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Setting Up an Android Build Environment in OS X Mavericks

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Setting Up an Android Build Environment in OS X Mavericks

Android is a mobile device OS that the open-source community has come to know and love since its inception in 2007. The seemingly endless possibilities of what can be achieved with the OS are intriguing, and they have rekindled the spirits of developers worldwide. As mobile device owners, we often use our interest in Android to push our devices further and customize them to become truly our own.

As with any modifications or customization, tools are necessary. This has led to the creation of tools like Themer, an app that can be downloaded and used to easily select and apply custom themes directly on the device within a matter of seconds.

But where do tools like Themer come from? How are they built? Perhaps an even better question to ask is how is Android built? The answer to these questions is actually very simple: a build environment.

A build environment is a set of tools and directories that a developer has setup on his or her computer. This build environment allows the developer to download the Android source code, which can then be used to create a custom ROM, themes, apps, or anything else related to the OS. Some components of a build environment include a computer, the Java Development Kit (JDK), the Android SDK, the Android source, and of course, a little bit of time and patience.

Finally getting to the point, I want to bring your attention to a build environment that only a handful of developers use: OS X 10.9 Mavericks from Apple. With the right know how and proper setup, working on Android in an OS X build environment can be just as enjoyable as working in any other OS like Linux or Windows.

If you own a Mac, setting up your build environment has now been made simpler thanks to good folks like XDA Recognized Contributor jakew02, who wrote a very thorough guide on setting up a build environment, specifically in OS X Mavericks. While his guide won’t show you exactly how to build things like a custom ROM or kernels, it helps you make sure you and your Mac are better prepared to start your Android development journey.

Being a Mac owner, I’ve used the guide, and have found it to be very helpful. It is really nice coming across jewels like this on XDA. If you are a Mac user ready to start developing, head on over to jakew02’s guide thread to learn more.

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