Emulating Mobile Devices For Offline Data Access

A couple of years ago I talked about how you can emulate a Blackberry on your PC if you don't own a physical device. More recently I've needed to emulate a device running Windows Mobile and found the best instructions on how to do this at the Google Gears website.


As you can see above I managed to get it working and without too much bother. In fact it's very straight-forward -- just make sure you read the instructions on the Gears site in detail.

It's no coincidence I found the instructions on the Google Gears site as it's Gears which I'm interested in developing with.

The requirement is to make an existing web-accessed Domino application work offline for handheld "PC" users who will then be able to "replicate" back to the server once they have the signal needed to do so.

It's all very interesting stuff and I hope to be able to share what I learn along the way with you guys. At some point there'll probably be a "Hello world" demo download that shows how Gears can work with Domino data.

There is also an Android emulator, an iPhone simulator (requires you to be a "Registered iPhone Developer") and Symbian S60 emulator. Anybody know of others?

My only concern with this approach to development is that, while it might test the code works, it doesn't mimic the end result of the actual "user experience". If you care for your users then, at some point, you might want to get your hands on the real thing and run through the whole process with a mobile in your hand. This is what I plan to do before I declare it fully tested and working.


  1. I now do a lot of development with BlackBerry devices and simulators are so much easier to use than the real things. For one, if you screw them up you don't miss your phones calls. :)

    You can get all the simulators you need for development work from http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/resources/simulators.jsp

    In fact there are a whole load of Development resources on the main BlackBerry developers site. Take a while to look it over. I've offered to do a talk at UKLUG on developing in Notes/Domino with BlackBerry devices specifically in mind.

    Well it does kind of figure really... (See I changed my normal email address!)

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Fri 22 May 2009 03:38 AM

    You work for RIM Dragon?

  2. Does it show? (^_^)

  3. Jake,

    Not so much a simulator, though it does have some Java applets that emulate devices I like:


    • avatar
    • Indy
    • Fri 22 May 2009 04:52 AM

    Jake we have lots of old HP ipaq 6515 PDA's win mobile with crashing problems (badest PDA on earth :) but great for testing as long as you keep power on it. if you want one just let me know....

  4. just watch the S60 simulator - I downloaded it to try travel(l)er but it doesn't recognise traveler


    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Fri 22 May 2009 05:00 AM

    Appreciate the offer Indy, but only if it's not a bother for you -- that is you're in the UK?

    • avatar
    • CJ
    • Fri 22 May 2009 05:32 AM

    I've never used Gears, so will be interested to see how that works with domino.

    Did you consider using DOLS which comes with domino? I haven't used it in absolutely ages, and for all I know it might not even work with on mobile devices, but wondered if there were some major advantages of using the gears technology?

    • avatar
    • Indy
    • Fri 22 May 2009 05:34 AM

    Nope not in the UK, but Holland. But a post package would be to hard for me. Just mail me the address you want it sent to.....

  5. Ahoy there Dragon...Congratulations on the rim.com thing (I'm assuming this is a new situation for you)

    I have always been fascinated by your anime url that you usually put up.(I click all of the website links on Jake's site to see interesting domino stuff) This is a world that I don't understand, but was interested to see that you have a large membership and product catalogue, + lounges for users and all of the expected stuff.

    I was wondering if you are involved in animation, or is it a particular interest of yours, or just a paid situation.

    I only ask because of my ignorance of the genre...You're site looked very interesting.

    Sorry Jake for turning codestore into Linked in!!!!



  6. @Nick, new(ish) - a few months. Queue jokes about me having a RIM job. :p

    As for the rest of it, not appropriate here. This is about Mobiles and their respective simulators. If you want to know about BlackBerry simulators then ask away. I get to play with all sorts of cool tools to do with BBs. I run the latest and greatest OS releases. I get to see features way before the general public do. I'm even responsible for certain parts of it all.

    So if people ask about Mobile Devices, I will answer in the best way I can. Jake asked. I answered. I will recommend BBs over any otehr device. Not only because I work for them, but because I do think they have an awful lot of features that are underused and underestimated. Kind of like Domino.

    No wonder they work so well together.

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Fri 22 May 2009 07:37 AM

    @Dragon. Question: Can I have one please?

  7. Sure, just nip along to your local Vodafone shop and get one. :)

    You can get them free on certain tarifs. Others you may have to pay a £50 fee for upgarde (I did for my personal device - a Javelin [Curve 8900]).

    I prefer the qwerty keypad devices rather than touchpad like the Storm. But having said that, the new Odin's are pretty damn smart. Ideal for the consumer market.

    And yes of course you can get your emails on them. In fact they work pretty well if you have MAPI setup on your Domino server. Of course in a corporate environment you can use the good old BlackBerry Enterprise Server for even more added goodness. (Especially with the new 5.0 Server!)

    However there are some tricks you can do no matter what you use them for. But I'll be writing more of that over at notesberry.org in the coming few weeks.

    In the meantime, Jake. I'll see what I can do. Don't hold your breath though. :/

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Written by Jake Howlett on Fri 22 May 2009

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