Alternative Fast Android Emulator – Genymotion

There is no doubt that one of the most tedious parts of the Android development is the Android emulator that comes in the Android SDK. Its extremely slow and buggy. Fortunately the guys at Genymobile came up with a nice and easy alternative to the stock Android emulator that is much faster and responsive.


Some of you probably already tried an alternative approach to the stock Android emulator by installing the Android OS in a virtual machine. There are a couple of guides on how to do that with VirtualBox for example:

How to install Android in VirtualBox

Android 4.0 in VirtualBox

Android 4.0 in VirtualBox YouTube video

Although this workaround works fine its tricky to manually go over installing different versions and you usually have to restart the VM to change the resolution and other settings.

Quick overview

Instead you can head over to genymotion and download the genimotion emulator. It requires VirtualBox as a dependency in order to install its AndroVM VirtualBox package that does all the magic. After you have downloaded and installed VirtualBox and genymotion, you will be required to log in with the credentials you created to download the application in order to use it. The interface is pretty straightforward and you can easily add, delete or launch different device/screen/android version combinations.

Here is how the home screen looks like:

Genymotion Android Emulator Home Screen

After you have setup some virtual devices in the home screen above you can proceed to launching them ( you will notice the great difference in terms of performance and responsiveness of the emulator device as compared to the original Android emulator that comes with the Android SDK ). After you have a running emulator device, you can also start the “Genymotion Shell”, to gain shell access to the device:

Genymotion Android Emulator Shell

You can also search for the Genymotion Plugin in AndroidStudio plugins section so you can use the new emulator straight from the IDE.