One of the biggest complaints I often see on development help sites such as Stack-Overflow is that the emulator takes much too long to load—several minutes in fact. I found this to be true, even when I used a 2. Sometimes it would not load at all and just hang with the Android logo flashing on the emulator screen. Now I use an Intel i7 series processor, and the emulator loads nearly instantly with little or no wait time. A big difference. It could be because the i7 is a multi-core processor, more than dual-core.
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I highly recommend the i7 processor for heavy-development. You can learn more about ReadyBoost at http: Typically Java code, when compiled, is converted to machine bytecode and then executed by an application's virtual machine. The emulator, in order to be a true emulation of an actual Android device i.
To improve startup performance of the emulator, you can also you the Snapshot option. In Eclipse, this manager can be accessed from your Windows menu. Taking a snapshot means that the emulator will launch to that saved state, thus launching much faster than usual.
You first have to start the emulator normally, and then when closing, a snapshot will be saved. The next time you start, it will use this saved state to launch the emulator. To configure the emulator, you access the AVDM and either create a new emulator or edit an existing one. Each version of the SDK supporting the various APIs has a different flavor of the emulator, but the majority of the options remain the same.
From this this drop-menu, you can select a predefined device for testing. A device is a configuration that emulates a particular device model, such as the Nexus One. While there are several predefined devices that come with the SDK, you also have the ability to create your own simulation devices.
From this tab's panel, you can click the New Device button to create a new device. Below are the options that are available for configuration:. A separate bitmap or graphic file should be created for each density because the graphic can look pixilated or blurred if not in the correct density range. The Android SDK has an icons wizard that will take any graphic you have and automatically create a graphic for each density.
The target API. Each Android device version is associated with a corresponding API. For example, Android 2. When specifying this target, it just means the maximum API that the device should operate for. It is a best practice to target as high as possible. The target CPU of the device. MIPs is a higher-performance processor because it uses Registers to perform operations on. You could likely say it has the performance of a low-level language like Assembly. HAXM is virtualization technology that is used to speed up the emulator. I personally use this and can tell you it does make quite a difference for emulator performance.
You can view the requirements and instructions for installing HAXM at http: Display Skin with Hardware Controls. I personally always choose Display Skin with Hardware Controls because by doing this, you can use your computer keyboard to type in text for apps running on the emulator.
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For example, if I want to send an SMS message using the emulator, the message can be typed using my keyboard, which is much faster than using the software keyboard of the emulator. Also, by selecting the display skin option, you can quickly navigate the emulator using the hardware buttons like the Home or Back buttons. If you do not choose either option, you will be forced to use the emulator's software keyboard. If your device definition included a front camera, you will be able to enable this option; otherwise, it will be grayed-out.
If you have a webcam, the camera will use the webcam to project the video onto the emulator screen. Like the front camera, you can choose to enable a rear camera which most Android phone devices have. By doing so, you can use your webcam to project the video onto the emulator. If using both a front and back camera, you can simulate each one by using two webcams. Memory Size and VM Heap. Memory size is the amount of memory the device should have specified in MB. Here is a list of tips and best practices for improving memory usage in Android applications:.
Use memory carefully with above tips can bring benefit for your application incrementally, and make your application stay longer in system. But all benefit will lost if memory leakage happens. Here are some familiar potential leakage that developer needs to keep in mind. Be careful about using Threads. Threads in Java are garbage collection roots; that is, the Dalvik Virtual Machine DVM keeps hard references to all active threads in the runtime system, and as a result, threads that are left running will never be eligible for garbage collection.
Java threads will persist until either they are explicitly closed or the entire process is killed by the Android system. Instead, the Android application framework provides many classes designed to make background threading easier for developers:. Android Profiling Tool will help you in managing your memory on the Android device. The Android SDK provides two ways of profiling app memory:. Allocation Tracker records each memory allocation that your application performs during the profiling cycle.
Configuring the Emulator
The Allocation Tracker is useful when you want to find out which type of memory allocation is taking place. The Allocation Tracker displays the memory allocation for the selected process. It shows the specific objects that are being allocated along with the thread, method and the line code that allocated them. DDMS provides a feature to track objects that are being allocated to memory and to see which classes and threads are allocating the objects. This allows you to track where the objects are being allocated in real time, when you perform certain actions in your application.
This data is valuable for measuring memory usage that can otherwise affect application performance. The Dalvik virtual machine can produce a complete dump of the contents of the virtual heap. This is very useful for debugging memory usage and looking for memory leaks. I would say developing an android application is easy but optimization and memory management requires time and work. Developer should focus on these parameters. Please feel free to share your opinion in comments.
Niharika Arora, Android Developer. Sign in Get started. Edfora Blocked Unblock Follow Following. Jan 15, Never miss a story from Edfora , when you sign up for Medium.