Android Basics – Understanding Android Run Time, Dalvik and APK

If you are familiar with the Java Virtual Machine(JVM) then you will know that a JVM works on class files which are comprised of byte code. A class file is a compiled version of the Java code.

When it comes to Android then the Java code is first compiled to a class file which in turn is converted to a file called classes.dex –¬†Dalvik Executable format. This is done by a tool called dx

Like JVM in Android’s case its Dalvik which works on the dex file.

A JVM is stack based processor whereas Dalvik is register based. Both are virtual processors though.

The classes.dex file is then compressed with a bunch of other files, like resource and data files, into a ZIP file called an Application Package or APK

This is the file you will eventually upload to the Google Play Store.