It's not often I look at a product or service and say "I really really hope this isn't real, and it's an elaborate fake". Alas, this day has come. It's time for a look at something which cropped up on my radar today, namely a service called FileThis. I won't do them the search-engine-ranking honor of providing a direct link to their site, but a quick search will find them, and their app on the Play Store and iTunes store....
Jar of Beans: A Portable Android Emulator
An Android emulator is of course an invaluable tool for app developers, allowing testing of software to be carried out without the need of a physical device. An emulator is also a great way for anyone to try out an app before installing it to their device, whether it be for security reasons or if they just don’t have their device on hand at the time.
When it comes to availability, there are a number of Android emulators freely available for download. Google provide one as part of their Android SDK. Another freely available software package exists that allows you to run Android apps and games natively on a Windows PC or Mac. While using this software, XDA Forum Member unrealmanu began to dislike it and decided to have a go at creating his own Android emulator. And thus Jar of Beans was born.
Jar of Beans, as the name suggests, runs Android Jelly Bean (using 4.1.1 at present). It supports Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (HAXM), which provides hardware acceleration for the emulator to improve overall performance. One advantage Jar of Beans has over other emulators is that this one is completely portable and requires no installation. Execution is as simple as running an executable file.
Jar of Beans has a number of configuration options. You can choose from a number of resolutions in which to run the emulator, which has a significant benefit. When a resolution of 1280 x 768 or higher is chosen, the Android interface automatically switches to Android’s tablet mode.
A button is provided to allow you to install APK files stored on your computer, as well as buttons for controlling volume, given the obvious lack of physical hardware volume buttons. An ADB interface is also included in the emulator, allowing you to connect directly to the emulated Android system.
The latest beta version has added a number of new handy features. Multi-user support has been included, allowing each user to save their own custom settings. The ability to create a virtual SD card has also been added, which allows you to create an SD card of any size you wish, which is then of course seen in the emulator as a standard SD card.
A number of features are planned for upcoming versions. Unrealmanu hopes to include keyboard support to allow full text input from the computer keyboard. A choice of skins and additional resolutions are also on the to-do list.
If you want to take the emulator for a test drive, check out the software thread.
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!
More and more smartphone manufacturers have been moving towards on-screen buttons, with Google really pushing for it over the physical button alternative. However, there are still a few OEMs (we're looking at you, Samsung) that have preferred to keep things a bit more traditional. Tell us which way you prefer and why.
While there are frequent unexplained changes and pushes to Google's AOSP repositories, an interesting-looking new branch has been pushed out recently, called "master-soong". Taking a look at the changes made to the manifest repository (which is used to specify the repositories to be downloaded when building Android), it appears there are some new repositories making an appearance. Of note here are new prebuilt repositories for Go, and Ninja. Go is a programming language, created by Google, which compiles to produce...