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Test Drive Android On Your Pc

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Would you like to test drive the latest version of Google's Android OS without buying a new mobile device? Here's how you can run Android on your PC for free with the Android SDK Emulator.

Android is the latest mobile OS to take the world by storm, but everyone doesn't have access to the latest mobile devices. Thankfully, there's an easy way to run Android on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. Google provides an Android emulator with their SDK, which is designed to let developers test their apps on Android before running them on handsets. We can use this to test drive Android on our computer, here's how to do it.

Getting Started

The Android Emulator requires Java to run, so if you don't already have Java installed on your computer, download it from the link below and install as normal.


Then, download the Android SDK from Google (link below), and make sure to select the correct version for your computer. Once it's downloaded, unzip the files as normal.

Download the Android SDK


In Windows, run the SDK Setup.exe program to get started running Android on your PC.


The SDK will check Google's servers for available packages


If you see an SSL error message, click the Settings tab on the left in the SDK and AVD Manager window that opened in the background. Here, uncheck the Force https box, click Ok, and then reopen the setup.


Now, the Package Installer will open. You can choose what you want to install, and then click Install to begin installing the Android emulator on your computer.


By default, all of the SDK platforms, samples, and APIs will be selected for install. This can take quite a while to download, as several versions of Android are currently available. If you only want to play around with Android, choose the version you want. You'll want the SDK Platform Android your.version. Then click the Reject bullet on all the other entries, and click Install. We wanted to try out the latest Android 2.2 as well as the older 1.5, so we downloaded both of them.


Once you've started installing, you'll see a window showing the download and installation progress. This may take a few minutes, depending on your Internet speed.


You'll have some little Androids in your taskbar, but unfortunately they don't show the download progress.


Setup an Android Emulator

Once the download is completed, you can setup an emulator to test drive Android on your computer. Select the Virtual Devices from the left menu, and then click the New button on the right.


Enter a name for your virtualized Android, and select the version of Android you want to use from the drop-down menu. This will only show the version you installed previously, so you may only see one version listed depending on your selection.


Enter a size under the SD Card entry; this is a virtual SD card that's actually an IMG file that Android will use to store your settings and files in. Then, select a screen size from the skin options. The default is a standard, Nexus One-type display, while the others are different sizes including even a BlackBerry-style device.


Click Create AVD when you're finished.


The program may appear to freeze while it is creating the AVD, so just wait until you see the confirmation window.


You're now ready to run Android on your PC! Select your new virtual Android, and click Start on the right.


You can choose to scale the display if you've chosen a larger screen size than your monitor will fit, and then select Launch.


Android will now begin to load in your emulator. Several command prompt windows may open, and then you'll see the emulator itself. Notice that the default, large screen size will display a keypad and virtual buttons on the right side of the emulated device.


Android may take several minutes to load, especially on your first run. After a while, the boot screen will switch to an Android boot animation.


Finally, you'll be presented with your new Android home screen! Use your mouse as you would normally, though remember that you don't need to double-click to open apps.


You can open pre-installed apps from the launcher menu, though unfortunately these emulator images do not include the Android Marketplace.


View your favorite websites in the browser, and they will render just as they would on an Android device. Note that you can enter text using the on screen keyboard in the emulator, or with your standard keyboard. Since this is an emulator, you may notice some lag in entering text.


You can also install Apps that are directly available online.


Default apps such as Email work great, and you can even see most of the device settings in Android.


Click and hold on the home screen to change the background or try out widgets.


You'll even see the nifty Android Lock screen if you leave your virtual machine alone for a few minutes. Just click the arrow and drag it to the other side of the screen to unlock.


You can always repeat the steps later to create a new Android virtual machine. Here we've created an Android 1.5 virtual machine with the QVGA screen size.


We did experience a few crashes in our tests, and the emulator felt somewhat sluggish, but in all, it's fun to try out a new mobile OS without spending money on a new phone.


Launch Android Virtual Machines Later

Anytime you want to launch your Android virtual machines in the emulator, just run the SDK Setup.exe as before, and select them from the Virtual Devices list. Alternately, you can launch an emulator directly from the command line. To do this, browse to your Android SDK folder and open the Tools folder. Press the Shift key and right-click, and then select Open Command Window Here.


Now enter the following in the Command Prompt, substituting the name of your Android virtual machine for your_device: emulator @your_device


Create a Shortcut For Your Android

Alternately, right-click on the Emulator.exe in the SDK Tools folder, and select Create Shortcut.


This shortcut would actually only run the emulator in Command Prompt and not load an actual virtual device. We'll need to change the properties to do this, so right-click and select Properties.


Select the Shortcut tab, and then scroll to the end of the Target box. Enter the name of your virtual Android as before, as @your_Android after the emulator.exe, and then click Ok.


Now you can launch your Android directly from your Desktop or Start menu.



