[hemmerling] Google Android 5/7 - Simulators, Skins, Operating Systems, System Images

Free Android Emulators

Android Emulator

  • Emulation of Android smartphones is ok, emulation of Android tablets is slow ( due to the higher performance level of these devices ).
  • Graphics Configuration:
    • If your Win8 or Linux computer really provides OpenGL2 graphics, you may operate the simulator with default setting “Emulated Performance - [x] Use Host GPU”.
    • But if your Win8 or Linux computer just provides OpenGL1 graphics, as my Win8 PCs “ASUS Eee PC T101MT” and “Dell Vostro 1000” notebooks with standard Windows drivers by Microsoft, you are lost:
      • If you try to operate the simulator with default setting “Emulated Performance - [x] Use Host GPU”, the Android Simulator crashes by the error message “APPCRASH”, “Fault Module name: libOpenglRender.dll”.
      • If you operate the Android simulator just with the setting “Emulated Performance - [ ] Use Host GPU”, you may just run Android applications on “API 1” level.
        • If you try Android applications with a higher API level, e.g. “API 15”,
          • The Android desktop screen is not displayed but just black screen with “android” in white letters.
          • When executing “Run / Device Chooser / Choose a running device / Compatible” again, there is the error message “No, minSDK(API 15) > deviceSDK(API 1)”, if “minSDKVersion 15” is set in the project configuration file “app”.
  • For Win8-32-bit PCs with 2GB of physical RAM and another 2GB virtual memory,
    • With the default settings of “Nexus 5 API 23”, the emulator stops by the error message “emulator: WARNING: Requested RAM size of 1536MB is too large for your environment, and is reduced to 1152MB. Cannot set up guest memory 'android_arm': Invalid argument”.
    • You may operate Android simulation with 343MB, 512MB or even 768MB simulated RAM.
    • I still don´t know if is advisable to decrease the default simulated RAM of simulated devices with “big” RAM ( e.g. 1024MB, 1536MB RAM ), or instead to prefer a simlated image with “low” RAM ( e.g. 343MB RAM ).
    • Error message:
      Your emulator is out of date, please update by launching Android Studio:
       - Start Android Studio
       - Select menu "Tools > Android > SDK Manager"
       - Click "SDK Tools" tab
       - Check "Android SDK Tools" checkbox
       - Click "OK"
    • It doesn´t help to increase the virtual memory of the Windows host computer...
  • The simulator' camera doesn't work on Win8.1. Calling the camera is aborted by the error message “Unfortunately, camera has stopped”.
  • The user may check manually for Notifications ( as the simulator provides an unmodified desktop application as known from hardware smartphones, in opposite to some other Android simulators ).

Andy Android Emulator -> Android 4.2.2

  • The free Android emulator Andy Android Emulator for Win-32bit, Win64-bit and MacOSX.
    • If you load the website with a Win-32bit, you get a download offer of the Win-32bit edition of the software.
      • On my notebook “Dell Vostro 1000” with AMD XP3600 CPU and standard Windows graphics drivers shipped with Win8.1, “Andy_v45.5_63” installs, but doesn´t start properly: The application never appears on the screen :-(.
    • If you load the website with a Win-64bit, you get a download offer of the Win-32bit edition of the software.
    • Easy access to “Google Play” by preinstalled GAPPS app.
    • File sharing between simulator and host.
      • YouTube "How To Move Files Between Windows And Andy Emulator" - “The process of moving files between Windows and Andy has changed in Andy NEW Version .41”.
      • Please create the a directory “Shared” in the directory “C:\users\<user>\Andy\”, e.g. C:\users\Administrator\Andy\”. By this directory “C:\users\<user>\Andy\Shared”, e.g. C:\users\Administrator\Andy\Shared”, you may share files between the Windows computer and the Android smartphone at ”/sdcard/Shared/Andy/Shared”.
  • Android Central Forums "Android Emulator - You may now run any android app directly from your desktop" - “Unlike bluestack (if you know this product) it has access to any google play app and runs very smoothly”.
  • The simulator' camera is properly working on Win8.1.

