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The Android emulator is a QEMU-based application that provides a virtual ARM mobile device on which you can run your Android applications. It runs a full Android system stack, down to the kernel level, that includes a set of preinstalled applications (such as the dialer) that you can access from your applications. You can choose what version of the Android system you want to run in the emulator by configuring AVDs, and you can also customize the mobile device skin and key mappings. When launching the emulator and at runtime, you can use a variety of commands and options to control the its behaviors.

The Android system image distributed in the SDK contains ARM machine code for the Android Linux kernel, the native libraries, the Dalvik VM, and the various Android package files (such as for for the Android framework and preinstalled applications). The emulator's QEMU layers provide dynamic binary translation of the ARM machine code to the OS and processor architecture of your development machine.

Adding custom capabilities to the underlying QEMU services, the Android emulator supports many hardware features likely to be found on mobile devices, including:

• An ARMv5 CPU and the corresponding memory-management unit (MMU)

• One or more keyboards (a Qwerty-based keyboard and associated Dpad/Phone buttons)

• A sound chip with output and input capabilities

• Flash memory partitions (emulated through disk image files on the development machine)

• A GSM modem, including a simulated SIM Card

The sections below provide more information about the emulator and how to use it for developing Android applications.

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