Android Question Emulation


Licensed User
Hello everyone,

After about 5 years I am back. :D

I have a question, as I don't have access to any Android devices, how can I test my apps/debug?
I am now in the apple family but I would like to make Android apps. Is it possible to use some kind of emulator? Or do I have to go, buy the Android telephone?



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Licensed User
The built-in B4A android emulator problems have been talked about several times here in the last year. If you ask in the search field above, you will find a lot of information about it.
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Albert Kallal

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Is it possible to use some kind of emulator? Or do I have to go, buy the Android telephone?

B4A does install and setup the emulator for you. And I find that it seems to work VERY good these days.

The emulator does gobble up a "really" nice chunk of ram. But computers today have a min of 8 gigs - and often more. So, say on a 4 gig machine? Use a phone. But with MORE the 8 gigs of ram? (ok, 8 works). I now find The emulator DOES run well.

And the whole B4A install + setup DOES install and setup a emulator for you. So, if you don't have a phone right now? The emulator is actually quite nice, and when I first used B4A and the emulator? It really seemed slow. I think now with better computer and LOTS more ram? The emulator does launch and run VERY well now on my computer. I use it now of recent MUCH more then when I first tested B4A.

So, in some cases?

My phone is on my coffee table - if I am too lazy to walk over and grab it? Then I will launch the emulator!

And to be more fair? yes, I really like the "bridge" of B4A to my actual phone. I will often whack compile, grab my phone and start my walk over to grab a coffee. While I am walking to get that coffee? The app gets sent to the phone - I tap install and by the time I am grabbing that coffee I have test run my app.

So I REALLY enjoy the convenience of the wi-fi and B4A bridge. So much so, I do plan to retire my existing phone to "mule" status and use that for some testing, and grab a new phone for personal use. However, the wi-fi bridge from B4A to my phone is a REALLY nice feature. Without that feature? I don't think I would get those coffee breaks!

However, the Android emulator that comes with B4A does work well. I don't know why it runs so much better today, but it does. (and I suspect this is due to having lots of ram).

So, you can get along quite nice with the emulator. But to really get a "feel" and run the application? You want to use a phone. So much of the Android experience is based on touch, scrolling and things like a "long click/touch". You don't get this experience with a emulator, and I believe that experience is VERY important.

The other day, I adopted the newer "tab" control. I wanted it since it has a nice "divider" between each tab. I bumped the phone the wrong way and noticed the screen would scroll a bit to the left. To my amazement - that tab control supports a left/right swipe. Absolute beauty at work. The results are just beyond words (fantastic). So, scrolls, and swipes etc? They are a big part of the user experience - and you don't get that with a emulator.

However, B4A does install a emulator - and if that is all you have, then it still great to get up and running. Just make sure your computer has more then 4 gigs of ram and a min of 8 - but with sufficient ram, the emulator does run rather nice on any basic computer today.

And B4A during the development cycle does play rather nice with the emulator. So I don't know if they changed something in B4A, but the emulator does seem to work and run quite nice nowadays.

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
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Licensed User
I am now in the apple family
Do you mean you use Mac or Macbook for development?

If you are using a PC or laptop running Windows, running an Android emulator is possible as mentioned by Erel and Albert above. It is also true that some members encounter issues when trying to make the emulator to work as told by Shelby.

To run the Android emulator smoothly, the requirements are:
1. You have an Intel x86 CPU so you can enable Intel HAXM
2. You need extra RAM which required by the emulator (allocate 1GB or 2GB)
3. VT-x enabled or Virtualization enabled in BIOS/UEFI

I still prefer to use the emulator since I don't always turn on my Android phone since I switched to use iPhone. Now I am using a Macbook and making B4A running in a VM and emulator has caused me some problems. Until yesterday I decided to download Parallels Desktop for Mac. Finally the emulator is running inside the Windows guest but it is not so stable and always restarting. I will try to increase the RAM and see how it goes.
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Just to add to what's already been said, the emulator is very useful for testing against different versions of Android and different device screen sizes.
Also, HAXM no longer needs to be enabled instead of using Windows' Hyper-V. Not that it is relevant to this thread but I have only just recently discovered that the latest versions of the VMWare products now play nicely with Hyper-V.
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