The Android SDK includes a mobile device emulator -- a virtual mobile device
that runs on your computer. The emulator lets you prototype, develop, and test
Android applications without using a physical device.
The Android emulator mimics all of the typical hardware and software features
of a typical mobile device, except that it can not receive or place actual phone
calls. It provides a variety of navigation and control keys, which you can "press"
using your mouse or keyboard to generate events for your application. It also
provides a screen in which your application is displayed, together with any other
Android applications running.
To let you model and test your application more easily, the emulator supports
Android Virtual Device (AVD) configurations. AVDs let you specify the Android
platform that you want to run on the emulator, as well as the hardware options
and emulator skin files tht you want to use. Once your application is running on
the emulator, it can use the services of the Android platform to invoke other
applications, access the network, play audio and video, store and retrieve data,
notify the user, and render graphical transitions and themes.
The emulator also includes a variety of debug capabilities, such as a console
from which you can log kernel output, simulate application interrupts (such as
arriving SMS messages or phone calls), and simulate latency effects and dropouts
on the data channel.