Novermber 4, 2010

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Pretend phones
Run mobile apps on your desktop
By John Andrews  jandrews@hippopress.com

Last week, writing about Halloween apps for mobile phones, I got myself to wondering: can I run all these fabulous little programs on my computer rather than on multiple expensive devices that require two-year contracts?

Of course! And not quite.

• iPhone: To get the official Apple emulator for iOS, the operating system that runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, you need to download the whole Software Development Kit (SDK) for both iOS and the Xcode system for Mac OS. To do that, you need to be a registered Apple software developer. But don’t worry, there’s no test or anything. Just provide your e-mail address and the name of your company, even if your company name is “Home” or “Fake” or “asdf” or whatever.

Oh, and buy a Mac. The SDK only runs on Mac OS X. Get started at developer.apple.com.

For Web-based apps only, the simulator at TestiPhone.com will do you well. It shows any Web page on the diminutive (by desktop standards) iPhone screen. It does not, however, let you run any iPhone app outside the browser, and it doesn’t zoom in or out. It won’t even reject a Flash-based page, despite Apple’s refusal to allow Flash on the little device.

• Android: Just like Apple, Google has a full SDK available for their operating system. It runs on Windows, Mac OS and Linux, so pretty much everyone has access to it, except for you poor deluded BeOS faithful. You can download it from developer.android.com.

Also like Apple, Google’s SDK might look a bit overwhelming at first. There’s lots of programming lingo and package dependencies and configuration options. Just to start emulating an Android device, you need to find the right file in the folder you’ve extracted from the installer, give it a name and tell it how much storage space it should imagine it has.

The SDK comes with a tutorial for programming for Android, but if you just want to play with existing Android apps, use the included command-line utility called “adb.” Detailed instructions are included with the SDK, but I thought I’d give you that nudge in the right direction.

• BlackBerry: Research In Motion has a separate simulator for each minor revision of its software, so you’ll have to choose your BlackBerry model, wireless carrier and exact version. Since you can download it separately from other programming tools, it’s a little easier to get into it. It’s all under the “Resources” section at www.blackberry.com/developers.

Again, you need to provide your e-mail address and company, as well as a job title, to download BlackBerry’s phone simulator. Be creative.

• WebOS: Did I leave this one out of the Halloween column? I did. It’s not that Palm got bought by HP and the future of this operating system is bleak, or that developing for it is fairly pointless and there are therefore no good apps worth playing with. Not at all. If you really want to spend your time on this, go to developer.palm.com. There’s even a beta SDK for version 2.0! Get ahead of the curve! The really bendy, twisty curve!


10/28/2010 Appy Alloween
10/21/2010 Ads ruin everything
10/14/2010 Waiting for Dogot
10/07/2010 Hybrid TV doesn't know it's own strength
9/30/2010 Eine Kliene Wrist Music
9/23/2010 Netbooks under $100
9/16/2010 Purchase perspective
9/02/2010 Free Music
8/19/2010 Long-lasting tech
8/12/2010 Cloud one
7/22/2010 Where you @?
7/15/2010 Memory game
7/8/2010 Second that motion

7/1/2010 When will tech cost more?
6/24/2010 Social media anxiety
6/17/2010 Hubba hubba
6/10/2010 Store it on USB
6/3/2010 Finance is personal
5/27/2010 Who says what now?
5/20/2010 Flash dance
5/13/2010 Geek chic
5/6/2010 Hewett Palmard
4/29/2010 Logo confusion
4/15/2010 Doubting my geek cred
4/8/2010 3D: Fad or future
4/1/2010 USB: The next generation
3/25/2010 What gadgets do to us
3/18/2010 Better netbooks afoot
3/11/2010 Kind of blue
3/4/2010 We want cheaper e-readers
2/25/2010 Know your vendor
2/18/2010 The Buzz is not good
2/11/2010 Process this
2/4/2010 Is the iPad worth it
1/14/2010 Kneel before Google
1/7/2010 Las Vegas shows the way12/31/2009 Reluctantly looking back
7/16/2009 What runs your phones
7/2/2009 Down with paint
5/21/2009 Laptop control
5/7/2009 Go organic
4/24/2009 Boot quickly with Linux
4/2/2009 Save cash with the Web
3/19/2009 Control from a distance
3/5/2009 Lucky number 7?
2/19/2009 Pop go the ads
2/12/2009 No DTV for you
2/5/2009 It's the internet ... on TV
1/1/2009 The road ahead
12/25/2008 Portability rising
12/18/2008 Video conversion gift guide12/11/2008 Audio conversion gift guide
12/04/2008 2008 photo gift guide
11/27/2008 Core to the core
11/20/2008 Frogs, Jackie Chan and Linux11/13/2008 How to tame the internet
11/06/2008 The mighty pen
10/30/2008 Eyeballs, meet video
10/23/2008 Be Buffy
10/16/2008 Trade in your stuff
10/9/2008 TV on the Web
10/2/2008 Netbook update
9/25/2008 Unified Gadget Theory

