Meet Manymo, a web-based Android emulator

Manymo, a web-based Android emulator

One of the challenges Android developers face is the wide array of devices their mobile apps have to support, each with a different screen size and resolution. Manymo can’t eliminate that problem, but it can make it easier for developers to test their software on various devices with different Android versions without actually having those devices. The solution is an emulator, which shows what an app looks like on a simulated device. That’s not new, but I haven’t seen many that run in a browser like Manymo does.

You actually don’t have to be a developer to see or use the product. Just hit up the Manymo site and launch the virtual device screen of your choice. You’ll get a basic version of Android with very few apps installed, but the browser works, illustrating the concept. App developers wanting to use Manymo to install their own software for development and testing must sign up for an account. For the moment, that’s free:

When we’re ready to start charging we’re thinking that we’ll continue to offer free access, but with a limit such that people who use it enough that they should pay do pay.

The idea here is clever: Instead of requiring a high-performance computer to test Android apps, it can be done in any browser on any machine. Manymo even works on my Chromebook’s meager hardware, for example. And it lets developers work on their apps even when away from their machines if they have access to their project files. Even better: There’s no need to borrow or purchase different Android devices to test for different screen sizes or Android versions.

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