One of the biggest gripes we hear from Android developers is the poor performance of the emulator. The emulator is basically how devs test their apps while developing on a PC, and until now the emulation was all done in software. Today, Google announced in their developer’s blog that the emulator has gotten a significant performance boost and other improvements, including:
- GPU support
Android 4.0 uses the GPU to improve overall performance, and the emulator now does the same thing by funneling OpenGL calls directly to the host PC’s own GPU.
- More Hardware Feature Emulation
It’s now possible to use a tethered Android device to supply inputs for sensors and multi-touch input. Bluetooth and NFC coming later.
- Improved CPU Performance
A recent release of the developer tools included x86 system images and host drivers, providing access to the host CPU natively, and offering significantly improved CPU performance.
These are all huge improvements that will help developers make apps more reliably and in a more timely manner. Happier devs mean more and better apps. Kudos to Google for continuing to think about the developers by improving the developer tools.
View a speed comparison video after the break.