BlueStacks -> Android 4.4.2, SDK 19

The Tool

Support

  • With “BlueStacks v2.5.61 for Windows”, after a forced cumulative Win10 update “KB3193494” on 2016-10-05, Win10Pro-64bit crashes if I call BlueStacks.
    • My first experiences: No Windows bluescreen, but directly the start screen of my computer :-(.
    • Later experience: Bluescreen with error message “SYSTEM SERVICE EXCEPTION”, and reference to Microsoft "Troubleshoot blue screen errors".
    • Workaround: Disable “Hypervee” :-). But... I didn´t change the setting during the time of the Win10 update “KB3193494” :-(.

Resources

  • If you want to open a free support ticket at BlueStacks, you are asked for the BlueStacks software version.
  • At installation, you may configure the datapath ( default: “C:\ProgramData” ), however even if you configure a user-specific datapath, the following directories are created, filled with data and used:
    • “C:\ProgramDataBlueStacksSetup”.
    • “C:\ProgramDataBlueStacksGameManager”.
    • “C:\ProgramDataBlueStacksSetup”.
  • BlueStacks Support "How to Find BlueStacks Version Number?" for Windows - “Hover the mouse over the BlueStacks icon in the Windows System Tray / Notification Area at the bottom right corner of your PC's screen”.
  • After some little time of use, the emulator refuses access to the PlayStore and displays a nag screen
    To continue using BlueStacks
    Purchase App Player Premium <Buy Now>
    or
    Please help us find good apps <Try these apps>
  • BlueStacks Support "How to Find BlueStacks Version Number?" - “Hover the mouse over the BlueStacks icon in the Windows System Tray / Notification Area at the bottom right corner of your PC's screen”.
  • Easy access to “Google Play” by preinstalled GAPPS app.
  • At installation, you may configure the datapath ( default: “C:\ProgramData” ).
  • You may install APKs:
    • By drag+drop from Windows desktop to Android desktop.
    • By the button “APK” which opens a file selector for the Windows filesystem.
    • By “Settings / Bluestack Settings / Import windows files”.
  • You may deinstall apps:
    • By “Settings / Bluestacks Settings / Manage applications”.
  • “WSAD” Keyboard mapping to mouse movement :-) ( suggested at the window top ).
    • The Windows clipboard may not be used to paste data to an Android terminal ( CTRL-V doesn't works at Android Linux shell ) :-).
  • Notifications are played with sound at the moment of alarm, while the notification symbol ( Triangle with ”!” is displayed in the Notification area. There is no storage or queuing of notifications. There is no silent alarm, about which the user may just be notified by checking the Notifications.
  • The simulator' camera is properly working on Win8.1.
  • The simulator has a built-in screenshot function, which may be executed by the “camera” button of the simulator's user interface ( not of the GUI of the Android operating system! ).
    • Screenshots must be processed manually directly after shooting:
      • You may “send” the screenshot image to Windows( “Send to Windows” ), i.e. you are asked to save the image in the Windows filesystem, by a modale file selector window, of Windows.
      • You may upload the screenshot image to some online services.
      • But you may not store it on the Android filesystem.
  • Images taken with the camera app shipped the operating system are visible at ”/sdcard/DCIM/Camera/”, e.g ”/sdcard/DCIM/Camera/IMG_20160527_183924.jpg”.
  • BlueStack Support "How To Copy Data From BlueStacks To PC?" - “BST shared folder on Bluestacks 2 is mapped to windows, and can be accessed at the following location on your PC”
    /storage/sdcard/windows/BstSharedFolder

    on Android and either

    C:\ProgramData\BlueStacks\UserData\SharedFolder

    or

    <user-defined-installation-path>\BlueStacks\UserData\SharedFolder

Droid4X -> Android 4.2.2, SDK17

The Tool

  • The free Android emulator Droid4X for Windows and MacOSX. Unfortunately, there is no full download, but just download of an installer.

