Microsoft Outs Android Emulator: Here's How To Use It


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Jan 9, 2015
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Remember the Visual Studio Emulator for Android which Microsoft announced in November 2014? The tool which was available for preview has now been finally outed by Microsoft.

The Android Emulator was not adopted by many developers owing to the fact that it required to be downloaded and installed along with Visual Studio package which occupied a lot of space. However, now Microsoft has released the emulator as a standalone download.

"We're excited to announce that we've made the Visual Studio Emulator for Android available without needing to also download Visual Studio," revealed the company in a blog post.

Microsoft also gives instructions on how to set-up the Android Emulator with ease and run the tool with Eclipse with ADT and Android Studio.

So how does one go about using Android Emulator you wonder? Here's how:

Step 1: Download the emulator from here or

Step 2: Install the emulator. You will see "Visual Studio Emulator for Android" listed in the start menu.

Step 3: Click the same. The emulator manager will appear and you will be able to install, as well as start device profiles. Microsoft has installed some KitKat profiles by default to hasten the process.

Step 4: When you launch the tool for the first time, you will be asked to activate a free license. To do so sign-in to your Microsoft Account or the Azure Active Directory. The option to sign-in later also exists for those who want to defer it for 30 days. Those who do not have a Microsoft account can create the same and use it in the sign-in dialog.

Step 5: After gaining access to the emulator manager, start it by clicking the "Play" button.

Remember that the Android Emulator requires Windows with Hyper-V support to operate. The emulator also does not offer support for Google Play, which means several apps will not be able to run on it unless they are modified. That said, the Android Emulator can be a handy tool for testing apps that do not have integration with Google Play services.

To learn how the emulator works with Android Studio or Eclipse with ADT, check Microsoft's blog post for the step-by-step instructions.
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