Microsoft surprised Android developers last year with the launch of a brand new emulator designed for performance and features that aren't available anywhere else. While the initial Preview release only included an image for KitKat, subsequent updates introduced an expanded set of emulator images and some valuable new features. While a high-speed emulator is certainly compelling, many developers still didn't adopt it because it had to be downloaded and installed alongside a very large Visual Studio package, not to mention it was also frustrating to set up for use with other IDEs. Last week, Microsoft unburdened the emulator and released it as a standalone download along with step-by-step instructions to set it up to easily run with Android Studio and Eclipse with ADT.
Android Wear is designed to make sense for a tiny screen that's going to be on your wrist. Everything is handled with large buttons, swipes, and gestures. Macintosh System 6, on the other hand, has tiny buttons and requires a mouse. You'd never really want to run it on a smartwatch, but you can. Corbin Davenport is here to prove it.
Microsoft is in the midst of its annual Build conference. This is sort of like Google I/O or WWDC, but with fewer online viewers. Wednesday's keynote presentation was filled with announcements about Windows 10, the Microsoft Edge browser, an augmented reality headset, and quite a bit more. One product failed to earn stage time: the Visual Studio Emulator for Android, but developers may find renewed interest since the latest version is showing maturity as it expands through the addition of Device Profiles and a number of other recent enhancements.
We originally covered Microsoft's emulator for Android after a mid-November release during the Connect() conference.
When it comes to software development, there are two very distinct camps on the subject of tools: those who prefer to keep it simple with just a text editor and a compiler, and then those who go straight for a fully-featured IDE with all the bells and whistles. For more than a decade, the undisputed champion of IDEs is Microsoft with its assorted versions of Visual Studio. Having come from years of work on Visual Studio, nothing pained me more than the first (several) times I started up Eclipse. While Android Studio goes a long way towards a streamlined development experience, it still lacks much of the fit and finish of Visual Studio.
The Chromecast is already a pretty cheap device, but what if you don't have one handy? Developer Sebastian Mauer is working on an emulator for Android called CheapCast. It would allow you to treat any Android device like a Chromecast, and it looks to be working just fine in his proof of concept video.
The video shows a phone sending video to a tablet, but it could be any device, even an Android HDMI stick. The app will work for any web-based streaming option that runs on the Chromecast. However, tab casting is currently unfeasible as it uses WebRTC. CheapCast also doesn't need root to work.
The Dolphin Emulator on the desktop has breathed new life to old Gamecube and Wii games by making them playable on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. It works with almost all retail games, upscales to 1080p, and even supports the Wiimote. The newly released Android port is basically lacking all of that, but at least it's here!
In its current state, Dolphin Emulator on Android is not viable for playing games. Think of it as a proof of concept. Games are going to crawl along at about 1 FPS, and crashes will be common while we wait for OpenGL ES 3 to be implemented (it's entirely CPU rendered right now).