Android Virtual Device: tips and tricks

One of the Android Developer’s best friends is the emulator (aka AVD). It allows us to simulate some behaviors, like calling, sending SMS messages, simulate a specific location and much more.

Creating an emulator

Creating an Android Virtual Device is very simple, just make sure you have the system image of the Android version you need to simulate installed.

Android SDK Manager - System Image
Android SDK Manager – System Image


You can see a list of available options on the Android website

Emulator keyboard mapping

In general I use keyboard mappings for everything. I think it makes me more productive. AVD has some nice keyboard mappings to simulate the real experience closer to a real device.


F4Hangup/end call button
F7Power button
F8Toggle cell networking on/off
Ctrl + F5Audio volume up button
Ctrl + F6Audio volume down button
Ctrl + F11Change layout orientation

See the complete list on Android website


One of the most important tools for the Android developer is logcat. Logcat is a simple way to see the system logs and debugging output from device/emulator. You can use logcat from an ADB shell to view the log messages.

Tips and tricks

The following commands need to be run using telnet

Android Emulator
Android Emulator

Receiving a call

Receiving a SMS

Power battery

Network speed

To see the list of available options type help inside telnet’s prompt.

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By Daniel Passos

Daniel Passos

Android tech leader at Red Hat, Open source addicted, geek, teacher, traveler, Android and iOS freak, DJ in spare time and bodybuilding lover

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