Using the Andriod emulator on the Mac is a painful experience. Since it needs to perform ARM processor emulation it’s extremely slow. I’ve also taken a look at Andriod x86 which allows you to run Andriod as a virtual machine. As a VM it runs as smooth as butter since there’s no processor emulation. The showstopper is that I can’t seem to get the network to connect – rendering it completely useless.
I’ve decided to bite the bullet and get a cheap Android handset to test on – you can’t beat the real thing. Andriod 2.3 (Gingerbread) currently demands ~60% of Andriod usage share even though it’s more than a year old. It’s a symptom of manufacturers not upgrading their devices because of heavy customization, and of cheap handsets that can’t handle new Android releases.
Once such cheap handset is the Samsung Galaxy Y. It has a 240 x 320 resolution screen, runs Android 2.3.x, and is only 99 bucks SIM free. It seems like the perfect “average” device to test on.