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Intel releases x86 system image for Android emulator

Intel has released the long awaited x86 system image of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Android SDK and emulator. This will allow the Android emulator (long plagued with slow and buggy performance) to run at native speed on computers using the Intel x86 architecture.  Grabbing it is easy enough, just refresh the SDK Manager and grab it under the Android 4.0.3 tree. Of course, it seems like everyone else has the same idea so the download times are a bit high and you may want to wait an hour or so. We love seeing the developer tools get updated as much as we love seeing Android phones get updated. Better tools mean better apps, and everyone loves better apps. Don't forget us here at AC when you design the next great one!

via: +Xavier Ducrohet

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • You are the man. Thanks Jerry!
  • Love it! Now emulator (or should i say simulator now) works lightning fast ^^ finally be able to test my code fast
  • awesome. as always, thanks for the tip!
  • I've been using my own Nexus since I got it. It's a developer device anyway :P
    Might try out the emulator again sometime later though.
  • This is awesome. I'm just getting into the programming end of android. I didn't know how important these tools were. Thanks a lot A/C.
  • The 4.0.3 emulator was already great, and smooth as butter if you enabled Hardware Acceleration
  • thanks!
    but on mac it sucks exactly the same way as the old did..
  • I don't know if OS X has support for it, but to make it work fast you need hardware virtualization support in CPU tuned on, but first check if Mac you using got CPU that support it (i7 and i5 should have it). For example on PC you need to enable it in BIOS and in Linux you need to have kvm kernel module loaded to make it work fast
  • "Smooth as butter" should be depreciated. Stop thinking about butter, you fat nerds.
  • Jerry's Beard: Smooth as butter and quite reliable as a daily driver.
  • For those that can't use this, one thing I do is enable snapshots on my emulators. Then I go into the AVD Manager, start the emulator, check "Save to snapshot", and run it. Once it fully boots, I close it. Then I start it again and uncheck "Save to snapshot" and check "Launch from snapshot." And from now on, when I run on the emulator, the device is already "booted" which saves a ton of time.
  • On OS X I had to install HAXM separately from: That seemed to do the trick. Now the emulator is running faster ( i7 mac mini).