Here is how to get an Android emulator to test your webapps and websites against.

What you need:

  • Virtualbox (free)
  • The version of Android you want (latest in my case) as  a live CD image, check what is available here.
  • A Google account (yes, Gmail is fine).

The whole process is not really long nor complex. It is fully described on how-to-geek; here is the main rundown:

  1. In Virtualbox, configure a Virtual Machine that abides to these specs:
    • OS: Linux – Linux 2.6
    • Memory Size: 512 MB
    • Hard Drive Size: 3 GB or More
  2. Launch it. When asked, select the Android image you downloaded.
  3. Create a Bootable Drive using the entire disk space
  4. Proceed to install android on the newly created drive
  5. reload the VM, unmount the Android image, reload again.
  6. The Android installation routine should launch itself. Follow the instructions on screen.
  7. Done!

If you’re interested in more testing setup tips, be sure to check out my personal experience regarding crossbrowser testing on a local web development systems.