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Android Studio Windows Zip Setup

For writing Android applications (apps) you need the right software. Google provides free access to their preferred app development software for use in Microsoft Windows, on Apple Macs and for Linux PCs. It is called Android Studio, download Studio from the Android Developer website.

Mike Bugdroid the Android Logo

What is Android Studio?

An app is a computer program and like all programs it needs designing, writing, compiling, testing and debugging. This is all done in an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). There are many IDEs from which to choose. This article deals with the IDE provided by Google, called Android Studio. The easiest way to setup Android Studio on Windows is to download the 2 gigabyte (GB) Android Studio Windows installer. Alternatively Google provides a 500 megabyte (MB) zip file that can be used for setting up Studio. Although Studio then downloads another 1.5+ GBs to complete the configuration! Read on for information on installing and running Android Studio using the zip file.

Note: Developing Android apps on a PC is resource heavy. The PC will struggle if it does not have a recent processor, i3 or better, and enough memory, 4 GB or better. Experience has shown that an i5 or i7 processor or later is best, and 6 GB should be regarded as the minimum memory to have free.

Start Writing Google Apps on Windows

Apps are written in a computer language. Google's preferred language for Android is the widely used Java. This needs to be installed, the Android Studio can be installed.

Firstly You Will Need the Java Development Kit

Android Studio requires the Java Development Kit (JDK). This needs to be installed from the Java Standard Edition (SE) Downloads page. Only download Java from the official JDK website. For more information on getting Java on Windows see the article Installing Java on Windows (32-Bit or 64 Bit).

Install Java

Download the Android Studio Zip File

On the Studio download page at Android Developer website click on the Download Options link or scroll down to the Start using Android Studio today section. There is a link provided for both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Studio. To use the 64-bit version you need to be running a 64-bit verison of Windows. Download the Android Studio IDE zip file required (accepting the terms and conditions). Note: You may have issues clicking the link in some browsers (e.g. Microsoft Edge), if so use the context menu (normally right-click) and select Save as to download the zip file.

Copy the Android Studio Zip File Contents

Once the Studio zip file download is complete use Windows File Explorer to copy the android-studio folder inside the zip file to the required location.

Run studio.exe or studio64.exe

In the bin directory under android-studio are the Studio executables. For a 64-bit installation studio64.exe is used, otherwise studio.exe. It is worth setting up a shortcut to the required exe on the Desktop or the Taskbar.

Completing the Setup

Run Studio and a setup wizard will be shown. Go through the wizard with the Next button.

Studio Setup Wizard

One tip is to change the location of the Android SDK in the setup wizard. By default it is buried under the AppData folder. An easier to find location is recommended, on a disk with lots of free space. Here it has been set to D:\Programs\Android\SDK.

For testing and debugging apps a real device or virtual device can be used. The wizard allows a virtual Android device to be installed. The Intel HAXM utility is useful for improved performance when running an Android Virtual Device (AVD). You will need to enter the Windows machine administrator password to complete the Android Studio setup wizard if logged into Windows as a standard user.

Change the Android SDK Location

Google provides some online example projects that can be viewed from the welcome screen by selecting Import an Android code sample. (Tip: to get back to the start screen close all open Android Studio projects.) This website also has a large selection of Android Example Projects available. Other articles on this website act as a mini Android App Development Course

Android Studio Start Screen

Test out Android Studio by starting a new project, maybe a simple Hello World app. It can take some for Studio to open for the first time. So be patient. Likewise for the first app to compile. When the Studio IDE loads use the status bar at the bottom to view progress messages.

Android Studio

Running Your First App

Use the play button on the tool bar to run the app code.

Android Studio Run Icon

If an Android device is not install select the Android Virtual Device if it was installed. To test on a physical Android device install the manufacturers driver. With the driver installed use a USB cable to connect the device to your PC. You will need to enable USB debugging on the device.

Choose Android Virtual Device

Once the AVD starts the app will be loaded onto it and will executed.

Simple app on an AVD

Downloading More Packages and Updates

Use the SDK Manager from the tool bar to keep the Android SDK up to date and download additional libraries and packages.

Android SDK Manager

See Also

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