Android SDK
Initial releaseOctober 2009; 14 years ago (2009-10)
Stable release
26.1.1 / September 2017; 6 years ago (2017-09)[1]
Written inJava
Operating systemCross-platform
Available inEnglish
Android SDK

The Android SDK is a software development kit for the Android software ecosystem that includes a comprehensive set of development tools.[2][3] These include a debugger, libraries, a handset emulator based on QEMU, documentation, sample code, and tutorials. The SDK is part of the official Android Studio IDE but its various tools and resources can be used independently.

Currently supported development platforms include computers running Linux (any modern desktop Linux distribution), Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later, and Windows 7 or later.


As of March 2015, the SDK is not available on Android itself, but software development is possible by using specialized Android applications.[4][5][6]

Until around the end of 2014, the officially-supported integrated development environment (IDE) was Eclipse using the Android Development Tools (ADT) Plugin.[7] As of 2015, Android Studio[8] is the official IDE; however, developers are free to use others, but Google made it clear that ADT was officially deprecated since the end of 2015 to focus on Android Studio as the official Android IDE. Additionally, developers may use any text editor to edit Java and XML files, then use command line tools (Java Development Kit and Apache Ant are required) to create, build and debug Android applications as well as control attached Android devices (e.g., triggering a reboot, installing software package(s) remotely).[9][4][10]

Enhancements to Android's SDK go hand-in-hand with the overall Android platform development. The SDK also supports older versions of the Android platform in case developers wish to target their applications at older devices. Development tools are downloadable components, so after one has downloaded the latest version and platform, older platforms and tools can also be downloaded for compatibility testing.[11]

Android applications are packaged in .apk format and stored under /data/app folder on the Android OS (the folder is accessible only to the root user for security reasons). APK package contains .dex files[12] (compiled byte code files called Dalvik executables), resource files, etc.

Android SDK Platform Tools

The Android SDK Platform Tools are a separately downloadable subset of the full SDK, consisting of command-line tools such as Android Debug Bridge and fastboot.


This section needs expansion with: by explaining the security issue. You can help by adding to it. (October 2023)

Some security issues were found in 2014.[13]


  1. ^ "SDK Tools | Android Developers". Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  2. ^ "Tools Overview". Android Developers. July 21, 2009.
  3. ^ Android 3 SDK programming for dummies. Rajiv Ramnath, Roger Crawfis, Paolo Sivilotti. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. 2011. ISBN 978-1-118-14634-7. OCLC 759198469.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ a b appfour. "AIDE- IDE for Android Java C++ - Android Apps on Google Play".
  5. ^ gesturedevelop. "Java Editor - Android Apps on Google Play".
  6. ^ Tanapro GmbH, Tom Arn. "JavaIDEdroid - Android Apps on Google Play".
  7. ^ "NBAndroid Plugin". Archived from the original on October 17, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  8. ^ "Android Studio".
  9. ^ Westfall, Jon (August 25, 2009). "Backup & Restore Android Apps Using ADB". Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  10. ^ Modesti, Paolo (March 2021). "A Script-Based Approach for Teaching and Assessing Android Application Development". ACM Transactions on Computing Education. 21 (1): 1–24. doi:10.1145/3427593. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  11. ^ "SDK Tools release notes". Android Developers.
  12. ^ "Glossary". Android Developers.
  13. ^ Duckett, Chris. "Android SDK suffers from buffer overflow and lack of hardening". ZDNet. Retrieved 2021-08-05.