion
  • 25
    Its powerful and robust
  • 5
    Easy creating android app
  • 3
    Amazing Layout Designer
  • 3
    Great Code Tips
  • 3
    Great tool & very helpful
  • 2
    Easy to use
  • 2
    Built in Emulator
  • 2
    Keyboard Shortcuts are Amazing Out of the box

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Cons of Android SDK
Cons of Android Studio
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    • 4
      Slow emulator
    • 4
      Huge memory usage
    • 2
      Using Intellij IDEA, while Intellij IDEA have too
    • 2
      Complex for begginers
    • 2
      No checking incompatibilities
    • 1
      Lags behind IntelliJ IDEA
    • 1
      Slow release process

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    What is Android SDK?

    Android provides a rich application framework that allows you to build innovative apps and games for mobile devices in a Java language environment.

    What is Android Studio?

    Android Studio is a new Android development environment based on IntelliJ IDEA. It provides new features and improvements over Eclipse ADT and will be the official Android IDE once it's ready.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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    Blog Posts

    Android SDKBugsnagLeakCanary+3
    Jul 16 2019 at 9:19PM


    JavaAndroid SDKBugsnag+3
    What are some alternatives to Android SDK and Android Studio?
    Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript.
    React Native
    React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
    Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android.
    Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
    Corona SDK
    It is a cross-platform framework ideal for rapidly creating apps and games for mobile devices and desktop systems. It builds rich mobile apps for iOS, Android, Kindle and Nook. Build high quality mobile apps in a fraction of the time.
    See all alternatives