Appendix A. Creating Android Virtual Devices

Because there are so many variations of Android devices out there, Android allows you to customize many different aspects of an emulator image, such as the screen size, the version of the operating system, the amount of memory, and much more. This allows you to test out how your application will behave under these different conditions without having to own every Android device on the market. The installer provided by Xamarin will create several emulator images for you with different operating system versions in order to allow you to get started more quickly. This section will walk you through how to create new virtual devices of your own, allowing you to configure them however you’d like.


The Android emulator differs from other platforms in that it is a full emulator, rather than a simulator. What this means is that it is emulating the full ARM instruction set in software, resulting in an experience that can sometimes be painfully slow. When running your applications in the emulator, just remember that poor performance is often due to the emulator itself rather than Mono for Android.

Start out by opening up Android’s SDK Manager, which is located in the root folder of the Android SDK on your computer. This application allows you to choose which SDKs you want to install. Typically, the simplest route is to just let it install everything, but you can also pick and choose which packages you care to install if you wish. When new Android ...

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