Android 4.0: Installing and Running Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) in the Android SDK emulator

   Posted October 24, 2011 by Jimmy Selix in Android

This article will explain how to setup the Android SDK to run the latest Android version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, in an emulator and get a first hand glimpse of the latest version of the Android OS.

Google offers a free SDK that now includes an easy to setup emulator to see what Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) has to offer.  These tools are all free and just require having the Java SE JDK installed.  Let’s get our SDK installed and our AVD setup!

Here’s the screencast. Text directions are below.

1. Download and install the Java 7 SE JDK.

Head over here and pick the version appropriate to your system.  In our example, we’ll be using Windows 7 32bit and will use the jdk-7u1-windows-i586.exe.   Once it is downloaded just run through the installer with the default options.

2. Download and install the latest Android SDK (r14).

Download the .exe installer_r14-windows.exe.  Just go through the prompts like any installer.  Leave the “Start SDK Manager” checked and hit Finish.

3. The Android SDK Manager will now launch.

We will want to first install all of the packages necessary to run Ice Cream Sandwich in the emulator.  Just check the “Android 4.0 API 14” and then click the “Install xx packages…” button.  A new window will open that will ask you to confirm the packages to install.  Click on the Install button.

At some point ADB will need to restart and you will be prompted.  Click Yes.

Once done, you will be brought back to the Android SDK Manager window.

4.  In the Android SDK Manage, click on Tools > Manage AVDs

AVD = Android Virtual Device, ie our emulated/virtual phone.

5.  In the AVD Manager window, click on the “New” button.

6.  We will just create a very generic Android device to get Ice Cream Sandwich up and running.  You could set these parameters similar to what phone you may be developing for or using.  In our example, we will just use a setup like this (see screenshot below).

7.  Once you hit the “Create AVD” button, the machine will get built.  You may see the window say its not responding, just be patient; it may take up to 4 minutes for it to create your AVD.

After it completes, it will bring up a summary window.  Hit “OK” on that.

8.  Finally, in the AVD Manager window, click on your AVD we just created (Generic in our example) and hit the “Start” button on the right side.

Your new Android 4.0 / Ice Cream Sandwich virtual device should start loading up.  The emulator is not the quickest and can run a little sluggish but its a great way to get a first hand look at the new upcoming features of the Android 4.0 / Ice Cream Sandwich OS updates!


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
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  • jim

    nice howto — thanks!

  • jim

    actually. i got everything up & going on my win x64 system (doing same stuff just download 64bit of the jdk). when i start the newly created ADV, it just sits there at an animated “Android” logo on the screen. buttons don’t do aynthing.

    any ideas?

  • jim

    nevermind. it just took a long time on my system for it to come up. guess you weren’t kidding about it being sluggish.


  • jimmy selix

    @jim that i was not. the first time i setup an AVD i thought i’d give it a 32GB SD Card, BAD MISTAKE! the machine took about 15 minutes to create and then about 25 mins to boot. Mainly why I have the SD Card space set to just 1GB. You could prob get away with just having it set to 128MB and it could boot a little faster.

    Glad it worked out for you!