To develop Android apps using OpenCV Library, we need the following tools (all of these are either Open Source or free software, or both) -

  • Eclipse with ADT Bundle (You can choose any other IDE like Android Studio or even the puissant command line!!, but ADT bundle is a must.)
  • OpenCV4Android (although, you can compile from source code, it is recommended for novice users to download the binaries.) Caveat - Download the file named _OpenCV-2.4.9-android-sdk.zip and not opencv-2.4.9.zip. (Version might differ)_
  • CygWin (Only for Windows, not needed on Linux or Mac)
  • Java JDK (JRE would not be sufficient)
  • Android Native Development Toolkit (NDK)

You will need to set environment variables on your OS for the tools to correctly configure. For the sake of brevity, I would not discuss each step in detail but for meticulous instructions, refer to the official OpenCV installation instructions.

Alternatively, nVidia also provides a suite of developing tools — TADP. The advantage of TADP over the piece-by-piece method is that you don’t need to follow the often perplexing task of setting up the development environment. The default installation will download a lot of superfluous packages that are not needed (The download size can be greater than 2GB and on slow internet connections, it can turn into a prolonged activity.), rather select the packages manually at the time of download (A dialog box will appear, asking you to select either Complete, Custom or Manually.)