Network speed


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Network speed simulation is a key element of mobile software development. This feature is helpful because the actual user experience will vary during real-world use, and it is important that mobile applications degrade gracefully in the absence of a reliable network connection. The Android Emulator provides for a rich set of emulation tools for testing various network conditions and speeds. Table 2.1 lists the available network speed and latency conditions available in the Android Emulator.

Table 2.1 The Android Emulator supports a variety of network speed options.

Network Speed

Network Latency

Full speed (Use the development environment's full internet connection)

Noneā€”no latency introduced










The higher-speed network environment found in the Android Emulator is welcome when testing core features of our applications. This is because functional test cases are often run hundreds or even thousands of times before releasing a product. If we had to compile the application, sync the application to the device, and run our application over a wireless data network, the testing time would add up quickly, reducing the number of tests performed in a given amount of time and elevating the associated costs. Worse yet, the challenges of mobile data connectivity testing may entice us to minimize application testing in the first place! Considering that most software development timeframes are aggressive, every moment counts, so a quality emulator environment is valuable for rapid and cost-effective mobile application development activities. Also, it is important to consider that there may be usage charges for voice and data consumption on a mobile communications plan. Imagine paying by the kilobyte for every downloaded data packet when testing a new streaming audio player!

The Android SDK contains a command-line program named, appropriately, emulator, which runs the Android Emulator. There are many command-line switches available in the Android Emulator, permitting us to customize the emulator's environment: how it looks and behaves. Some of these options are exposed in the Eclipse IDE via the ADT plug-in. The majority of our focus is on employing the

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