Resources

  • You may install APKs:
    • By drag+drop from Windows desktop to Android desktop.
    • By “Settings / APK Install”.
  • Easy access to “Google Play” by preinstalled GAPPS app.
  • The Windows clipboard may be used to paste data to an Android terminal ( CTRL-V works at Android Linux shell ) :-).
  • “WSAD” Keyboard mapping to mouse movement :-) ( suggested at the help screens ).
  • File sharing between simulator and host, by “Settings / Share folder”.
  • Warning: At each start of “Droid4X 0.8.7 beta”, existing installations of “VirtualBox” ( e.g. necessary for “Xamarin Android Player” ) are uninstalled.
    • By this, the application aborts, at “80%” :-(. With next call, the application starts properly.
    • If Xamarin Android Player is called next time, it fails to start and claims a network ( configuration ) error. As the VirtualBox Manager was deleted, the network settings of Xamarin Android Player may just be configured after re-installation of VirtualBox.
    • On my notebook “Dell Vostro 1000” with AMD XP3600 CPU and standard Windows graphics drivers shipped with Win8.1, “Droid4X” hangs at start at “80% progress display”.
  • The user may check manually for Notifications ( as the simulator provides an unmodified desktop application as known from hardware smartphones, in opposite to some other Android simulators ).
  • The user interface of the simulator supports visual zooming by “CTRL” and Mouse-movement :-).
  • The simulator' camera doesn't work on Win8.1. Calling the camera is aborted by the error message “Runtime error. No Activity found to handle Intent {act=android.media.action.IMAGE_CAPTURE(has extras)}” and a button labeled “End Application” :-(.

Genymotion for personal use

The Tool

Resources

    • “What are the VirtualBox versions compatible with Genymotion? To run virtual devices, you must install Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0.4 or above. Genymotion might run with older versions of Oracle VM VirtualBox but we cannot guarantee it”.
    • “Why does an error message state that VirtualBox is not installed whereas I have successfully downloaded and installed Genymotion?”.
      • “On Windows: the Oracle VM VirtualBox installer 5.0.4 is packaged within the ready-to-run Genymotion installer. Make sure you have downloaded and installed this package”.
    • “Why doesn't Genymotion run on Windows 10?”.
  • Genymotion insists on deinstalling existing VirtualBox installations, but installs VirtualBox 5.04 instead.
  • Without software activation at each, the software is inoperable. At “Setting / Account”, the status “Not authenticated” is displayed.
  • To activate “Genymotion” by using the free personal licence, you must
    • Create an account at Genymobile.
    • Login by “Setting / Account ” - “Sign in”. By this, the status at “Setting / Account” is modified to “Signed in as XXX” :-).
  • Genymotion is shipped with a “droid4x” Android image. After all, I was not able to start it. The start is aborted by the error message “Unable to start the virtual device” :-(. Any help is appreciated.
  • The user may check manually for Notifications ( as the simulator provides an unmodified desktop application as known from hardware smartphones, in opposite to some other Android simulators ).

MEmu -> Android 4.2.2

The Tool

  • The free Android emulator MEmu for Windows for Windows, as of 2016-01 shipped with Android 4.2.2.

