The Android SDK includes a mobile device emulator — a virtual 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 functions and behaviors of a mobile device, except that it can not receive or place phone calls. As shown at right, the emulator 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 help you model and test your application, the emulator lets your application 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.