9/18/2008 The little MerChrome
9/11/2008 When in Chrome
9/4/2008 Busting a cap
8/28/2008 Web of politics
8/21/2008 One computer or two?
8/7/2008 Turning back time
7/31/2008 Cell phone projector
7/24/2008 Come on, feel the geek
7/17/2008 Adventures in China
7/10/2008 More memory
7/03/2008 Bringing China home
6/19/2008 Software fight
6/12/2008 Free energy
6/5/2008 Playing geotag
5/29/2008 Read on your screen
5/22/2008 Recession-proof?
5/15/2008 As in beer, and speech
5/8/2008 Whither XP
5/1/2008 Stuck on Craigslist
4/24/2008 Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
4/17/2008 See the Silverlight
4/10/2008 WiMax vs. LTE
4/3/2008 GPS in reverse
3/27/2008 Your video choices
3/20/2008 MP3 ain't all that
3/13/2008 That's hot
3/6/2008 Why not to go Blu
2/28/2008 Digital TV is coming
2/21/2008 An elgy for CompUSA
2/14/2008 My nerdy Valentine
2/7/2008 Yahoo! It's Microsoft!
1/31/2008 Roll on up
1/24/2008 Media calls DVD war for Sony
1/17/2008 Delete everything
1/10/2008 The cable conundrum
1/3/2008 When technology attacks
12/27/2007 A look back
12/13/2007 Inside your digital camera
12/6/2007 Phone frenzy, part 2
11/29/2007 Phone frenzy, part 1
11/22/2007 Giving thanks
11/15/2007 Gray areas
11/8/2007 Fantastic music
11/1/2007 Tiny browsing
10/25/2007 What's a Webkinz?
10/18/2007 Famous on and off the Web
10/11/2007 Print in the third dimension
10/04/2007 Do it yourself — really
9/27/2007 An update on updates
9/20/2007 The more things change...
9/6/2007 Ink wars
8/30/2007 Woody gadgets
8/23/2007 Pocket mice
8/16/2007 A clearer picture?
8/9/2007 One less box on your TV
8/2/2007 Prescription for subscription
7/26/2007 Record every show
7/19/2007 Main screen turn on
7/12/2007 Lasers in everyday life
7/5/2007 Radio by wire
6/28/2007 Don't believe the hours
6/21/2007 Get where you're going
6/14/2007 Enlighten yourself
6/7/2007 USB is hot
5/31/2007 USB is cool
5/24/2007 Gadgets for nothing
5/17/2007 Make your gadgets better
5/10/2007 You may now unplug
5/3/2007 Mobile is nothing
4/26/2007 Expand your wireless network
4/19/2007 Expand your wireless network
4/12/2007 Get a newer brain
4/5/2007 Get a newer brain
3/29/2007 Security can be free
3/22/2007 Paper that's not paper
3/8/2007 Use any file
3/1/2007 Audiobooks for free
2/22/2007 What's for sale today?
2/15/2007 Prints in your pocket
2/8/2007 Watch this
2/1/2007 How open is your source
1/25/2007 iPhone it now
1/18/2007 Simplify, simplify
1/11/2007 Vista time!
1/4/2007 Google killers?
12/28/2006 Tech that didn't happen
12/21/2006 Do not want
12/14/2006 Meet the new web
12/07/2006 Extreme price shopping
11/30/2006 They want what?
11/23/2006 Zat zany Zune
11/16/2006 Shop smart
11/9/2006 Your data's new home
11/2/2006 Hotkey heaven
10/26/2006 Computer to go
10/19/2006 Tech news roundup
10/12/2006 A different drummer
10/05/2006 Who needs TiVo?
09/28/2006 Disk drives without disks
09/21/2006 Movies, just click your mouse!
09/14/2006 Laptops for less
09/07/2006 GPS everywhere
08/31/2006 The printer dilemma
08/24/2006 A series of tubes
08/17/2006 More music, more places
08/10/2006 How big is your drive?
08/03/2006 It's a WiFi world
07/27/2006 Fancy a spot of memory?
07/20/2006 Under the sea
07/06/2006 eBaysic training
06/29/2006 You paid money for that?
06/22/2006 Processing ... processing ...
06/15/2006 C:\Run for the border
06/01/2006 The keyboard is mightier
05/25/2006 Geek phone home
05/18/2006 Super highway information
05/11/2006 How to host a site
05/04/2006 If they mated
04/27/2006 Apples to apples
04/20/2006 Flash uber-drives
04/13/2006 Web site, by you
04/06/2006 Ayyy, jaQ's right!
03/30/2006 Choose wirelessly
03/23/2006 Tax programs cometh
03/16/2006 And the Spammie goes to...
03/09/2006 Take in the Vista
03/02/2006 Cheap moviemaking
02/23/2006 Go directly to iJail

02/16/2006 Will you stamp your e-mail?
02/09/2006 War of the machines
02/02/2006 Faster than a speeding packet

01/26/2006 Free software made simple
01/19/2006 The Worst of CES
01/12/2006 Radio you
01/05/2006 Making Movies
A browser is to a car as ...

Behold, the $100 laptop
Beyond VCRs, Part 2
Beyond VCRs
Back-to-school basics
Big Brother is printing
Books without the paper
Essential Gadgets
Get it while it’s hot, used
High-tech garage sale
In touch with the future
Last-minute dork presents
Make your mark
Memory in your pocket
Microsoft must be scratching its head

No strings attached
Plastic junk for Halloween
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