Posted by Jamal Eason, Product Manager, Android
Since the major revamp of the Android Emulator two years ago, we have focused on delivering a fast and feature-rich emulator to help you build great app experiences for users. Today, the Android Emulator is the top device deployed to from Android Studio — more than 2x over physical Android devices. We are humbled to hear from many of you that the Android Emulator has come a long way, but we are not done yet.
Making the Android Emulator faster is one of the top priorities for the Android Studio team. Over the last few releases, we have launched quick boot & emulator snapshots for quickly starting and resuming emulator sessions in under 2 seconds. Up until now, our emulator experience has almost universally worked on macOS® and Linux computers. But for users of Microsoft® Windows® or the Microsoft® Hyper-V™ platform, our hardware accelerated speed enhancements for the Android Emulator only worked with computers with Intel® processors. Support for AMD® processors and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor are two long-standing user requests from the Android developer community that we are happy to address with this Android Emulator update.
Today, you can download the latest Android Emulator release, which is enabled to run x86 based Android Virtual Devices (AVD) on computers that use AMD processors. This exciting update makes the Android Emulator more accessible to a new set of Android app developers that were previously limited to software emulation, but can now have hardware accelerated performance. Moreover, for those of you who use Hyper-V to run your local app backend, the Android Emulator can now also coexist with other Hyper-V-backed applications on Windows® 10.
Thanks to a new Microsoft Windows Hypervisor Platform (WHPX) API and recent open-source contributions from Microsoft, even more Android app developers can take advantage of all the speed improvements and features in the Android Emulator.
Android Emulator running on Windows 10 with AMD Processor
Screenshot Configuration: Asus ROG Strix GL 702ZC, Processor: AMD® Ryzen™ 7 1700 Processor, Chipset: AMD 5350, Graphics: AMD® Radeon™ RX580
Support for these technologies was initially available in the v27.3.8 Android Emulator canary release and today we are releasing this set of preview features (AMD processor & Hyper-V support) on the stable channel for more feedback. Alongside this update, we have added additional speed improvements in loading emulator snapshots for those developers using the Intel® Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM).
How to use
If you use Linux for Android app development, the Android Emulator will continue to use the native Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor for both Intel and AMD based computers for a fast and performant virtualization solution. An update to the v27.3.8 Android Emulator will offer you the new snapshots UI along with improvements to performance, reliability and resource usage.
For OS X v10.10 Yosemite and higher, the Android Emulator uses the built-in Hypervisor.Framework by default, and falls back to using the Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM) if Hypervisor.Framework fails to initialize (such as when running on OS X v10.9 or earlier). Once you update to the latest Android Emulator on macOS, you will also have access to the new snapshots UI along with under the hood performance and reliability improvements.
Android Emulator – Snapshots Extended Controls
On Intel x86-based computers, the Android Emulator will continue to use Intel HAXM by default. Intel HAXM is a mature and open-sourced hypervisor solution developed by Intel. Thanks to on-going development by Intel, the fastest emulator performance on Windows is still with Intel HAXM. To download the latest Intel HAXM v7.2.0, check for updates in the Android SDK Manager.
If you have an AMD processor in your computer you need the following setup requirements to be in place:
- AMD Processor – Recommended: AMD® Ryzen™ processors
- Android Studio 3.2 Beta or higher – download via Android Studio Preview page
- Android Emulator v27.3.8+ – download via Android Studio SDK Manager
- x86 Android Virtual Device (AVD) – Create AVD
- Windows 10 with April 2018 Update
- Enable via Windows Features: “Windows Hypervisor Platform”
Windows Hypervisor Platform setting in Windows 10
If you want to use Hyper-V at the same time as the Android Emulator on your Intel processor-based computer, you will also need the same Android Studio and Android Emulator versions as listed above, but with the additional requirements:
- Enable via Windows Features: “Hyper-V” – Only available for Windows 10 Professional/Education/Enterprise
- Intel Processor : Intel® Core™ processor that supports Virtualization Technology (VT-x), Extended Page Tables (EPT), and Unrestricted Guest (UG) features. Additionally VT-x needs to be enabled in the BIOS.
For more setup tips and troubleshooting details, check out the documentation page.
Again, for existing Windows users who have an Intel-based processor, the Android Emulator will continue to use the faster and recommended Intel HAXM configuration. For those using AMD processors, and those who use Hyper-V hypervisors, this should be an exciting step forward to start using the Android Emulator.
Next Steps & Feedback
Download the latest Android Emulator from the Android Studio 3.2 Beta SDK Manager for the latest performance updates across all supported platforms that you are using. We are going to continue to invest in performance improvements for each of the platforms and we look forward to your feedback and feature requests.
If you find a bug or issue, feel free to file an issue. Connect with us — the Android Studio development team ‐ on our Google+ page or on Twitter.
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