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java – Can I develop Android apps without an IDE?

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


Is it possible to develop Android apps using only the Android SDK, without any IDE like Android Studio?

How to&Answers:

Yes, see the Google SDK documentation.

However, with the current toolchain and documentation it’ll be an uphill struggle. I’m trying to do this too (for a dev who lives in Vim and Unix tools, Android Studio is needlessly slow and bloated).

The main issues I’ve found so far:

  1. The SDK documentation gives instructions to create an Ant-driven project, but the SDK is now geared towards using Gradle. If you’re working through the Google documentation in a linear fashion, you’ll find subsequent lessons have you issue Gradle build instructions. For your Ant-built project.

  2. There is very little documentation on how to actually create a Gradle-built project from the command line. The command line I use is:

    android create project --target android-22 --name MyProjectName --path my_project/ --activity MyProject --package com.example.android.myproject --gradle --gradle-version 1.2.2

    The --gradle-version actually refers to the Gradle Android plugin version, not the version of Gradle itself. Finding this out wasn’t easy.

  3. Even if you get it to create a project properly, it probably won’t build without further manipulation. One of the generated files (project/build.gradle) has an invalid directive name (runProguard – I’m guessing it’s now deprecated). That must be changed to minifyEnabled before the project will build. And using the Gradle plugin 1.2.2, the file project/gradle/wrapper/gradle-wrapper.properties has the Gradle distribution incorrectly listed as gradle-1.2.2-all.zip. This should be gradle-2.2.1-all.zip.

    These are files generated by the SDK with errors.

  4. The documentation is focussed on IDE-based development. Once you get past the initial few pages on creating and managing a project using the command line, it’s very IDE-focussed.

    Instructions on things like changing an app Theme are difficult or impossible to follow as they omit steps that the IDE performs for you.

In general, fully IDE-less development for Android (at least in Java, using the official SDK) is very painful. And my personal opinion is that IDE-based development is equally painful (slow, bloated, ugly on high-DPI screens under Linux and evidently full of magic that’s a pain to replicate on the command line).

Edit: I should add that the above refers to using SDK tools v24.2, SDK Platform-tools v22, SDK Build-tools v22.01 and Android API 22 (5.1.1).


For android the basic debugging environments are:
Java Debugger

You can try with them.
More details are here : http://developer.android.com/tools/debugging/debugging-projects-cmdline.html


yes. You Can . Simply you can user Command Line . Command Android Development
I will rather use IDE just to get things done faster.


Sure, use command-line tools But… Why you dont want to use a IDE? You have a lot optiones.


Writing an Android app on Notepad is what I do on my Windows Laptop.

First you configure your laptop as follows:

  1. Download development Kits: Download a Java Development Kit 1.6 for Windows and an Android Development Kit . Similarly try downloading older version of Android kit GUI version of Kit Manager so that you can download essentials. Using kit Manager download Android-23 platform build tools. Android Studio may have slower performance, so try to avoid it.

  2. Configure Kits: Set Windows PATH variable by right clicking My
    Computer -> Properties -> Advanced System Settings
    or change the appropriate settings in your Control Panel. PATH should include the Java’s compiler executable
    file in Java directory, and the android.bat file of Android Kit.

  3. Download Build-Tool: (recommended, but Ant can be used too.) These
    programs configure the command-line tools for easy usage for our
    convenience. I downloaded version 2.2.1 as it can use old
    Java & old Android.

I’ve also written about these instructions on my GitHub Page: https://animeshshrivastav.github.io/