The Android Virtual Device Manager uses checkboxes instead of radio buttons for "Snapshot" and "Use Host GPU". However, they are mutually exclusive. Why would they use checkboxes instead of radio buttons?

Admittedly, they do display an error message for Shashank

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But they only greyed out the OK for me.

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Shouldn't the interface be using radio buttons instead of checkboxes (for those components)?

  • Perhaps they intend to remove the mutual exclusiveness in the future, but shouldn't they just update it from radio buttons then instead of using checkboxes now?
    – Justin
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 4:12

2 Answers 2


This UI is a control interface for AVD command-line tool and is developed to support future versions of it (without need of changing UI itself). Future versions of AVD tool may have different options so UI for these options are constructed automatically every time AVD settings is shown. And since there is no possibility to know how these options are related to each other there are checkboxes (every option could be simply in ON or OFF state) and simple validation algorithm which checks if all the options are correct and shows an error message if they're not (it actually runs the command-line tool, checks if there are errors and shows the output in the UI).

As a result: it may looks like a bad UX solution (and, frankly speaking, it is) but it seems like it's done by the reason I tried to explain above.

  • I don't get why android doesn't just change the ~10-30 (it will probably be somewhere in that range) lines of code needed and put it as an update when needed.
    – Justin
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 15:21
  • @Quincunx me neither, but it could be different teams or people or whatever. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 18:44

If you can only select one of several options, than radio buttons is the control to use. In this case, check boxes and error message only makes the user confused and annoyed - and that's really bad. You lose the trust of the system, which makes it easier for the user to move to competitor tool.


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