Google’s Android Emulator gains AMD and Hyper-V support

But Intel’s HAXM is still ‘Droid’s preferred hypervisor

Google’s given its Android Emulator a tickle to add support for AMD processors and Microsoft’s Hyper-V.

Android product manager Jamal Eason said the new features are “two long-standing user requests from the Android developer community that we are happy to address with this Android Emulator update.”

It’s not hard to see why Google’s made the changes: in late 2017 the company gave the Emulator the ability to created snapshots of virtual Android device and a quick boot tool said to spin up saved Android snapshots in under six seconds. But those features were available on MacOS and Linux only: Windows-wielding developers wedded to Hyper-V, were stuck in the old world. AMD-packing PCs weren’t invited to the party at all.

It’s not all good news for Microsoft or Windows developers, because Google today recommends Windows devs who want to snapshot their virtual ‘Droids rely on Intel’s Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM) hypervisor. That code will remain Google’s recommended tool for wrangling Android VMs. But Hyper-V is now an option and, as Eason explains, “for those of you who use Hyper-V to run your local app backend, the Android Emulator can now also coexist with other Hyper-V-backed applications on Windows 10.”

But Google’s made it clear who it loves most, because it’s given HAXM “additional speed improvements in loading emulator snapshots” in the release that adds Hyper-V support.

Things are more straightforward for AMD users – they’ve been invited to the party for the first time! Welcome in, both of you. ®

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