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Easily setup an Android development environment on a Mac

Here is a high level overview for what you need to do to get most of an Android environment setup and maintained.

Prerequisites (for Homebrew at a minimum, lots of other tools need these too):

  • XCode is installed (via the App Store)
  • XCode command line tools are installed (xcode-select --install will prompt up a dialog)
  • Java

Install Homebrew:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Make sure the doctor is happy (do what it tells you):

brew doctor

Use Homebrew to install Android dev tools:

brew install ant
brew install maven
brew install gradle
brew cask install android-sdk
brew cask install android-ndk

Install all of the Android SDK components (you will be prompted to agree to license info and then this will take a while to run):

sdkmanager --update

Install HAXM for blazing fast emulators. Check out the "Configuring VM Acceleration on Mac" section here:

Update your environment variables:

export ANT_HOME=/usr/local/opt/ant
export MAVEN_HOME=/usr/local/opt/maven
export GRADLE_HOME=/usr/local/opt/gradle
export ANDROID_HOME=/usr/local/opt/android-sdk
export ANDROID_NDK_HOME=/usr/local/opt/android-ndk

Update your paths (bonus points to a better solution to the hardcoded build tools version):

export PATH=$ANT_HOME/bin:$PATH
export PATH=$ANDROID_HOME/platform-tools:$PATH
export PATH=$ANDROID_HOME/build-tools/19.1.0:$PATH

Periodically run these commands again to ensure you're staying up to date:

brew update
android update sdk --no-ui
  • Note: It looks like there might be an issue with brew update and the android-sdk formula.

Install Eclipse, IntelliJ, Android Studio, or your other favorite IDE.

If everything goes smoothly on a moderate network connection you can expect this process to take 2-4 hours.

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