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Speeding up Android emulator

For testing your Android code you do not need to have a real Android device. Google offers emulator for the released Android versions. Setup is easy and a description on how to do so can be found at the Google Android site.

The problem with the emulator is that it is really, really slow. Too slow for simple change, deploy, test cycles. Starting up the emulator can take several minutes, not to mention to interact with the UI. It’s not like the folks from Google do not know how to code or to optimize the virtualization software used. The problem is the different architecture of an Android device and a Windows PC.

Fortunately there is Intel. Android runs on Intel Atom architecture too, and Intel provides an Android image for Atom. As the architecture is compatible with what your laptop uses, the emulation is faster. Way faster. To install the Intel Android image, follow the steps outlined by Intel

There is only one tiny problem you have to be aware of: You have to deactive VMWare or VirtualBox or whatever else you use. In Windows, for VMWare, it means to stop the service. Normally, these 4 VMWare services are running automatically when your laptop is started:


To benefit from HAXM stop each one of them.


If you start now a Intel Atom Android virtual device:


The starting information window will show that HAX is going to be used.


Be prepared to use a fast Android virtual device!

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