Setting up a Windows PC for Xamarin Android Development

September 9, 2014 at 10:01 pm Leave a comment

I just got done setting up a Windows 7 PC (setup for Windows 8 is identical) for Android development using the Xamarin Android application development platform. I wanted to be able to development with either Visual Studio 2013, or Xamarin Studio 5. So here are the steps I followed:

  1. (Optional) Install Visual Studio 2013 Professional or higher- you can’t use the Express Edition. Also, you will need a Xamarin Business license. Don’t worry if you don’t have Visual Studio Professional- you can use the free Xamarin Studio instead!
  2. Install the Android SDK using the “stand-alone” option. Download the Android SDK
    1. Run the Android SDK manager to update everything to the latest versions (you have to launch the SDK manager as an administrator).
    2. Using the SDK manager, add support for any Android versions you might use. You might also want to add the Google Android USB driver or Intel’s Hardware Acceleration manater (HAXM).
  3. Install an Android Debug Bridge USB driver for your hardware device. If you are using a Google Nexus device you can install the one that is provided by the Android SDK. You will need to open the Windows Device Manager and use it to install a composite adb driver. If you have a phone or tablet from another manufacturer, you will need to install a USB ADB driver for that device.
  4. Install the Xamarin software suite (this includes Xamarin Studio). Download Xamarin
  5. Install GenyMotion, an Android emulator that is vastly superior to the one included in the Android SDK. Download GenyMotion
  6. You’re done!

Now you should test your setup. Here are some things to test:

  1. Start GenyMotion and install a virtual device, then launch that device
  2. Run Xamarin Studio and open the “Hello Android” project. Select GenyMotion as the target for running the app. When you click run in Xamarin Studio, you will see the app run in the GenyMotion emulator.
  3. (Optional) Repeat the above two steps using Visual Studio
  4. Plug in a phone or tablet, enable developer mode, and select it as the target in Xamarin Studio. Now run the program again. The app should run on the device you plugged in.
  5. You’re ready to go!
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