Google recently revealed a few highly anticipated changes to the Android emulator, which allows android app developers to test their apps across a range of android devices.
Most prominently, the new emulator comes with a dramatic performance upgrade and supports a broader range of inputs. App developers will now be able to tether a device to supply inputs for sensors and multi-touch input.
Built in GPU support has also been added. Android devices rely on the chip more and more as apps become more resource intensive. This should allow for more accurate simulations. The new emulator also offers support for OpenGL.
CPU performance has also been given a boost. From Google’s blog post announcing the updates:
We’ve also improved the CPU performance of the Android emulator. Hardware floating point operation has been available for system images since Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), allowing CPU operations to be emulated roughly twice as quickly.
Last week’s r17 developer tools release included x86 system images and host drivers (available through the SDK Manager), allowing the emulator to access the host CPU natively and offer significantly faster execution
See the video from Google highlighting the hardware accelerated Android emulator below: