The Android Studio 2.0 preview of the new-and-improved Android emulator is here at last! After the beta release in Novemeber, it's been a waiting game for developers eager to try out the highly anticipated, much faster performing emulator. Now with Android Studio 2.0 Preview 3, they can.
So, let's get down to the nitty gritty. How fast is it?
Android Studio now defaults to using CPU acceleration on x86 emulator system images. In combination with Symmetric Multi-Processor (SMP) support in Android 6.0 Marshmallow system images, the Android emulators can outperform many physical Android devices. Finally capable of multi-core support, not only do your apps and the emulator run faster in Android Studio, but common developer tasks like installing APKs are quicker as well. Also, with SMP you can test apps specific to multi-processor Android devices—a noteworthy new feature.
Android Debug Bridge
On top of faster CPU speeds in the emulator, one "under-the-hood" improvement made to Android Studio involves pushing files to your device using Android Debug Bridge (ADB). When using Android 6.0 Marshmallow and higher system images with the new Android Emulator, you can now push files across the bridge up to 5x faster than an actual device. This will help if you're pushing large application packages or files during your app development cycle.
Still exciting, though maybe not as high in demand, there have been a fair amount of upgrades to Studio 2.0's UI.
Some of the new features available are:
- Toolbar - shortcuts for common emulator actions
- Window Zooming & Scaling - better controls for viewing projects
- Drag & Drop - easy access for installing APKs and moving files to the emulator's SD card storage
- Extended UI Controls - a range of emulator actions such as virtual calls and SMS messages, battery controls, or sending a GPS location point
So, for all those eager to start emulating, here are the details available on how to set up the new preview. Also, check out the official Android Developers Blog for more details.