Android* Intel® Architecture Emulator for Honeycomb*

Objective

This article will give an overview of Android* Intel® Architecture emulator for Honeycomb*, creating Android* Virtual Device (AVD) for Honeycomb* devices, basic usage and best practices.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview of Android* Emulator
  2. Android* Intel® Architecture emulator for Honeycomb*
  3. Creating AVD for Intel® Architecture Honeycomb*
  4. Android* Intel® Architecture Emulator for Honeycomb* Usage
  5. Summary

Overview of Android* Emulator

Android* SDK comes with several developer tools, emulator being one of them. Android* emulator is a very useful tool for developers to quickly test and debug their apps before deploying on a real device.

The emulator is also very flexible in that it allows developers to try their apps on different variations of the target platform like screen-sizes or target API level, or try different hardware features. Real devices do not allow this possibility, and developers would otherwise have to procure different devices for each configuration they would like to target. The emulator allows this flexibility by letting developers create custom emulator configurations.

For each of the desired target platforms, an emulator configuration can be created called Android* Virtual Device (AVD) configuration. For more basic details of what an AVD is, and how to create and use different AVD configurations for Intel Architecture, please refer to the article “Android* Virtual Device Emulation for Intel Architecture”.

Android* SDK integrates emulator support into all of the Android* developer tools including Eclipse* ADT plugin, “adb” tool, and “android” tool which lets users create AVD configurations among other actions.

Android* emulator involves several components:

  • the emulator binary/executable
  • AVD configuration which defines customizations specified by user
  • The system image for corresponding target (Android* version, e.g.: Android-13 Honeycomb*)
  • The user data image and custom user settings

The emulator binary is located under tools folder of SDK (eg: “emulator-x86” for Intel Architecture Android*). The system and default user images are available under corresponding Android* Platform folder of SDK. (e.g.: For Intel Architecture Honeycomb*: /platforms/android-13/images/x86). The AVD and user custom configuration are stored under user home folder by default.

Android* Intel® Architecture Emulator for Honeycomb*

Android* SDK, as of version R12, supports x86 Android* Emulation. The SDK comes packaged with Intel Architecture Android* Emulator binary “emulator-x86”, which supports different Android* platforms including Honeycomb*.

The current SDK does not package Honeycomb x86 images for emulator. The Honeycomb* Intel Architecture emulator images will be available in future SDK releases.

The Android* emulator usage for Intel Architecture is very similar to the existing process, where the user first creates an AVD configuration for Honeycomb* Intel Architecture and can then invoke the emulator with AVD normally - either directly from command line or from eclipse ADT. We will discuss AVD creation and basic emulator usage in following sections.

Android* Intel Architecture Emulator for Honeycomb* supports all software and hardware customizations specified in Android documentation located at the following link: http://developer.android.com/guide/developing/devices/emulator.html

All the emulator startup options, emulator disk images customization, networking options discussed in the above documentation apply the same to Intel Architecture Honeycomb* emulator.

The Android* Emulator is not without limitations, which are documented here: http://developer.android.com/guide/developing/devices/emulator.html#limitations: these apply to Intel Architecture Emulator for Honeycomb* as well.

Below is a screenshot of experimental Intel Architecture Honeycomb* image running in x86 Android* emulator.

Creating AVD for Intel® Architecture Honeycomb*

Before using Honeycomb* Intel Architecture Emulator, the user needs to first create an AVD configuration that specifies the required software and hardware customizations. For a more detailed information about AVDs, how to create and use please refer to the article “Android* Virtual Device Emulation for Intel Architecture”.

Creating AVD configuration for Intel Architecture Honeycomb* is illustrated in the below screenshot.

After clicking “Create AVD”, the Android* tool will confirm the creation with a helpful message dialog showing details. The screenshot below shows this dialog message.

Android* Intel Architecture Emulator for Honeycomb* Usage

The Intel Architecture Honeycomb* emulator image usage is very similar to existing process for other Android* Emulator image usages.

The screenshot below illustrates the process of invoking the emulator directly from the “Android” tool, with Intel Architecture Honeycomb* AVD “HC” that we created in previous section.

From command line, users can invoke emulator with chosen AVD as below

Eclipse* Android* Plugin ADT has the emulator invocation integrated.

Summary

This article covered Android* Emulator and Intel Architecture Honeycomb* emulator basics, how to create an AVD for Intel Architecture Honeycomb* and the Intel Architecture Honeycomb* Emulator usage.

Notices

* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others

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