Even with the flurry of activities in the tablet form factor sector, it is hardly surprising that Nigeria seems to have been sidelined.Not for lack of interest but largely due to the prohibitive price tags placed on these devices. The ipad2 and the motorola Xoom, two flagship tablets, have their price tag as high as $800 (N128,000), excluding shipping and handling. This is definitely out of the reach of most Nigerians. Apart from a few of these devices on display in elite shopping centers like The Palms in Lekki, Lagos, the closest most have come to handling these devices is from web or magazine pictures. True!

All hope is not lost yet. In this era of convergence, wouldnt it be a great idea if you can have a feel of the latest iteration of the android platform, Honeycomb, right from your computer desktop. Except for reduced portability, you get to experience most of what owners of the Motorola Xoom are experiencing.

The topic of virtualization was very popular on this site a few months back. We are going to make use of this concept in placing the Android 3.0 right on your Windows, Mac or Linux desktop. However, at this point i must stress the need for a very decent laptop to pull this through as your android platform would be sharing the same resources as your PC. Owners of less powerful laptops, especially those using low powered processors and limited RAM , like netbooks,would have a “draggy” experience.

Secondly, a decent internet download speed is required. Users of GSM internet access would most likely have issues. Preference is for IPNX internet access although starcomms EVDO access would do just fine.

Let’s get started. We would follow the steps listed below;

Download the Android SDK via this link. This is a 32MB download. The android SDK is normally used in developing applications by developers.

– Install the application and launch it. Make sure your internet access is still in place.

– Most likely, the installed application would begin to update itself with the APIs or loosely speaking, the operating system of all the Android iterations, starting from Android 1.5 to 3.0!. Meaning that you have a choice of what Android iteration to run on your PC.But if the update is not started automatically, click on “Installed Packages” on the left pane, then “update all” on the bottom of the screen. This is where you will need a good internet speed. I do not know exactly the size of what is being downloaded but mine took over 2 hours. The download was interrupted midway and i had to uninstall the Android SDK and restarted all over as further attempts to continue with the downloads kept failing.

– Click on Virtual Devices on the left menu. Click on “New” to create an Android Virtual Device, AVD. Select your preferred Android version and you may allocate a file size of 10000 MB.

– Click “Create AVD”

– Highlight the AVD you have just created, then click “Start” on the right pane.

There you are! How fast your Android setup is would be dependent on your hardware.

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