Google’s made some pretty nice changes to their Android emulator which should please many-a developer. It’s no secret that the Android emulator isn’t the best, performance wise, but thanks to the update things should be a lot better. SDK revision 18 brings GPU acceleration for the Android 4.0.4 image.
Developers with OpenGL ES 2.0 games will now able to run their software inside the emulator. While I’m sure developers prefer to test their games on actual devices, this should prove to be a great tool for developing games for many different devices.
Google’s also added support for new device sensors such as Bluetooth and NFC, and the emulator would be able to utilize these sensors on any device that is tethered which enables developers to test phone-to-phone communications. Find the SDK here if you don’t have it already and download revision 18.
Those who already have the SDK should know what to do. Check out a video of the improved emulator support in the video above. Oh, and note that these changes are being considered beta so you may run into some issues. Google notes that not all GPUs have been tested yet. Should you run into any issues, you can submit a bug report via this form. [via Android Developers Blog]