Setup your Android development environment using Maven and Intellij

Published on May 10, 2011 by Toran Billups

I recently started playing around with Android and found it difficult to get my development environment setup. I suppose this is something I should have expected given it's the java ecosystem, but my recent fling with objective-c had me thinking back to the 'good old days' when you just opened the editor and hit go.

Most of the examples I found online would show you how to get started with Android using Eclipse but as I'm already using Intellij at work I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn the shortcuts and editor in depth. So off I went to download a free copy of the community edition.

After a few days of trial and error I got to talking with a co-worker about how he got setup doing Android development and he mentioned Maven. I was using Maven at work as a build/dependency management tool of sorts but as I'm new to the java world I didn't know much about it. I had him walk me through a basic setup and thought why not share that with others who might be interested in Android development.

I also thought this would be valuable because most blog posts/tutorials online kept the focus on Intellij (w/out Maven) or Eclipse. It was rare to come across a 'how-to' that mentioned Android, Intellij and Maven.

So I started documenting the steps required to get a perfect build up and running on a freshly formatted Windows 7 machine. But instead of displaying a bunch of steps in text format I decided to do a short (23ish minutes) screencast that I recorded on a freshly formatted machine. The video was taken on my netbook so I didn't launch the emulator (not enough power) but I did detail each step required to get a new Android developer up and running.

Direct Download (mp4)

If you don't feel like watching the video here are the basic steps in less detail

1.) Install the JDK

2.) Add the JAVA_HOME env variable

3.) Install the Android SDK

4.) Add the ANDROID_HOME env variable

5.) Add platform tools to your class path (to call adb later)

6.) Install Maven

7.) Add Maven to your class path

8.) Add the M2_HOME env variable

9.) Install Intellij

10.) Open a command prompt and type the following command to generate your mvn project

mvn archetype:generate -DarchetypeArtifactId=android-quickstart -DarchetypeVersion=1.0.5 -DartifactId=SomeProjectName

11.) cd into the project directory you just created and do an mci w/out testing included

mvn clean install -Dtest=false -DfailIfNoTests=false

12.) Open Intellij

13.) Open your project and do a build (control + F9) - this should fail

14.) Add the JDK to your Intellij project

15.) Go back to the command prompt and do a 'mvn clean install'

16.) Start the emulator

17.) Go back to the command prompt and enter the following to push your apk to the emulator

adb install target/*.apk (where *.apk is the apk you want pushed to the emulator)

I hope this helps someone else get started with Android!