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Set up a Google Nexus 7 tablet for Android development with Eclipse and the Android SDK using Windows 7


This article discusses setting up the Google Nexus 7 tablet for Android development using Windows 7.

First things first, for a device that is supposed to be at the frontline of Google’s efforts to nurture Android development, the Google Nexus 7 manufactured by Asus contains a surprising easter egg when you first prepare it as a development device.

The entire ‘Development options’ setting is missing when you select ‘Settings’-> System Section.  There should be a ‘Developer options’ setting between ‘Accesibility’ and ‘About Tablet’.

developer_options_missing_nexus_7

The entire ‘developer options’ menu option is missing from the ‘Settings’ menu when you first try to use a Nexus 7 as a development environment

Whatever the reasons Google had for preventing access to this option, unlocking it is achieved from the ‘Configuration’->’About’ menu as follows:

  1. From the Configuration application, click on ‘About tablet’, then click several times on top of the ‘Build Number’ option. This will result in unlocking all developer features and receiving a message that says ‘Congratulations, you are now a developer’.

When you plug your Nexus 7 to your Windows PC, it will not immediately be recognized as a valid development device. However, unlike other devices, the Google Nexus 7 has its Windows ADB driver installer built in to the Android SDK Manager.   All you need to do is find the driver and install it as you would from a CD.

Instructions for obtaining the ADB driver installer

  • If you have not installed it, set up the Android SDK manager application. Instructions are available here
  • Once installed, from the main SDK manager window, you will notice an sdk-path setting in the form c:\users\<windows user name>\appdata\local\android-sdk. Navigate to this location using windows explorer

Important: the appdata folder may be hidden

  • From the android-sdk folder, navigate to Extras\Google\usb driver

USB.ADB.installer.for.nexus.7

This is your ADB driver installation  folder.  Make a note of if when the time comes to allow your Nexus 7 to become a development system.

Instructions for installing the ADB Driver for Nexus 7

  • From your Nexus 7, select ‘Settings’ and then the option  ‘Developer Options’
  • If developer options are greyed out, flip the ‘On’ switch at the top right corner of the Developer options screen

nexus.7.developer.options.activate.flip.switch

  • Mark the ‘USB Debugging’ option as checked

At this point, there will be a confirmation message:

“Allow USB Debugging”

USB Debugging is intended for development purposes only. It can be used to copy data between your computer and your device, install applications on your device without notification, and read log data.

  • Click OK.  From this point on whenever you are connected to a PC, there is a new icon visible at the top of the screen to indicate that the device is in debug mode
  • Also, make sure to turn on the ‘Stay awake’ option for the duration of your development session
  • Plug your Nexus 7 to your development PC

A notification about a new unrecognized device may appear. This is the device that needs the Windows ADB driver.

  •  From Windows, select  Start->Computer, right click and choose ‘Manage’

start_computer_manage_define_android_device

  • This opens Computer Management. When you click on Device Manager to the left, you will see a node containing ‘Other Devices’ to the right:

 unrecognized.nexus7.android.development

  • Right-click on the Nexus 7 icon and select ‘Update Driver software’.  This will give you two options:
    • Browse the internet for a driver
    • Look for the driver at the PC
  • Choose the second option and provide the folder name for the installer found in the SDK Manager at the start of this article.

nexus7.device.driver.at.sdk.manager.windows

  •  Select OK and the driver will be installed

the new driver installation confirmation appears with this message:

Windows has successfully updated your driver software

Windows has finished installing the driver software for this device

Android Composite ADB Interface

 

android_composite_adb_interface

Your Nexus 7 will now have its own driver class as follows:

Devices ->Android Phone->Android Composite ADB Interface

android_composite_device_when_hooked_to_pc

This class is only active while the phone is connected to the PC and only while it is in USB debugging mode.

From your Nexus device, you will receive the following dialog box:

Allow USB Debugging?

The computer’s RSA key fingerprint is:

<key fingerprint in hexadecimal mode>

Always allow from this computer

  • Select OK to accept requests and make sure to check the ‘Always allow from this computer’ option as well
  • From the command line in Windows 7, you can issue the command adb to confirm that the device is being recognized for Android SDK development:
    • From the command line change to the directory where the Android SDK is installed:

For example:

CD C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk
  • Change to the platform-tools folder and run this commands:
Cd platform-tools
Adb devices

This results in a message like this:

* daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *

* daemon started successfully *

List of devices attached

<device ID of my Nexus 7 device > device

The daemon in question runs from the adb.exe application. If you see your device listed this way, it is ready to receive any application you compile from Eclipse.

For other telephone and tablet models, follow the links and instructions available at:

http://developer.android.com/tools/extras/oem-usb.html

Next, we will compile and deploy an Android project to this device using Eclipse

  1. Galina
    December 17th, 2013 at 23:41 | #1

    Thanks so much for helping me to connect my nexus 7 to eclipse on windows 7! All other of my attempts failed…. Thanks your instructions are thorough and detailed!

  2. Sebastian
    December 25th, 2013 at 16:01 | #2

    Thx! Excellent guide!

  3. Eshinguard
    December 26th, 2013 at 17:43 | #3

    thanks for that

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