Tools Overview

The Android SDK includes a variety of custom tools that help you develop mobile applications on the Android platform. The most important of these are the Android Emulator and the Android Development Tools plugin for Eclipse, but the SDK also includes a variety of other tools for debugging, packaging, and installing your applications on the emulator.

Android Development Tools Plugin (for the Eclipse IDE)
The ADT plugin adds powerful extensions to the Eclipse integrated environment, making creating and debugging your Android applications easier and faster. If you use Eclipse, the ADT plugin gives you an incredible boost in developing Android applications.
Android Emulator
A QEMU-based device-emulation tool that you can use to design, debug, and test your applications in an actual Android run-time environment.
Android Virtual Devices (AVDs)
Virtual device configurations that you create, to model device characteristics in the Android Emulator. In each configuration, you can specify the Android platform to run, the hardware options, and the emulator skin to use. Each AVD functions as an independent device with it's own storage for user data, SD card, and so on.
Hierarchy Viewer
The Hierarchy Viewer tool allows you to debug and optimize your user interface. It provides a visual representation of your layout's hierarchy of Views and a magnified inspector of the current display with a pixel grid, so you can get your layout just right.
This tool lets you quickly analyze your application's layouts for efficiency.
Draw 9-patch
The Draw 9-patch tool allows you to easily create a NinePatch graphic using a WYSIWYG editor. It also previews stretched versions of the image, and highlights the area in which content is allowed.
Dalvik Debug Monitor Service (ddms)
Integrated with Dalvik, the Android platform's custom VM, this tool lets you manage processes on an emulator or device and assists in debugging. You can use it to kill processes, select a specific process to debug, generate trace data, view heap and thread information, take screenshots of the emulator or device, and more.
Android Debug Bridge (adb)
The adb tool lets you install your application's .apk files on an emulator or device and access the emulator or device from a command line. You can also use it to link a standard debugger to application code running on an Android emulator or device.

This is located in <sdk>/platform-tools/.

Android Asset Packaging Tool (aapt)
The aapt tool lets you create .apk files containing the binaries and resources of Android applications.
Android Interface Description Language (aidl)
Lets you generate code for an interprocess interface, such as what a service might use.
Included as a convenience, this tool lets you access the SQLite data files created and used by Android applications.
This tool produces graphical analysis views of trace log data that you can generate from your Android application.
Helps you create a disk image that you can use with the emulator, to simulate the presence of an external storage card (such as an SD card).
The dx tool rewrites .class bytecode into Android bytecode (stored in .dex files.)
UI/Application Exerciser Monkey
The Monkey is a program that runs on your emulator or device and generates pseudo-random streams of user events such as clicks, touches, or gestures, as well as a number of system- level events. You can use the Monkey to stress-test applications that you are developing, in a random yet repeatable manner.
The monkeyrunner tool provides an API for writing Python programs that control an Android device or emulator from outside of Android code.
A script that lets you manage AVDs and generate Ant build files that you can use to compile your Android applications.
An important .apk optimization tool. This tool ensures that all uncompressed data starts with a particular alignment relative to the start of the file. This should always be used to align .apk files after they have been signed.
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