Click here to buy from Amazon. Simulators and emulators help with design, development, testing and demonstration of software, when the actual environment is unavailable or unsuitable for testing. These are particularly applicable for mobile devices, as hardware is not always even available, service contracts and the number of devices to test make them very expensive, and it can be slow and cumbersome to load for each incremental code change.

Though often incorrectly used as such, they are not interchangeable terms, however.

New services and tools are constantly being added, or replaced, so please help us keep this up to date. Visit the wiki at or contact us with updates you may encounter.

A good place to start for the installation of most serious simulators/emulators is with MobiForge, who has published a useful guide to actually getting over a dozen emulators to run. Many of these are buried under their developer sites, so you may not have even found them. Most have some trick or other to get running, especially if you are not steeped in technical minutiae.

A lot of the use of these tools is for test. There are some useful overviews and intros to testing for mobile as well:

Some sources I need to look at, to make sure I got all the links:


Remote Testing Labs

OS Simulators & Emulators

Prototyping / Wireframing

Full Design Suites


There are a few manufacturers that offer device loaner programs to qualified developers. I have never done this, so am not sure what "qualified" means, but I suspect it's pretty thorough. You get a current, active mobile device, you can use for a few weeks (Sony Ericsson is 30 days, for example) for free. Designed for testing of applications, to encourage development on their devices. Most manufacturers' developer programs also offer a discount to just buy their hardware as well.

Test & Evaluation

Next: Device Detection


I haven't kept this as up to date as other sections, so this is a good overview of the current (2014) state of affairs:

Emulators (last edited 2014-09-11 12:46:28 by shoobe01)