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Android++ -- A native development and debugging solution for Visual Studio.


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Android++ (android-plus-plus)

Android++ is a freely distributed extension and associated MSBuild scripts designed to enable Android application development within Visual Studio. Primarily for NDK based C/C++ applications, it also incorporates customisable deployment, resource management, and integrated Java source compilation.

Getting Started

  • Android SDK (

    • Please avoid installing to a path which contains spaces.
  • Android NDK (

    • Please avoid installing to a path which contains spaces.
    • Compatibility tested with NDK r9d, r10, r10b, r10c and r10d.
  • Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.7 or 1.8

    • If using JDK 1.7, please ensure you are using a revision of at least 67.
    • If using JDK 1.8, please ensure you are using a revision of at least 21.
    • Early revisions of JDK 1.7 tend to cause devices to hang when debugging.
  1. Create several new environment variables to reference installations of the SDK, NDK, and JDK.

    • Open your computer's 'Control Panel'.
      • If viewing items by category, follow 'System and Security' -> 'System'.
      • If viewing items by icon, just click 'System'.
    • Click 'Advanced System Settings' (left panel). This should open a 'System Properties'.
    • Select the 'Advanced' tab, and click 'Environment Variables'.
    • Add the following new user or system variables:
      • name: ANDROID_SDK, value: <path_to_sdk_root>
      • name: ANDROID_NDK, value: <path_to_ndk_root>
      • name: JAVA_HOME, value: <path_to_java_jdk_root>
  2. Close all instances of Visual Studio and any Command Prompt windows.

  3. Bootstrap for one (or more) instances of Visual Studio using the bootstrap_vs*.cmd scripts in Android++'s root.

    • Scripts are separated by version to allow for improved customisation/testing.
    • More advanced scripts can be found in the ./bootstrap/ directory. These allow more fine grain control.
    • Installation of Visual Studio extensions in is a little unpredictable, be sure to uninstall any existing registered extensions before upgrading. Look in ./bootstrap/ for these scripts.
    • Improved automation of the upgrade process will follow in later releases.
  4. Build a sample. See below.

Building and running 'hello-gdbserver' sample:
  1. Find bundled projects located under msbuild/samples from the root of your Android++ installation.

  2. Build the hello-gdbserver project. This is a tiny application to force a segmentation fault.

  3. Ensure 'hello-gdbserver' is set as the launch project. This is indicated by the project name being represented in bold.

    • If it's not bold, right-click the project in the 'Solution Explorer' pane and select 'Set as StartUp Project'.
  4. Run the project. Press F5 or select 'Debug -> Start Debugging'.

  5. A 'Configuring Android++' dialog should appear. Installation and connection status can be monitored here.

    • A 'Waiting for Debugger' prompt should also appear on the device. When this disappears, JDB has successfully connected.
    • As the ADB protocol is slow, installation times can be lengthy for large APKs - and vary with target device.
    • If you experience any errors, please first consult ./docs/troubleshooting.txt.
  6. Wait for connection to be finalised. On device you should see a large button labelled 'Induce Crash'. Press it.

  7. Visual Studio should alert you that a 'Segmentation Fault' has occurred. Click 'Break' to see its location in native code.