How To: Create an Android Virtual Device

This page discusses setting up an emulator, and things to watch out for, for more information, see

We can use two items to test our applications, a real android based phone, or an emulator of a target environment. Emulators can be pre-configured and ready before you actually need them, and it may be possible for us to have a standard set pre created and ready in a central location. NOTE: I am currently unsure if emulators can be copied around (if they can, it would save a whack of setup time, etc).

Creating the emulator device

For step by step instructions, see the android developer link above

Emulators are created from the SDK tool (you can launch this by either hitting the ‘SDK Setup.exe’ file, or more properly by running ‘android’ from the command line. Select ‘Virtual Devices’ and then ‘New’.

Most of the choices are relatively clear, I would suggest something useful as the name of emulators just to help keep it clear what they are for, API revision levels, etc. (This will show up in eclipse in most spots, but not in the filesystem)

Gotcha’s to watch out for:

  • Android API version versus Android version
  • Google API’s versus Stock Android API’s

It is important to take note that not all Android phones include all components (for various reasons). If you expect to be using extra Google functionality (i.e. Google Maps, etc), your emulator needs to use a target of ‘Google API + Android API #’, instead of just Android API #. This includes the extra google code in your emulator so you can use the extra services.

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