Android NDK

The Android NDK is a toolset that lets you implement parts of your app in native code, using languages such as C and C++. For certain types of apps, this can help you reuse code libraries written in those languages.

This is a reliable and effective toolset specially designed for Android and Java developers who need to implement parts of their app using programming languages such as C++ or C#.


Android NDK Software For Windows

However, before using Android NDK you need to be a great connoisseur of these native-code languages and make sure that your computer meets all the system requirements, otherwise, you can not benefit from all the features that the toolset comes with.

The Native Development Kit (NDK) is a set of tools that allows you to use C and C++ code with Android, and provides platform Android NDK libraries you can use to manage native activities and access physical device components, such as sensors and touch input.


Android NDK for PC may not be appropriate for most novice Android programmers who need to use only Java code and framework APIs to develop their apps. However, the NDK can be useful for cases in which you need to do one or more of the following:

  • Squeeze extra performance out of a device to achieve low latency or run computationally intensive applications, such as games or physics simulations.
  • Reuse your own or other developers’ C or C++ libraries.

Using Android Studio 2.2 and higher, you can use the NDK to compile C and C++ code into a native library and package it into your APK to link C++ project with Gradle, the IDE’s integrated build system. Your Java code can then call functions in your native library through the Java Native Interface (JNI) framework.


Android Studio’s default build tool to compile native libraries is CMake. It also supports ndk-build due to the large number of existing projects that use the build toolkit. However, if you are creating a new native library, you should use CMake.

The Android NDK need to compile and debug native code for your app, you need the following components:

  • The Android Native Development Kit (NDK): a set of tools that allows you to use C and C++ code with Android.
  • CMake: an external build tool that works alongside Gradle to build your native library. You do not need this component if you only plan to use ndk-build.
  • LLDB: the debugger Android Studio uses to debug native code.

Still, you don’t have to assume that you can increase your application’s performance just because you are using native code. Just check the requirements and view if the Android framework APIs provide you with the main functionality you need.

That being said, when you are sure that Android NDK is a component that you truly need to run and develop your applications, you can unzip it and place it in an appropriate directory. After that, variables like ‘android_log_print’ and ‘sample_ndk’ will be available inside your project.

The Android NDK package provides you with the right tools so you can work efficiently with your scripts, without having to handle all the CPU and ABI details.

Taking into consideration that Android NDK is specially intended for Java developers, it provides them with helpful classes that notifies their native code of any activity lifecycle callbacks. Still, the most interesting part of this toolset is that it enables them to embed native libraries into an application package file, which can be deployed on Android devices.

Android NDK Tutorial

System Requirements

Operating System Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7/8/10
Mac: Mac OS 10.10 to 10.15
Linux: Ubuntu 8.04, or other Linux distributions using GLibc 2.7 or later
GNU GNU Make 3.81 or later is required. Earlier versions of GNU Make might work but have not been tested
Required Software Cygwin

Technical Specification

Software Name Android NDK Software For Windows V 21d
File Size Windows: 1 GB
Mac: 994 MB
Linux: 1.1 GB
Languages English, Italian, French, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, German, Japanese
License Free
Developer Google

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