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Emulating the Galaxy Tab, Page 2

  • May 31, 2011
  • By Lauren Darcey & Shane Conder
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Setting Up Your Development Environment

One of the first challenges a developer will face when trying to develop for any of these devices on a Windows machine is getting the USB drivers. Drivers that work are available two ways. The correct method is by downloading the USB driver from the Samsung developer website. That requires a login, and several comments have alluded to the download sometimes not being available. The alternate method, and popular amongst some forums, is to download the Samsung Kies software and install it, which also installs the necessary USB drivers. Either way, you still may need to choose manually which driver to use. In our case, we chose the "Samsung Android ADB Interface" and all worked well, despite the Windows warning dialogs. (Disclaimer: We aren't responsible for any damage done when using this method. Drivers are always a personal decision.)

Emulating the Galaxy Tab

Emulation of the Galaxy Tab using an Android Virtual Device (AVD) is fairly straightforward. For the 7-inch tablet, download the GALAXY Tab add-on from the third party add-ons section of the Android SDK and AVD Manager, as shown below.

Downloading Galaxy Tab add-on

Once this is done, you can create an AVD using this add-on, and all the correct settings will be applied, as shown below.

Emulator settings for Galaxy Tab 7-inch

The newer Galaxy Tabs are even easier to emulate. As they appear to conform to typical Honeycomb specifications, the emulators based on Honeycomb (API Levels 11 & 12) work fine. The device RAM size is 1024MB.

That said, high-resolution AVD settings tend to be fairly slow on most development machines. Google has stated that they are working on the issue. Because of this, testing on the actual devices may be the only frustration-free testing method for the time being. The emulators do work, but we tend to use them only for layout testing for relatively simple UIs.

Final Remarks

Developing for Samsung Galaxy Tab devices is relatively straightforward, but requires slightly more setup and knowledge than the vanilla Android devices you may have worked with before. The original 7-inch tablet has only a few important differences to be aware of, in particular the screen resolution and reported density. Using standard compatibility practices, configuring settings carefully, and taking advantage of the compatibility library will get you a long way towards creating great tablet experiences on the Galaxy Tab devices, while still supporting other Android devices.

About the Authors

Shane Conder Shane Conder and Lauren Darcey--Contributing Editors, Mobile Development--have coauthored two books on Android development: an in-depth programming book entitled Android Wireless Application Development (ISBN-13: 978-0-321-62709-4) and Sams Teach Yourself Android Application Development in 24 Hours (ISBN-13: 978-0-321-67335-0). When not writing, they spend their time developing mobile software at their company and providing consulting services.

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Lauren Darcey

Tags: Android, Galaxy Tab

Originally published on http://www.developer.com.

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