What is an emulator?
An emulator is a hardware or software that enables one computer system to act like another system. Emulation is referred to as ability of one system be it hardware or software to imitate or emulate another program or the device.
We can take the example of a 3270 emulator, it can communicate and control the personal computer as if it were 3270 workstations.
In Android SDK there is a virtual device called the emulator that runs on the computer and this emulator helps to prototype, develop and test Android applications without using a physical device. Android emulator is also known as Android Virtual Device (AVD). In this AVD you can specify the configuration of a real device and test it in the emulator before it is deployed to the real device. First, we need to launch this emulator with the configuration of the real device from the AVD manager.
The default orientation of the Android emulator is vertical but we can change the orientation by pressing Ctl+F11 from the keyboard. We can do a lot of operations in the emulator like how we are doing in a real device like ringing volume up or down, search, end call, sending SMS etc.
This emulator can be used in the simulation of Android phones, tablets, watches, and TV. We can have any number of emulator and all the emulator can be managed from one place through AVD manager. The Android SDK comes with an inbuilt option to create emulator but there are other emulators that can be used instead of this in-built emulator.
Some of them are:
Above are the some of the emulators available in the market. In that few of them are free and rest are paid. All Android devices come with Google’s emulator in the Android bundle.
These emulators are really handy because before deploying to the real system we can check out and do corrections wherever necessary. Another great advantage is that if you don’t have any particular real device to test you can use this emulator to check it out how it will function.