As we rebuild our Android emulator cloud to fully utilize all the latest SDKs and Emulator 2.0 for Android Virtual Devices (AVDs), we've had to make some upgrades that may break existing tests.
One of these changes is to switch from hardware keyboard support to software keyboard support on our emulators. Most (if not all) modern Android devices have software keyboards, so this change is expected to make your testing more accurately reflect what users would experience on devices available in the current marketplace.
We expect to release these changes in September/October 2016, so please make sure to update your tests if there is a dependency for the type of keyboard on Android emulators. This article also describes some cases in which your tests may break due to this change, and how to resolve them.
Covering UI Elements
The software keyboard can cover user interface elements in the testing workflow. If your test is designed to interact with an interface element that is covered, it will interact with the keyboard instead of the interface element. This YouTube video demonstrates the problem.