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Using the Cellular Emulator in the Windows Mobile 6 SDK

Testing your Windows Mobile app just got a lot easier! Learn how to set up both Windows Mobile 6 Professional and Standard emulators and work with the Cellular Emulator.

ne of the coolest things Microsoft has shipped with the Windows Mobile 6 SDK is the Cellular Emulator. The Cellular Emulator is a software-based emulator that emulates a real cellular network so that developers can test their phone and SMS applications without using a real device.

This article will walk you through the detailed steps for setting up your Windows Mobile 6 Professional and Standard emulators to work with the Cellular Emulator. You'll also learn about some of the pitfalls and what workarounds you can use to leverage the Cellular Emulator successfully.

Figure 1. Launching the Emulator: This shows the COM port number to which the Cellular Emulator is listening.

Launching the Cellular Emulator

To find the Cellular Emulator, go to Start—>Programs—>Windows Mobile 6 SDK—>Tools—>Cellular Emulator. After launching (see Figure 1), you can see the COM port number located at the bottom left of the screen. Most computers should display either COM3 or COM4.

Configuring a Windows Mobile Emulator to Connect to the Cellular Emulator

To launch a Windows Mobile emulator, launch Visual Studio 2008 and go to Tools—>Device Emulator Manager….

Select the emulator you want to use. As an example, choose a Professional emulator; right-click on Windows Mobile 6 Professional Emulator and select Connect (see Figure 2).

Author's Note: Remember that only Windows Mobile 6 Professional and Standard emulators can connect to the Cellular Emulator; Classic emulators cannot be used as they do not have phone radios.

Now, configure the Windows Mobile emulator by selecting File—>Configure…. In the emulator's Properties page, select the Peripherals tab. Under "Serial Port 0," enter the COM port that you see in your Cellular Emulator (see Figure 3). Click OK.

Figure 2. Selecting a Windows Mobile Emulator: For this example, choose a Professional emulator.
Figure 3. The COM Port: Configure the Windows Mobile emulator to connect to the same COM port used by the Cellular Emulator.

You need to perform a soft reset on the Windows Mobile Emulator (File—>Reset—>Soft). This is important because the emulator will not recognize the Cellular Emulator if you do not reset it. After the reset, the Windows Mobile emulator should have a full-signal indicator (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. Connected: The Windows Mobile emulator is now connected to the Cellular Emulator.
Figure 5. Signal Status: This shows the signal indicator on a Windows Mobile Standard emulator.

For a Windows Mobile Standard device, the signal will look like Figure 5.

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