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The F-Droid reimplementation of sdkmanager is now in Debian! This means that users now have an easy, documented way to get Google’s Android SDK packages. It also gives us a place to build a channel to help users move to free packages as they are available (e.g. https://gitlab.com/android-rebuilds).

The google-android-* packages were an early way to get some pieces of the Android SDK into Debian. They are contrib because they download and install Google’s binaries. My feeling is that we as a team don’t want to expand this approach, and want to use it only for limited cases where it provides value over sdkmanager.

One example of a use case is for non-technical people to use the Android emulator. It should be possible to use the Android emulator only by installing a package. Things like the versioned “platforms”, NDK, old build-tools releases, and emulator system images are just much better managed from sdkmanager. It might make sense to have one NDK in Debian built from source.