Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

Android app development

If you have dabbled in Android development then surely you’ve had a chance to play with the emulator—which most likely will make use of ARM EABI system images. For those of you not familiar with the concept, Android software development kit (SDK) is bundled with a virtual mobile device emulator that lets you to develop and test Android apps without having to actually own a physical device. It looks and behaves like a real phone, except without the ability to place phone calls, which isn’t very useful in a development environment anyway.

Android Virtual Device, more commonly referred to as AVD, is utilized by the emulator and allows you to define various useful configurations such as:

  • Android platform
  • Hardware options
    • Front/back camera
    • Keyboard support
    • SD card presence
  • Emulator skin

When the emulator and AVD are set up, and an application is finally ready for a test run, starting the emulator for the first time can be quite underwhelming. It just feels slow. The startup speeds can vary, and the simplest solution for this is to have the same emulator instance running at all times of testing.

What if you need to test an application against a different Android environment, where you might be required to change the version of the application programming interface (API) being used or enable camera support? The same process has to be repeated, and it can be somewhat slow at times.

In order to speed up the whole development and testing process I highly recommended using Intel x86 Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM). HAXM provides extensions that allow for a more manageable running of virtual machines. Not everyone can take advantage of this feature; only specific CPUs that support the following technologies are eligible for this type of acceleration:

  • Intel Virtualization Technology (VT, VT-x, vmx) extensions
  • AMD Virtualization (AMD-V, SVM) extensions (only supported for Linux)

Here’s the list of all supported Intel CPUs: Virtualization Technology supported list.

I am a proud owner of a Windows 7 laptop with an Intel i7 CPU, which means I’m one of the lucky ones. If you happen to own a supported machine, here are the steps to install HAXM:

Step 1: Download HAXM through Android SDK Manager

  1. Start Android SDK Manager
  2. Expand the “Extras” directory
  3. Download and install “Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM)”

If the installation fails there’s no need to panic. It could just mean that Intel Virtualization Technology (VT) must be manually enabled within the basic input/output system (BIOS) setup utility.

In order to enable VT for Lenovo laptops, complete the following steps:

For Lenovo ThinkPad W510:

  1. Restart the computer and use “ThinkVantage” (blue button at the top of the keyboard) to enter BIOS
  2. In BIOS navigate to Config > CPU
  3. Enable “Intel Virtualization Technology” and “Intel VT-d Feature”
  4. Save and exit

For Lenovo ThinkPad W520:

  1. Enter BIOS using the same method as above
  2. In BIOS navigate to Security > Virtualization
  3. Enable “Intel Virtualization Technology” and “Intel VT-d Feature”
  4. Save and exit

If there are additional errors with the installation I recommend reading through Intel Installation Instructions.

Step 2: Install Intel x86 system image for Android emulator

  1. Start Android SDK Manager
  2. Expand the Android platform folder that will be simulated by the emulator. For example “Android 4.2.2 (API 17)”
  3. Download and install “Intel x86 Atom System Image”

If you experience any additional problems with this step I recommend referring to the Install Intel x86 System Image for Android emulator guide.

From my experience using HAXM I have noticed a considerable increase in the emulator execution speeds, and I would advise anyone who is focused on Android development to use this technology.

If you are already using HAXM feel free to comment. I’d be interested in seeing the steps you took to enable Virtualization Technology on your machine, as the steps seem to vary based on the manufacturer. You can also connect with me on Twitter @VKaminas.

 

Bookmark and Share

Previous post

Next post

3 Comments
 
July 31, 2013
10:27 am

Hello I am so delighted I found your blog, I really found you by error,
while I was searching on Aol for something else, Anyways I am here now and
would just like to say thank you for a incredible
post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design),
I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also included your
RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up
the awesome jo.


Posted by: computer keyboard piano software free download
 
May 16, 2013
10:49 am

Wonderful, what a web site it is! This webpage gives
valuable facts to us, keep it up.


Posted by: caso vacuum food sealer reviews
 
April 13, 2013
8:27 am

Hello I am so glad I found your web site, I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Askjeeve
for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like
to say thanks a lot for a marvelous post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but
I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have
time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the excellent work.


Posted by: usability testing
 
Post a Comment