Resources

  • You may install APKs:
    • By drag+drop from Windows desktop to Android desktop.
    • By the button “APK” which opens a file selector for the Windows filesystem.
  • Easy access to “Google Play” by preinstalled GAPPS app.
  • The “MEmu Market” is in chinese language only :-(
    • On my notebook “Dell Vostro 1000” with AMD XP3600 CPU and standard Windows graphics drivers shipped with Win8.1, “MEm” aborts by the error message “The version of OpenGL is too slow. Please upgrade the graphics driver and restart”.
  • Notifications are played with sound at the moment of alarm, while the notification symbol ( Triangle with ”!” is displayed in the Notification area. There is no storage or queuing of notifications. There is no silent alarm, about which the user may just be notified by checking the Notifications.
  • The simulator' camera is properly working on Win8.1.
  • Images taken with third-party cam Apps are visible:
    • In the Android filesystem at ”/mnt/sdcard/Pictures/”, e.g ”/mnt/sdcard/Pictures/app_inventor_1464345815996.jpg”.
    • In the Windows filesystem at “C:\Users\Administrator\Pictures\MEmu Photo”, e.g. “C:\Users\Administrator\Pictures\MEmu Photo\app_inventor_1464345815996.jpg”.
  • Images taken with the camera app shipped the operating system are visible at ”/mnt/sdcard/DCIM/Camera/”, e.g ”/sdcard/DCIM/Camera/IMG_20160106_230157.jpg”.
  • The simulator has a built-in screenshot function, which may be executed by the “camera” button of the simulator's user interface ( not of the GUI of the Android operating system! ).
    • Screenshots are visible:.
      • In the Windows filesystem at “C:\Users\Administrator\Pictures\MEmu Photo\Screenshots”, e.g. “C:\Users\Administrator\Pictures\MEmu Photo\Screenshots\Screenshot_2016-05-27-21-33-40.png”.
      • But not in the Android filesystem.

MIT Android Inventor 2 -> Android 2.2

The Tool

Resources

Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition

Windroye -> Android 4.4.2

The Tool

  • The free Android emulator Windroy "Windroye" for Windows, as of 2016-01 shipped with Android 4.4.2.

Access to Google Appstore

  • “Google Play”: No preinstalled GAPPS app, but GAPPS may be installed easily: Download the proper Google Play Services .zip file from Open GApps ??.
  • As of 2016-05, I failed to connect with “Windroye 2.9.0” to the Google App store, by the error message “There was a problem communicating with Google servers”. Besides that, sometimes the modal error message appears “Unfortunately, the process com.google.process.gapps has stopped”.

Resources

  • At installation, you may configure the datapath ( default: “C:\ProgramData” ).
  • You may install APKs:
    • By drag+drop from Windows desktop to Android desktop.
    • By the menu item “Install APK”.
  • By default, Android is configured to operate in Chinese language :-(, but you may change the language and keyboard settings by “Settings”. Remember the language settings are those with the symbol “A”.
  • On my notebook “Dell Vostro 1000” with AMD XP3600 CPU and standard Windows graphics drivers shipped with Win8.1, “Windroye” aborts the installation by the error message “OpenGL version must be 2.0 above!”.
  • On my Win64 notebook, Windroye once installed and operated properly, but after a while it aborts at startup “Windroye fixed an error, please restart” :-(. Maybe because “Client Hyper-V” was enabled on the system?!
  • The simulator has a built-in screenshot function, which may be executed by the “camera” button of the simulator's user interface ( not of the GUI of the Android operating system! ).
    • Screenshots are visible:.
      • In the Android filesystem at ”/mnt/Pictures/”, e.g ”/sdcard/Pictures/windroye-screensh” ( in the Android filemanager App “ESD”, it looks as if all screenshots have the same name.
      • In the Windows filesystem at “C:\Users\Administrator\Pictures”, e.g. “C:\Users\Administrator\Pictures\windroye-screenshot-1464343570.png”.

