I find that without serious tweaking, Android Emulator can be quite a pain to work with. It's slowness can disturb Code-Build-Test cycle significantly and it accumulates on each cycle wasting some precious development time and not to mention breaking the thinking and work flow.
Here's some tweaks that I find helpful to minimize the problem and make the development flow comfortable again :
- Configure Hadware Acceleration for emulator to the best that your machine can support. Follow the guide to Setup hardware acceleration Android's developer site. Using it accelerate the Graphic and Virtual Machine
- Increase the RAM of emulator
- Minimize the builtin data size of the app. If there's a lot of multimedia files, find a way to just use only small subset of it while developing. The bigger the data the app has, the longer it took to port the app from the development system to emulator which would be bad when happen hundreds time a day