Smartphone Skills: Part 02 - Setup and Device Emulators

In my last post (Smartphone Skills: Part 01 - Introduction) I ran through a few of the links that you can use to get started with Smartphone development. In this post I will discuss how to setup the .NET 2 development environment and use the Device Emulator Manager.

Assuming you already have Visual Studio.NET 2005 installed including the compact framework, the next steps are to download and install the rest of the tools you will need.

ActiveSync 4.1 (or latest version)

Download and install ActiveSync 4.1 if you have not already done so. ActiveSync is required by the Windows Mobile 5 SDK (next step). ActiveSync is used to synchronize the data and generally help you communicate with the mobile device. It also facilitates the installation of software from a PC to the device.

Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK for Smartphone 

Download the Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK for Smartphone and install it. This will give you all that you need to develop for the Smartphone. Make sure you download and install the Smartphone edition as there is also an edition for the Pocket PC available. Again, these are 2 different flavors of the Windows Mobile 5 OS. You can install both SDK’s if you intend to develop for both types of devices.

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Once the SDK is installed, you will be able to create projects for the mobile devices. The SDK installs project templates that you can use to do this. The SDK also install the Device Emulator Manager, which gets added to your Tools menu in the Visual Studio.NET IDE. The Device Emulator Manager allows you to choose the destination device type that you want to test your application in. When you install the Smartphone SDK, several emulators are installed and show up in the available emulator list in the Device Emulator Manager including a versions for Smartphone 200 and Windows Mobile 5. When testing your application, you can select which emulator to run the app in. This is a great feature since it allows you to test the applications without installing software on a target device (and uninstalling, installing, repeat process … yuk). It also allows you to develop and test software for multiple target devices.


Custom Device Emulators

OK, so you bought a specific device and you want to make sure your application works in that specific device. Some manufacturers provide developers access to tools that help them develop software for their devices. Motorola provides a web site that has several tools and other information to assist developers. Since I recently bought a Motorola Q Smartphone, I went to their MotoDev web site and found the Motorola Q tools. On this page I downloaded the emulator for the 320x240 landscape screen (because the Q has a screen that is different from most Smartphones and PDA’s in that its screen is not square not portrait … it is landscape). This is actually a link to the Microsoft download site.

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I then installed the emulator for the landscape screen. I could have stopped there as it would have given me what I needed to test the landscape UI, but I went one step further and downloaded and installed the Q plug-in for the landscape emulator. This plug-in adds an additional emulator to the Device Emulator Manager that looks just like the Motorola Q (similar to a skin). Of course, these custom emulators are not critical, you can sue the default ones that come with the Windows Mobile 5 SDK. Its just an extra step to make your emulator look and feel more like the target device. Its always a good idea to try your application’s code out in as many emulators as you are targeting devices.

Once you have have ActiveSync, the SDK and the emulators installed … you can start developing.


<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=1> <TR bgColor=navy> <FONT color=#ffffff>Smartphone Skills Series:

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Hi, I'm John Papa. I author this blog, create courses for Pluralsight and am a Google Developer Expert and Microsoft Regional Director. I travel speaking at events and train technology thought leaders