Xamarin Android Player -> Various Android Images

The Tool

Resources

  • “The Xamarin Android Player utilizes VT-x and AMD-V hardware accelerated virtualization and OpenGL 2.0 to provide fast boot times and a snappy, smooth user interface”.
  • Requirements:
    • “For OSX, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, the Xamarin Android Player requires VirtualBox 4.3.18 or higher, which will be installed or updated as necessary. For Windows 10, you must upgrade VirtualBox to version 5.0.2 or higher”.
    • “A graphics card that supports OpenGL 2.0”.
  • The Xamarin Android Player is shipped with a VirtualBox. If you already got a VirtualBox installed, You may abort the installation of the shipped VirtualBox and finish the installation of the Xamarin Android Player successfully, anyhow.
  • Though there is no visible link, Xamarin uses an installed VirtualBox. You must setup network access by VirtualBox, manually.
  • You may install APKs by drag+drop from Windows desktop to Android desktop.
  • “Google Play”: No preinstalled GAPPS app, but link to GAPPS installation instructions: Xamarin University "Installing Google Play Services in XAP".
    • Download the proper Google Play Services .zip file from Open GApps.
    • After installation and online update: “Now you can run applications that depend on Google Maps in the Xamarin Android Player”.
  • Operation on 32 bit hosts:
    • On my notebook “Dell Vostro 1000” with AMD XP3600 CPU and standard Windows graphics drivers shipped with Win8.1, the 32bit edition of “Xamarin Android Player” aborts by the error message “OpenGL Error”.
    • Btw, the available Android smartphones simulations are specified to have 2048 MB RAM, which is not useful for 32-bit hosts.
  • XAMARIN refused to start when Hyper-V ( i.e. “Client Hyper-V” ) is enabled on your Win64 computer :-(.
  • The simulator' camera doesn't work on Win8.1. Calling the camera is aborted by the error message “Camera error. Can´t connect to the camera”.
  • The simulator has a built-in screenshot function, which may be executed by the “camera” button of the simulator's user interface ( not of the GUI of the Android operating system! ). Screenshots are stored on the Windows desktop by names like “Nexus 4 (KitKat) API19 Screenshot 1.png”.

YouWave -> Android 4.0.4

The Tool

  • The Android emulator YouWave for Android for Windows - “Runs Android apps and app stores on your PC, no phone required. Download thousands of apps online via app stores within youwave”.
    • Free YouWave 3.3 edition ( Android 4.0.4 (ICS) ).
      • Please select “Custom Installation ( Advanced )” and deselect:
        • ”[ ] Install Ad-Aware Web Companion to block dangerous websites”.
        • ”[ ] Set search powered by Bing(R) as my homepage, new tab, and default search engine on Firefox and Internet Explorer”.
        • “Tuneup Utillities” - Please change from
          • ”( ) I accept” to
          • ”(x) I do not accept”.
    • Commercial YouWave 5.4 edition ( Android 5.x ).

Resources

  • The installation is refused by the error message
    YouWaveAndroidSetup.
    Warning: Previous Virtualbox installation detected. 
    If you have installed VirtualBox in your machine, 
    YouWave cannot be installed. 
    To install YouWave, you need to manually uninstall VirtualBox 
    and delete the directory 'C:\Users\<user>\.Virtualbox'

Commercial Android Emulators

  • AMIDuOS - “Try AMIDuOS for free for 30 days, buy it for only 15 EUR (Lollipop) odr 10 EUR (Jellybean)”.

Commercial Android Emulators as Online Service

Appetize.io

  • Appetize.io - “Stream iOS & Android Native Apps in the Browser”.

AWS Mobile Services & AWS Device Farm

Manymo

  • The Android emulator online service Manymo - “Manymo in-browser emulators appear like local emulators”.
    • “Or sign up for our Free plan, which offers 10 time-limited emulator launches, one at a time, per month”.

Xamarin Test Cloud

Resources

Android Smartphone Skins

Android Images

Android Operating System Images for Android Emulators with HARM

Android Operating System Images for standard ARM Android Emulators

Third Party Firmware

Resources

OpenSource and Commercial Android Operating Systems for x86 Computers

Android-IA

  • 01.org - Intel Open Source "Android* on Intel Platforms" - Once in 2014 Intel announced to develop an operating system “Android-IA” also for standard x86 desktop PCS, but then canceled the project. Intel offers just an Android operating system for some special x86 hardware boards.

Android-x86

Console OS

Resources


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