Android Studio is a platform that lets developers build apps for the Android operating system. A few weeks ago, it was announced that it was getting updated to Android Studio 2.0 and besides the usual improvements and small fixes, the new platform would include “Instant Run” which allows to make changes in the code and see them in the improved emulator, plus it now includes a GPU Profiler offering better graphics previews. Now, a preview version of the new emulator is ready to try out along the new Android Debug Bridge (ADB).
The new emulator focuses on improving speed and performance as it now uses x86 system images by default and combined with the Symmetric Multi-Processor (SMP) of Android 6.0, it can perform even better than some Android devices and it allows to test apps targeted towards multi-processor devices. The multi-core support will make apps and the emulator run faster, plus, installing APKs and other common tasks will be now faster. They also improved the speed of data transfer between the emulator and the ADB, so now files can be pushed up to five times faster than they would in a real Android device which is helpful for transferring large files.
The usability and user interface has also been improved as the emulator is now easier to use. There is a new toolbar and control panel for some common actions such as volume controls and screen rotation, which is easier to use than just command lines. The screen can now be resized by dragging it from a corner and there are zooming and scrolling options. In addition to drag and drop APKs to install them, any file can now be dragged and dropped to the emulator’s SD card so it can be tested. In the extended controls window, there are additional options to test some features, developers can now make a virtual call, send a virtual SMS or controlling the power level of the emulator, plus, sending a single GPS location to the emulator and play back custom sets of KML or GPX points. In the future, some more features will be added such as support for more APIs levels and additional sensors.