Android Virtual Devices

Android Virtual Devices (AVDs) are configurations of emulator options that let you better model an actual device. Each AVD is made up of:

• A hardware profile. You can set options to define the hardware features of the virtual device. For example, you can define whether the device has a camera, whether it uses a physical QWERTY keyboard or a dialing pad, how much memory it has, and so on.

• A mapping to a system image. You can define what version of the Android platform will run on the virtual device. You can choose a version of the standard Android platform or the system image packaged with an SDK add-on.

• Other options. You can specify the emulator skin you want to use with the AVD, which lets you control the screen dimensions, appearance, and so on. You can also specify the emulated SD card to use with the AVD.

• A dedicated storage area on your development machine, in which is stored the device's user data (installed applications, settings, and so on) and emulated SD card.

You can create as many AVDs as you need, based on the types of devices you want to model and the Android platforms and external libraries you want to run your application on.

In addition to the options in an AVD configuration, you can also specify emulator command-line options at launch or by using the emulator console to change behaviors or characteristics at run time. For a complete reference of emulator options, please see the Emulatordocumentation.

To create and manage AVDs, you use the android tool provided in the tools / directory of the Android SDK. The tool provides both a graphical AVD manager and a command-line interface that you can use to create AVDs. To access the graphical AVD manager, run theandroid tool without options. The sections below describe how to use the android command-line interface to create and manage AVDs. Note that some functionality, such as the capability to create an AVD with a custom hardware configuration, are only available through the command-line interface.

For more information about how to work with AVDs from inside your development environment, see Developing in Eclipse with ADT orDeveloping in Other IDEs, as appropriate for your environment.

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