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Question about Eclipse and Android virtual machines

 
Al Finlay
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Hi. I'm using Eclipse with Windows 7. I have two virtual machines.



The 1st Gingerbread API 10, is ok. It works well, the only bug is Ctrl + F11 works to change from portrait mode to landscape mode but does not return to portrait mode properly.

My question is about the Honeycomb emulator API 11. It doesn't even start correctly ...



Have I done something wrong? Is there a configuration that works properly? Or should I just use a different virtual machine/API level?

Thanks in advance.
 
Al Finlay
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Ok I found the answer. When creating a virtual machine for Honeycomb, untick 'Use hardware keyboard'.
Seems to do the trick.

I also found that I needed a heap size of 32.

Hope it helps others.
Cheers.



PS I still think Google blows for shipping crappy emulators.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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What does "does not start correctly" mean, exactly? I'm assuming you have the honeycomb image installed.

My next question would be what possible use an AVD for API level 11 could have nowadays?
 
Al Finlay
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Hi Ulf.

RE: Your 1st question - I believe the pictures answers your question. When 'hardware keyboard' is enabled, the emulator has an incorrect orientation.

RE: Your 2nd question - my phone is Gingerbread (CM7.2). Stock firmware is Froyo. The phone is a Samsung Galaxy Europa, a very popular model (based on units sold worldwide). Samsung has no intention of releasing any updates for this phone. I am only in the early stages of learning Android development and I have limited resources.

I could elaborate further, for example, my computer's processor does not have hardware virtualization so I will find it very difficult to run some of the latest images.

I have noticed some of your other answers on this forum and I have to wonder what value they have. Do you have anything to offer other than deconstruction?

As I have stated in post #2 the issue is resolved.

Thanks anyway.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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RE: Your 1st question - I believe the pictures answers your question. When 'hardware keyboard' is enabled, the emulator has an incorrect orientation.

I see. That post hadn't been made when I read the question, so I didn't see it.

I have noticed some of your other answers on this forum and I have to wonder what value they have. Do you have anything to offer other than deconstruction?

I realize that to a beginner -which you state you are- having what you do questioned may not seem constructive, but if it prevents you from going down a path that is essentially a dead end (Android 3.x has about 0% market share, so targeting its API does not make sense), then it is actually quite the opposite. If you are questioning whether any of my posts have value, then I feel certain that you can't have read many of them.
 
Al Finlay
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I ought to let you have the last word ..
However

  • The picture of the emulator with the incorrect orientation was in post #1 - you couldn't have missed it.
  • Understanding the older APIs is an important part of the learning process.


  • Perhaps you could address Google and instruct them that they are "wasting their time" creating tutorial pages such as this one?

    Google tutorials
     
    Ulf Dittmer
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    I did indeed see the picture in the first post. I figured it went with the 1st question, which talked about that mode change. It wasn't clear to me what the problem in the 2nd question was, hence my asking about it. (I now see that screenshot has the name of the Honeycomb AVD in its title, but, frankly, that kind of detail is not something I would check; nor, I suspect, would other people who are in a position to help.)

    If you have the time and inclination to learn old API versions, by all means, go for it. But it's not at all a direct route, and there's lots of stuff to learn about the Android ecosystem that's more immediately applicable. If you want to compare your situation with Google's need to support all of Android for tens of thousands of developers, then I am probably not the right person to convince you otherwise.

    Lastly, it doesn't matter to me who has the last word - I try to help here. I do care about clearing up whatever misconceptions I see, though.
     
    Al Finlay
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    Ok.
    May I ask which emulators you are using at the moment?
    It would be of benefit to me to see the config.ini files, if you could attach?
    It would save a lot of trial and error in the future.
    I doubt I'll be able to run the latest images, some require hardware virtualisation, which I do not have.

     
    Ulf Dittmer
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    Huh, I never knew those files existed :-) In the past, when I had trouble with an AVD, I would just delete it and recreate from scratch. The API levels I consider worthwhile looking at are 10 (2.3.3, if you want/need to support that) and 15 (4.0.3, for anything new). http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html gives you some idea of what is being used out there. (And just in general, the Android FAQ is a useful page.)

    .android/avd/Android233.avd/config.ini


    .android/avd/Android403.avd/config.ini


    If peformance is an issue -and the emulator is so slow that it almost always is- be sure to check out https://www.virag.si/2012/10/speeding-up-android-emulator/, there are some very good hints in there.
     
    Al Finlay
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    Thanks Ulf. I appreciate the info.
    I'm starting to realise that it's not as easy as maybe it should be to provide support for older platforms.

    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5501431/was-preferencefragment-intentionally-excluded-from-the-compatibility-package

     
    Ulf Dittmer
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    Yes, there be dragons :-) I struggled with creating an Android 4 style themed GUI that would also run well on Android 2. There were all kinds of problems that looked more like bugs to me than reasonable issues on an earlier version. Ultimately I gave up, and now distribute my app in two versions - one for Android 2 and 3 (which has an Android 2-style GUI) and one for Android 4 and newer (which has a themed GUI based on Holo). Since I make no money from the app, I could not justify learning (or trying to work around) all those intricacies. The Google Play Store allows you to distribute multiple versions of an app based on the API level a device supports.
     
    Al Finlay
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    2 versions of the app - yes I like that idea, it sounds cleaner than coding selection. Probably easier to maintain too.

    I've noticed some apps do support Android 2.2 but require ARMv7 or later. Any idea what that is about?
     
    Ulf Dittmer
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    The Android API level required is independent of the ARM ABI level required. I think armv7 specifically requires a hardware FPU, so maybe those apps use FP math extensively, and would be too slow without a hardware FPU.
     
    Al Finlay
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    RE: Android 3.x has about 0% market share

    I hear what you're saying, I do
    but ...

    9.1% of existing devices

    Source: Arstechnica



    Nah, I'm only joking. Just bought a new 4g Kindle HDX for half the price of a WiFi Nexus.
    Its fairly well locked down though ...
     
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