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EGMaps – Set Up Eclipse and the Android API

To create your app, you need some software on your computer.  If you’re a programmer, just go to http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html?hl=sk and you’ll get everything you need.  If you’re not a programmer, read just a bit more first.

While releasing an app that uses EGMaps doesn’t require you to know any programming at all, it does require you to use some programming tools.  The good news, though, is that it’s all fill in the blank.  You can use nearly any computer to do it, and the software is free.

The first thing you need is an Integrated Development Environment (usually called an IDE).  This is basically the programming equivalent of a word processor or spreadsheet program, but instead of using it to write a text document or create a spreadsheet, you use an IDE to write a computer program.  You can use any IDE you like, but Google endorses and supports using one called Eclipse.

There’s one more thing you need to write an Android program, which is a Software Development Kit (or SDK).  If you want to think of the IDE as being like a word processor, you can think of the SDK as being like a spelling and grammar checker.  Really, it does a little more than that, but essentially the Android SDK just tells Eclipse how to translate what you tell it into something an Android can understand.  Google, which created Android, provides the Android SDK free.

Google has packaged the Android SDK, together with the Eclipse IDE, into a single package.  Go to http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html?hl=sk to download and install the correct version for your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, then come back here to set up your secure key.

…and don’t forget to bookmark that page.  If you have problems running Eclipse later, you’ll need to go back there for updates and troubleshooting.

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