When developing for Android if you don’t have any real Android device, you can use its own emulator Android Virtual Device (AVD), which comes with Android SDK package. Even you are using Delphi, Android Software Development Kit, Eclipse/Android Studio or any other tool, using that emulator is a pain.
So, here we come with Bluestacks. It´s was one of the first Android emulators and it is particularly focused on games, take a look at download page and you will see. Because of this (game oriented) we can take a great performance when using our applications.
Almost everything will work with BS, from audio to GPS (simulator), screen rotation and others. Also, is possible to root BS. You will be required to enter your Google account, as a normal Android device, doing that you will be able to download any available application from Google Play Store.
Bluestacks comes with an special launcher but it also have the Google PlayStore, so you can download anyother launcher you want, such Nova Launcher, Google Now Launcher, etc. I do really advise to install another launcher 🙂 – bellow my BS with Nova Launcher. Is possible to change screen size/resolution by touching on Windows Registry.
Once installed, you can now load Delphi. You will see that it will appear as a new device on the target list (Android SDK) at Project Group tree named as emulator-5554 (5554) or similar. Sometimes BS will not show up on target device, so I used to kill adb.exe from running and it will apear as soon adb.exe re-run – do that, if necessary, when Delphi is running.
Bluestack is running into Debug mode as default, if you need for some reason disable the developer options you will need to install any USB debug application to bring the developer options panel.
Now, it is important to understand that BS is an Intel processor emulator. That said, you will need to uncheck the libnative-activity.so on Project Deployment – I do uncheck all three libs, but x86 would be ok:
If you forget this, your application will show up a black screen telling it is an incompatible device. This is also useful when deploying for other real devices powered by Intel processors (Galaxy Tab 2, Asus Zenfone 5, Zenfone 2 and others). The magic is done because of libhoudini, the Intel’s Houdini Translation Layer.
Once on Delphi, you can now debug and deploy your application. As you can see BS screen act as a tablet, but as I told you can modify the registry keys and alter its size (check here).
Next post I will show you how to fix an anoying problem with statusbar on Intel processors.
[UPDATE] You can try using Google USB Driver which is an universal driver if anything else fails. For that, uninstall your previous driver first.