HAXM - How to use it for speeding up Android Emulators?
The constantly growing demand for Android applications has motivated developers to come up with apps that can cater to a wide range of purposes. Fortunately, we have the Android SDK(Software Development Kit) which includes the very handy virtual mobile device emulator that allows you to prototype, develop and test applications without the need for any physical device. However, even the very popular Google Android Emulators tend to be quite slow when it comes to overall usability. It is here that the significance of Intel HAXM Drivers comes to play. Serving as accelerators of Android emulators, these HAXM drivers are free and easy to use. Keep on reading this blog to find more about the usage of HAXM drivers for pacing up the Android Emulators
Understanding the role of Emulators
Before discussing about the concept of speeding up Android emulators using HAXM, it is vital for you to gather a detailed overview on the significance of these emulators. Well, these emulators actually mimic all the software and hardware features of your mobile device(excluding the capability of making real-time phone calls to different contacts within the device's phone book). Thus, you can gain access to a suite of control keys, navigation links/buttons that can be efficiently used for generating events for your application. The best part of using an emulator is that you're provided with a screen where you can see all the activities that are being performed for the chosen app and also a lot of other apps with an 'active' status.
Now, let me walk you through the steps that mark the usage of HAXM(Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager) for speeding up Android Emulators
Step 1- Install and launch Xamarin Studio
For this, all you need to do is simply go to the 'Tools' menu and choose 'Android SDK Manager'. Here, ensure that the x86 Atom System Image has been installed without fail. If you find it missing, opt for installing it by agreeing to the appropriate license. Before proceeding to the next step, make it a point to close any Android Virtual Devices that might be running.
Step 2- Set up HAXM Virtualization engine
Now, go to Intel's official website and opt for downloading the latest version of HAXM Virtualization engine. Unless you are running the Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or Windows 8.1, you can directly download HAXM virtualization engine using the links: HAXM hotfix for OS X 10.9 and HAXM hotfix for Windows 8.1. Once you're done with the download process, install the HAXM engine by following the dialogs.
Step 3- Create an x86 Android Virtual Device, if you don't have one
If you don't have an x86 Android Virtual Device, opt for creating one using the Android Virtual Device Manager which is accessible in Xamarin Studio. You just need to go to Xamarin Studio-> Tools menu-> Open Android Emulator Management and use the below mentioned template:
Step 4- Start the created x86 Android Virtual Device
Now that you have an Android Virtual Device defined in your Virtual Device Manager, choose to launch it by adjusting the launching options. Within multiple seconds, you'll be able to see your Android Virtual Device running at an improved speed.
Step 5- Deploy the project
Now, using the Xamarin Studio, simply deploy the project and choose the newly created x86 Android virtual device.
PS- 1. If you're using Visual Studio, then you can simply set the project to support the newly created x86 Android Virtual Device. For this, you need to select the x86 checkbox available under Project-> Properties-> Application-> Supported Architectures. A screen shot for the same is displayed below:
2. In case of Xamarin Studio, while using Configuration: Debug, the list of supported ABIs will be displayed as greyed out. In case of testing a Release Configuration, you need to ensure that the x86 checkbox available under Options-> Build-> Android Build-> Advanced has been ticked.
Emulators have truly served as helpful tools for Android app developers who're involved in delivering high-performing Android applications. If you too want to make the most of your Android emulator, its highly befitting to use HAXM(Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager) which will boost up its speed and allow you to develop and test your apps with complete ease and proficiency.