Android Developer Tools 20 introduces a new project wizard

By William J. Francis

September 13, 2012, 6:09 AM PDT

Takeaway: Application templates, naming suggestions, an integrated version of Android Asset Studio, and more are available in Android Developer Tools 20’s new project wizard.


The Android Developer Tools (ADT) version 20 has been available for over a month, and last weekend I finally got around to updating. First and foremost, upgrading didn’t break anything, which is a check in the way-to-go-Google column. I tried the plug-in with Eclipse Juno and Indigo, Classic and Enterprise editions, and in all cases the upgrade went flawlessly.


From what I’ve seen, the improvements are focused on things that matter to Enterprise Java developers, such as LINT, Ant Builds, and JUNIT. These features are important, increasingly so as Android matures and begins to infiltrate corporate IT. Still, I am sort of a big kid when it comes to technology, and I was hoping to run across something a little more exciting and I did.


When I opened the new project wizard and found myself in uncharted territory, I perked up. Where once there were mere text boxes for package and application names, now I find application templates, naming suggestions, and even an integrated version of Android Asset Studio. For those of you who have yet to take the plunge, below is a walk-through of the new project wizard. It’s pretty snazzy stuff if you ask me.


1. As with previous versions of ADT, the new project wizard can be invoked by choosing File | New, selecting Android Application Project, and clicking the Next button (Figure A).


Figure A



2. The new opening screen makes smart suggestions as you type, and it also provides excellent descriptions to differentiate application name, project name, and package name (Figure B).


Figure B



3. Borrowing from Android Asset Studio, the new project wizard assists you in creating custom launcher icons for your app (Figure C).


Figure C



4. When it is time to create an activity, the ADT 20 can set your project up with a traditional blank activity, or create a master/detail (fragment) layout to jump-start your development effort (Figure D).


Figure D



5. ADT 20 can offer to define basic navigation layout for you, and it will even do a compatibility check with your installed libraries and help you download any missing components (Figure E).


Figure E

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