Apr 10, 2012
Testing out Android apps on a PC is about to get a lot easier for developers. Android has updated the emulator on their SDK with some crucial new features. First, they’ve added GPU acceleration to the emulator, meaning that performance dramatically improves. As well, for developers working in OpenGL, the emulator now supports that, which should be a boon to developers of games with 3D engines. While not all GPU hardware is supported, they have improved the raw performance of the emulator through floating point operation.
Also helping out is that Android devices can now be tethered to a computer to serve as sensors for the emulator. This makes it possible to test out multitouch and accelerometer input, to go along with the camera support provided in earlier updates. Support for Bluetooth and NFC is coming in a future update as well.
These emulator features are an important part of Android development – the iOS simulator on Macs makes it a powerful tool for app testing, and it allowed for a variety of apps to be released on the original iPad, even before anyone could publicly test on it. This updated emulator will only help developers.