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A Hello World APK built from the command line, no IDE

This simple project shows how to build an Android APK using the command line tools only, without any IDE.

In order to keep it as simple as possible we'll use the JDK (Java Development Kit) and the Android SDK only.

Java 1.6 or later is required.

The Android SDK is no longer available as a standalone downloadable package for Windows. It's necessary to download the Command Line Tools package from https://developer.android.com/studio The link to download the Command Line Tools is at the bottom of that page.

After that you can use the sdkmanager tool to download the Build Tools and the platform files for the required Android API level. Currently the latest API level is 29. You can also download AVD images to emulate an Android device.

A sample keystore with a demo certificate is included. It's highly recommended to generate your own certificate if you plan to modify and redistribute the APK. The JDK keytool can be used to generate a new certificate and store it into a new keystore:

del src\demo.keystore /q
"%JAVA_HOME%"\bin\keytool -genkey -keystore src\demo.keystore -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000 -alias demo

Fill in all the details about yourself and your organization and select an appropriate password. The password used in our sample keystore is password

Edit build.bat using any text editor like Notepad and modify the following configuration parameters:

  • BUILD_TOOLS is the location of the Build Tools in the Android SDK.
  • ANDROID_JAR is the path to the android.jar for the required Android API level.

After that launch build.bat to create the APK.