Speeding up the Android Emulator (Intel)

If you have installed the Android SDK but find the emulator hopelessly slow (even on a fast PC) then this might just make your day. It did mine; in my adult nerdhood I am easily pleased.

Install the Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM):

  1. Start the Android SDK Manager by right-clicking and seleting Run as administrator (you’ll only need to run as administrator if you installed the SDK in a restricted location such as /Program Files, like I did – doh!).
  2. Tick Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM) under Extras and install.
  3. Make sure your chosen platform has Intel x86 Atom System Image installed.

Check your configuration in the AVD Manager:

  1. Set your CPU/ABI to Intel Atom (x86).
  2. Tick Use Host GPU for faster graphics (display problems can occur so I have un-ticked this for now).

If you try running the emulator now you will get the following error:

emulator: Failed to open the HAX device!

emulator: Open HAX device failed

HAX is not working and emulator runs in emulation mode

To fix this you simply need to run the installation program for HAXM:

  1. Goto ..android-sdk/extras/intel/Hardware_Accelerated_Execution_Manager.
  2. Run the program haxm-windows_r02.exe.

You should now find that your Android Emulator runs a lot faster!
See you soon…on www.workbootsnerd.com

Manually Installing (Side Loading) Apps On Your Android Device

One of the obvious benefits of the Android platform is its openness. Android is, therefore, ideal for dipping your toe into the “app” world.

Here’s the method I use to install an app on an Android phone without going through the hassle of having to publish it on Google’s Play Store:

  1. Goto Settings → Applications and tick Unknown Sources so that any applications can be installed, rather than just ones from the Google app store.
  2. Plug in phone and set it to USB storage mode (mount as a disk drive) so that you can view the device’s SD Card as a disk drive.
  3. Copy your application file (.apk) to the phone and note the location.
  4. Disconnect the phone.
  5. Use a File Manager app to find the file and install your .apk file.