Android Installation

Thu Oct 6 2016

Fortunately installation is remarkably easy with Tangram ES. I'm going to start with installing the demo app that is part of the Android component of Tangram ES. Please consider this guide to be a supplement to the main installation instructions found in the README of the Tangram ES Github repo.

Building From Source

If you are planning on doing actual Tangram ES development in C++/GLSL, this is the first place for you to look, regarding getting the app working on an Android phone. The Mapzen Android SDK is important as well, however, it treats the underlying rendering library as an SDK, so you would indeed have to go in and specifically create an aar or gradle package each time you make a change to Tangram ES to see what you have done in your Android app. If you plan on simply using Tangram ES in your project without modifying the underlying library, I suggest that you use the Mapzen Android SDK instead.

Follow the Android build instructions in As noted, you'll need to setup your ANDROID_HOME and ANDROID_NDK environment variables. For me, the following is what I set:

export ANDROID_SDK=/Users/njh/Library/Android/sdk
export ANDROID_NDK=/usr/local/Cellar/android-ndk/r10e

Note that I've had best results so far installing the NDK with homebrew.


make android

Go ahead and execute ./android/, and you should see the Tangram ES demo app open on your phone (if it is connected with all the development USB debug setup done). This is great, but we really want to have this working in Android Studio, and we want to be able to debug the Java.

When opening Android Studio, select Import project (Eclipse ADT, Gradle, etc.). Choose the tangram-es/android/ directory. Make sure that you are important from the android sub-directory. Now, you can build and run the demo app from Android Studio.

Note: Android Studio complained that the gradle version was out of date. Allow Android Studio to update your gradle build version--it works fine!

 buildscript {
   dependencies {
-    classpath ''
+    classpath ''

Build Tools Version

You may not have the right build tools version. If not, you can programatically install the build tools you need like this:

android list sdk --all

And then to get one of the packages in that list from the command line, use:

android update sdk -u -a -t <package no.>

Further Help

These are just some of my personal notes that have helped me get Tangram ES working on my Android device. If you have more questions, you can ask Mapzen's Tangram team for help on Gitter.


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