Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Apr 2012 21:45 UTC
Google "The Android emulator is a key tool for Android developers in building and testing their apps. As the power and diversity of Android devices has grown quickly, it's been hard for the emulator keep pace. Today we're thrilled to announce several significant improvements to the emulator, including a dramatic performance upgrade and support for a broader range of hardware features, notably sensors and multi-finger input." That sound you're hearing is the collective Android developer base shouting 'about damn time!'.
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I tried it last year. The emulator was next to useless on linux because it was so slow and buggy, I had to give up. The install was straitforward so I assume I didn't install it incorrectly (it's a possibility though).

Since it's not mentioned in the article, does anyone know if the linux version has substantially improved? I am still interested in using it if it works.

I had installed the Android emulator on my Linux computer as well and it was really slow, so I don't think it was a problem with your install at all.

I'm glad to see this kind of news, performance improvements are always welcome.

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