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I have the option to install the Android SDK on Windows or OSX. Which platform provides a better (easier) development experience?

To keep this constructive, I'm looking for any difference that eliminates compatibility issues, ease of debugging, or compatibility with 3rd party utilities.

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did you find the answer that you were looking for? if not please clarify. –  Malachi Oct 16 '12 at 23:53
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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted


I think you would want to use a Linux based OS for Developing Android applications seeing as how Android is a Linux Based OS, it's open source, it's free, and can run on a partition next to windows, and I think Mac Os as well (don't quote me on that though). it's been a while since I opened up eclipse on my Linux box but I remember it being fairly quick. and everything that you need will be available on Linux as well.

if you are unfamiliar with Linux it could be difficult to maneuver I guess, but you shouldn't have any compatibility issues using Linux.

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I use linux. Eclipse seems to run just as fast on my single core atom netbook on linux as it does my big dual core laptop with windows. ( I know that's probably not very likely, but it sure seems that way sometimes ) –  Drake Clarris Aug 23 '12 at 19:07
highly recommend Linux. spend your extra saved license $$$ on some memory and maybe an ssd drive (hopeful). ^M –  bgs Dec 11 '12 at 18:47
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Both Windows and OS X support Java at the moment, but in the long term I heard that Apple will be dropping Java support on OS X.


It seems that Oracle will provide direct support for Java on OS X.

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I've had an experience of developing for Android with Eclipse both on Windows and on OS X (on Intel 5i processor).

OS X had some advantages: the emulator worked faster, Eclipse didn't have those weird things which often appear on Windows. So if you have a chance to develop on OS X and you're going to use Eclipse, I think it's easier and will save your nerves.

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The huge disadvantage of Windows pops up when you have many test devices. With Mac, they connect immediately. Windows may start installing USB drivers, which is painfully slow, even if you simply switch one Galaxy Nexus with another. Worse, some devices require separate downloaded drivers. Even worse, some drivers may not peacefully coexist. –  Alex Cohn Sep 19 '12 at 8:56
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I think you should consider the complete list of 3rd party tools you'll be needing. Android, Java, Eclipse, VCS (at least bzr, git, svn) should not be a problem.

For example I have an Android project which has a small python scripting part in it too, and I could not get libxml working on Mac OS X, even though it's working out of the box on Windows or Linux.

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