Building Android Apps: Create an Android Virtual Device

1/9/2011 4:54:37 PM
Now that we have the Android SDK and PhoneGap installed, (and our PATH variable updated), we need to create a device emulator that will allow us to test our code in a simulated environment.
  1. To see a list of available targets, enter the following:

    android list targets

    I downloaded all of the SDK platforms, so running this command on my machine lists four options:

    jsc-mbp:~ jstark$ android list targets
    Available Android targets:
    id: 1 or "android-3"
    Name: Android 1.5
    Type: Platform
    API level: 3
    Revision: 4
    Skins: HVGA (default), HVGA-L, HVGA-P, QVGA-L, QVGA-P
    id: 2 or "android-4"
    Name: Android 1.6
    Type: Platform
    API level: 4
    Revision: 3
    Skins: HVGA (default), QVGA, WVGA800, WVGA854
    id: 3 or "android-7"
    Name: Android 2.1-update1
    Type: Platform
    API level: 7
    Revision: 2
    Skins: HVGA (default), QVGA, WQVGA400, WQVGA432, WVGA800, WVGA854
    id: 4 or "android-8"
    Name: Android 2.2
    Type: Platform
    API level: 8
    Revision: 1
    Skins: HVGA (default), QVGA, WQVGA400, WQVGA432, WVGA800, WVGA854

    Take note of the ID string listed in the output for Android 2.1 (i.e., android-7). This SDK is the most widely deployed platform at the time of this writing.

  2. Enter the following command to create your AVD:

    android create avd -n mySim -t android-7

    Here we’re telling Android to create a virtual device (avd) with the name (-n) “mySim” that targets (-t) the android-7 platform.

    When asked if you want to configure custom options, just type no and press Enter. The process should only take a few seconds and when it’s complete, the emulator is installed.

  3. To launch the emulator, enter the following command:

    emulator -avd mySim

    Here we’re using the emulator command to launch the Android Virtual Device that we just created. The -avd flag is followed by the name you chose when creating your AVD in the previous step.

    Wait while the emulator initializes and eventually displays the phone’s home screen (Figure 1). The first launch can take a minute or two, so be patient.

    Figure 1. The Android Virtual Device (AVD) allows you to test and debug your app without using an actual phone

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