Google has a new addition for its Android Studio developer toolkit dubbed the Desktop Android Virtual Device (AVD) that should help Android apps run better not only on Chromebooks but on Windows machines too. The new tool, spotted by XDA Developers, comes with a wealth of features.
Of course, the new tool is chiefly focused on aiding app development for Google’s Chrome OS platform. But Chromebooks aren’t the only large screen devices that support Android apps. So it will undoubtedly have benefits there as well. And that’s not least of all because of the UI supported in development.
What does the new IDE AVD image bring with it to Android Studio?
The new Android Studio AVD image is built around Android 12 with support for small, medium, and large desktop screens. Those are optimized for screens at 14-inches, 15-inches, and 17-inches, respectively.
In the virtual desktop, apps can be launched in several different modes, too. Starting with apps launching in a freeform window. Which itself closely emulates Windows or macOS, complete with maximizing, minimizing, resizing, and closing UI.
A traditional taskbar is also included, so developers can switch between apps for testing. And a system tray provides access to notifications and quick settings in the virtual environment. With the latter stepping away from the touches and swipes in other developer images.
All of those tools are designed to help developers put emphasis on common user activities in a full-size desktop environment. Such as switching apps and windows, as well as rescaling and resizing apps for productivity.
You probably don’t want to use this just yet
Now, not every developer looking to support Chromebooks is going to want to take advantage of the changes to the Android Studio IDE. At the very least, not just yet. As of this writing, it hasn’t been added to a stable version of the development toolkit. Instead, it’s appearing in the latest Canary version. Specifically, the Electric Eel Canary release.
That means that it’s still very much in testing itself and not quite ready for mainstream app development.
With that said, the new tool will make it easier for developers to focus on app development for large-screened devices. Without the need to actually own a Chromebook, if they don’t already have one.