Getting Started with Android Development (Part 3 of 3): Emulators!

When you’re ready to test out the awesome Android app you’ve made, you’ll need to make sure you have either a device or an emulator to test it on. Ideally, you’d want to test your app on a physical device, but this can be troublesome considering how many different devices of different screen sizes, processors, and RAM allotments exist for Android. In those times when you’d want to simulate those conditions without buying a 100 new android phones, emulators really. shine.

By default, you can find preinstalled emulators in the AVD Manager within Android Studio. These, however, are pretty notorious for being bad. They’re beyond slow, taking minutes to start up, and are not very responsive. Intel did a good job at circumventing this by making Intel HAXM and allowing the developer to install it from the SDK Manager in Android Studio. There is one hitch, though. HAXM and Hyper-V are not compatible. If you use Hyper-V for anything, you’ll have to stop it and disable it before using a HAXM-based Android emulator.

Luckily, Microsoft did this!

The awesome guys at Microsoft went ahead and developed a Hyper-V based Android emulator! It’s pretty quick and feature rich. There are plenty of screen sizes, resolutions, ¬†and RAM allotments matching today’s popular devices as well.

It comes packed in with the new Visual Studio 2015 IDE as well as standalone, so you won’t need VS to run it. You can grab it here.

This allows us to use an Android emulator without the need for configuring and re-configuring Hyper-V and HAXM. All you’d have to do to get it going is click the green “play” button and run your app in Android Studio.

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