For years iOS developers have touted the merits of the Simulator, saying that it makes their lives easier. As someone who’s developer for both iOS and Android, and been primarily an Android developer for several years, I’ve never cared.
When I develop, I use a device. I’ve often made arguments about how it better to develop on a device because that is what users will run your app on. The Android Emulator is good in the sense that it’s not a Simulator, but actually emulates the Android hardware.
One of the things that Android developers should do that iOS developers don’t need to is test their apps on a range of devices. Apps don’t need to be tested on every device imaginable, but at least the 3 basic device classes: 4 inch, 7 inch, and 10 inch. This is where a good emulator can really help out.
I recently discovered Genymotion, the professional successor to AndroVM. Genymotion is a fast, VirtualBox based Android emulator that allows you to use an emulator for primary development.
I’ve been using Genymotion for about a month and I have been really happy with it. It allows me to work on client projects without messing up my personal device. It’s as fast, if not faster, than my device, so it doesn’t slow me down. And it has Google Play support, so I can test my app alongside other apps to make sure everything works as expected.
I recommend checking out Genymotion if you are an Android developer. It’s free and well worth the time.