How To Use Physical Keyboard in Android Emulator

I’ve been developing Android and iOS app for the past months using Flutter – Google’s development UI toolkit for designing beautiful, natively compiled applications for mobile and soon web, desktop and perhaps WearOS from a single codebase. – and been using the virtual keyboard on the Android emulator.

I only got the idea to use the physical keyboard of my PC and laptop when I was following a tutorial on Udemy. The lecturer was able to type in the words on the emulator, while I’m typing it on a cumbersome way by using the emulator’s built-in software or the virtual keyboard. Duh!

This was when I experimented on some setting on the emulator if there’s a way to enable the physical keyboard.

And voila! I’ve found the solution I’ve been looking for.

Here’s how to enable the physical keyboard for your Android Emulator:

I’m currently using the latest Android Studio version 3.5 as of this writing.

  • Open Android Virtual Device Manager
  • Click the ‘Pencil icon’ align with the selected Emulator.
edit button virtual device
  • A new window will pop up. Select ‘ Show Advanced Settings ’ button.
Android Studio AVD Show Advanced Settings
  • Find ‘Enable Keyboard Input’ and ensure it’s checked. The checkbutton can be found at the most bottom of the screen so you have to scroll the window.

    As the description shows, “Enable keyboard input – Lets you enter text and interact with the AVD using your hardware computer keyboard in addition to the on-screen soft keyboard”. This is exactly what I want to do!
  • Finally, click ‘Finish’ and you’re done!

Let me know if you have another way to enable the physical keyboard for your emulator needs.

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