Whether you're a developer who wants to write the next greatest app for Android or are simply are curious about Android and would like to try it out without buying a new phone, the Android Emulator is a great way to get started for free. It is also a great way to try out new versions of Android if you have an older device. We were disappointed that the Android Marketplace wasn't included.

source: How to Geek

  • Like 8

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Rajan ji, kuch to chod do. iPhone, PC, Mac, har kahin Android...............

+1 for you

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Android on all bootable devices!!

Even me using android on old Vogue !

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Before buying Hero, I had tried Android on my Mogul for the very first time. No so good.

Off Topic: Hitesh bhai, still waiting reply of my mail............ kahan busy ho?

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Good info, but you can look here for better experience of android on PC


I had seen that link. But there is a difference. In your link, the project is to port Android OS to Netbooks and other x86 architecture. It is not purely a mobile OS then.

What i shared is an Android emulator working on PC and so it will be exactly as it will run on your mobile device and hence may give users correct idea as a Mobile OS.

Also the Android-x86 project currently works only on a few netbooks and not on all PC Hardware.

Edited by rajanmehta

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For those who want to try something like opposite of what Rajan posted

Try this, A Win7 Look on your Android. Looks interesting, will give it a try tonight.

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nice info buddy

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Good Info dear Rajan Bhai. :)


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How To Enable The Android Market In The Google Android Emulator

Would you like to try out apps from the Android Market on your PC? So here's how you can install apps from the Android Market in the emulator.

First, you'll need to have the Android Emulator setup on your computer as shown in the first post of the thread.

Now, download the new Android Virtual Machine that has the Android Market installed. Select the Android 1.5 link, as this is the simplest to setup.


Once the download is finished, you can open the file in your favorite archival program.


Open your Android virtual machine folder; you can do this easily by entering the following in your Explorer address bar:


Copy the files and folder you just extracted to the .android/avd folder.


In your .android/avd folder, open the new AndEmu.ini file in Notepad. We need to change the path to our Android folder. If you're using Windows XP, replace user with your username; if you're using Windows 7 or Vista, replace Documents and Settings\user with Users\your_user_name, replacing your_user_name with your real user name.


Here's our edited AndEmu.ini file, though again, remember that you'll need to specify the correct username for your computer. Remember to save the file when you're finished.


You're now ready to start the new virtual Android. Open the Android SDK Manager, and you should see your new AndEmu listed along with your other Android virtual machines. Click Start to run it.


Alternately, you can start it from Command Prompt, or you can create a shortcut to it on your desktop.


If you entered the folder path incorrectly before, you may see an error as below. Go back and correct your .ini file, and then try again.


Setting up Your New Virtual Android

If everything's entered correctly, you'll soon see your new Android emulator starting up. This may take several minutes to startup, especially on your first run.


Once it's started, click the Android logo to setup your virtual device.


You can step through a tutorial to help you get accustomed with Android, or click Skip to go directly to your home screen.


This may be fun to look at, but is mainly aimed at helping you get used to using Android on a touchscreen so is not overly useful on a PC.


Now you'll be asked to setup your Google Account. Click Sign in and enter your standard Gmail account info, or create a new one. Alternately, you can skip this and set it up later.


Once you're done, you'll see your Android home screen with a Market link, all running on your PC!


Using the Android Market

To download and use Apps on your Android virtual machine, click the Market icon on the home screen or in the Apps menu.


If you haven't already entered your Google account into the virtual Android, you'll need to set it up as before.


Android will then sync with Google's servers, which may take a few moments.


Accept the Market terms of service when they appear.


Now you can browse, download, and purchase apps from the Android Market, directly on the emulator on your PC.


Browse apps by categories to find something you want to download.


Or Press the Menu button on the emulated phone to search for apps and choose viewing options.


Once you've found an app you want to try out, click the Install button on its description page.


Click Ok to continue installing the application.


Your new app will now download, and you can check it's progress from the notifications bar at the top.


Now, go back to your home screen by pressing the home button on the virtual phone. Your new apps will be in the apps menu, so select one to try it out.


Here's the popular Opera Mini browser in virtual Android.


Or, you can even try out some Android games directly from your PC.



Whether you would like to try out Android apps without purchasing a new mobile device, or simply want to test apps safely before installing them on your Android phone, this is a great way to take advantage of the whole Android Market on your PC. Some apps may not work correctly on a PC, such as camera and microphone apps that require specific hardware, but we were able to try out a large variety of apps this way. If you're using a Mac or Linux computer, you can use this, too, with the Android Emulator for your OS. Enjoy!

How to Geek

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thanks rajanji thanks u so much

m using AndroidDesktop App thats also nice

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Installed Android 4.2.2 Jellybean on PC in Oracle VM Virtual Box by following method. This works faster/is more responsive than bluestacks & has latest pure google experience. Play Store works & apps can be installed once you set up your google account!

PS: For mouse control to work properly while you're running in virtual box, in the menu select Machine->Disable Mouse Integration.

  • Like 3

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I am getting following error after step 6 and it goes back to step 6 again...


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