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5 Android Tools Every Developer Should Use, Page 2

  • By Lauren Darcey & Shane Conder
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Android Tool #6: LogCat

LogCat is the name of the Android logging system. LogCat data is accessible from within Eclipse, as well as through adb, and provides helpful diagnostic information about events on the system. As a developer, you can enable your applications to log debugging and diagnostic information to LogCat as well. Logging from within an application is about as easy as a printf() statement.

Android Tool #7: The Hierarchy Viewer

The Hierarchy Viewer, whether it's access through the standalone application or the relatively new Eclipse perspective, is used to see how your layouts and screens resolve at runtime. It provides a graphical representation of the layout and view hierarchy of your application and can be used to diagnose layout problems.

Android Hierarchy Viewer

Android Tool #8: Draw 9-Patch

When it comes to graphics design, the Draw 9-patch tool comes in handy. This tool allows you to convert traditional PNG graphic files into stretchable graphics that are more flexible and efficient for mobile development use. The tool simplifies the creation of NinePatch files in an environment that instantly displays the results.

Draw 9-patch

Android Tool #9: The Monkey Test Tools

The Monkey Test Tools, including the Monkey exerciser tool and the monkeyrunner tool, are a pair of applications that can be used to automate application testing. The Monkey exerciser randomly sends events to your application for stress testing purposes. The monkeyrunner tool is a scripting library that can be used for automated testing and checking of the results via screenshots using Python scripts.

Android Tool #10: ProGuard

ProGuard, which is now part of the typical Android build process, provides developers with a straightforward way to increase protection of their intellectual property after publication. The ProGuard tool can be configured to obfuscate the resulting binaries to make them difficult to reverse engineer. The ProGuard tool can also be used to optimize the size of the resulting binary, reducing the overall package size and speeding delivery to your users.


The Android SDK ships with numerous other tools. Many of which are used for special development cases. However, the tools listed above will be used with just about every project, regardless of the type of app being developed. For more information on these and other tools available, check out the Android Tools section of the Android website. Also, new tools and improved tools are released on a fairly regular basis, so make sure you keep all of the packages updated with the AVD and SDK Manager.

Finally, above and beyond the Android tools we've discussed, your best resource is the Android Developer website. Complete with up-to-date SDK downloads, source documentation, tutorials, technical articles, and the Android blog with the latest news, this website provides critical knowledge and support for Android developers.

What is your most useful Android development tool?

About the Authors

Shane Conder Shane Conder and Lauren Darcey -- Contributing Editors, Mobile Development -- have coauthored two books on Android development: an in-depth programming book entitled Android Wireless Application Development (ISBN-13: 978-0-321-62709-4) and Sams Teach Yourself Android Application Development in 24 Hours (ISBN-13: 978-0-321-67335-0). When not writing, they spend their time developing mobile software at their company and providing consulting services.

         Email          |          Blog          |          Twitter          

Lauren Darcey

Originally published on https://www.developer.com.

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This article was originally published on April 8, 2011

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