Running Android Emulator with Market

I have been thinking of getting an Android phone to replace my iPhone 3GS. There is only so much you can tweak on the iPhone. Apps are great but I want glance able widgets on the main screen like every other smartphone. I want apps like Settings Profile. You can change settings on your phone based on time, location, battery, day/date… I had similar software on my Nokia smartphones for years.

Well I have read that I can do almost any kind of tweaking on an Android phone. So I have been thinking of getting one. The Dell Streak seems to be the only Android phone on AT&T to have a front facing camera. But I want to try out Android before I get it. If it were an iPhone, I would head to an Apple store to try it out. I have never been to a AT&T store. May be I should go and try a Captivate. Does not sound as interesting as going to an Apple store though.

Well I ran across a couple of articles on Lifehacker that let me try out the Android OS in the comfort of my home on my Tablet PC:

1. How to Test Drive Android on Your PC Without Buying a Phone
2. Enable the Android Market When Trying Out Android on Your PC

The first one is straight forward. The second one did not work as detailed. Maybe it is because of the different Android SDKs. Here are the steps that worked for me to get an Android Market enabled emulator running:

1. You must have Java installed.
2. Get the Android SDK from here.
3. Get the emulator running as per the first Lifehacker article. Choose Android 1.6 as the version to use.
4. Download the System image for Android 1.6 from HTC’s site here.
Download Image

5. Extract the system.img file to the location of the AVD you just created. Ex. <userhome>\.android\avd\Test1.6.avd.
6. Restart the AVD wiping out the user data.
7. Enjoy using Android and check out the apps in Market.

Android with Market

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