New Windows Mobile Smartphone Landscape Emulator Available

Good news for Windows Mobile developers eager to test their applications on (presumably) forthcoming devices - there's a new emulator for Visual Studio 2005 that simulates a 320 by 240 landscape-mode Smartphone device. Is there no end to the permutations of screens and Pocket PC / Smartphone variations? Probably not.



Hopefully this emulator will help you deal with the growing number of oddly shaped screens out there. It's got a cool keyboard too!


Here's some advice to all Windows Mobile developers: make your applications as smart as possible when it comes to screen size and orientation. We're working on some docs and sample code to make this easier, but really: try to make your application adjust on the fly. Is this a pain? Sure it is, but the more you can future-proof your applications, the better.


Download the emulator here. Make sure to restart Visual Studio after installing, and it will then appear as one of the emulator types you can use when testing your application.


I keep hearing that writing apps to make use of the multiple screen sizes is a big pain point: so we're working on the docs and code, as I said. I also hear that security and application signing is another issue - so again, we're working on some more information on that too. Both should be covered by MEDC.


What other pain points do I need to add to my list?

Comments (16)

  1. There is a new Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone Landscape Screen Emulator Image for Visual Studio 2005 available…

  2. Jack says:

    WOW! AKU 2.0.0 is included!

    At last there is a way for a developer to get AKU2 from Microsoft.

    I had almost given up on this…

  3. MSDN Archive says:

    I’m very interested to know why, as a developer, you are excited about AKU 2…

    Care to share?

  4. Jack says:

    The thing is that since Microsoft does not provide any documentation about AKU updates for developers, so I have no idea what an AKU update might do to my applications.

    Some AKU updates bring new features like service packs to .NET Compact Framework or a new version of Media Player.

    As a developer I’m interested in testing my applications on the latest available version of the operating system I am targeting. It does not matter if there are no real benefits using the latest version. I want to test what my users will be using. The emulator is the only thing I have other than actually buying all kinds of devices.

    I was also under the impression that .NET Framework 2.0 was to be included in AKU2. But it seems like this is not the case.

    As an Exchange administrator I’m interested in testing the new messaging features before my users gets their devices updated.

    By running the new emulator image I found out this myself by just clicking around:

    * There is finally a File Explorer for Smartphone!

    * Windows Media Player has been updated to version 10.2

    * There seems to be camera support

    * A new Wireless Manager

    * The default home layout has been slightly modified (clock)

    It would be great if Microsoft could publish a document describing these and other changes (for every AKU release).

  5. tsaylor says:

    This is great news!  One question: I notice that when I deploy an application under this version, I get a message saying that the app might not display properly because it was designed for an earlier version of Windows Mobile.  Any idea how to eliminate this message?  I’ve tried PlatformMax/VersionMax, and BuildMax=E0000000 to no avail.

  6. Arpit says:

    Hi John,

    nice blog you got going here 🙂

    Is there some blog which can give me a perspective on what a PM in the MSN Mobile Search dvision does? I have been unable to find blogs by anyone in that group – would love it if you could point me to some sources!

    Thanks 🙂

  7. Jack says:

    What happend to my reply?

  8. MSDN Archive says:

    Hi Jack – your reply was received. However, because these blogs get a LOT of spam, the Blog owner has to confirm each commet. When the blog owner happens to go away for a few days vacation, the comments have to wait. Your feedback is great, thanks for taking the time to reply.

    In general, the AKU release documentation is not public: it’s just for the OEMs who create the devices. This is because most of the time, the changes don’t have any impact on an ISV. Sometimes there are things that DO impact ISVs, and then the changes get into the SDK documention at the next update. Which is why it’s always a good idea to check the SDK docs on MSDN, as they updated from time to time (last update Febrary, next update scheduled for May).

    Arpit – a PM in the MSN Search Team? I think I have a link – but you’ll have to email me your email address. Just use johnkenn @ and I’ll hook you up.

  9. tsaylor says:

    To answer my earlier question: to prevent the "might not display properly" message upon install, the trick is to include a "BuildMax = 0xE0000000" setting in the [CEDevice] section of the .inf file used to create the install CAB.  Also, it seems that the Smartphone 2002 version of CabwizSP.exe does not support this setting, so the 2003 version or later is required.

  10. Jack says:

    Ok, I understand that the AKUs are for OEMs. But the changes affect me anyway. As a developer, administrator and user.

    I simply don’t understand why AKU changes and additions should be a big secret for anyone but Microsoft and the OEMs.

    It should be in Microsofts interest to provide developers with documentation and emulator images with at least the latest major AKU version available.

    I can’t find the very much AKU-related documentation in the SDK documents on MSDN.

    Searching for AKU only brings one or two hits.

    I would like an official change history for Windows Mobile and the AKUs.

  11. MSDN Archive says:


    The main reason for not publicly broadcasting AKU details is that AKUs tend to contain features that OEMs may or *may not* include in their devices. For example, it may support a new piece of hardware that is specific to a new device.

    If that new AKU was taken to be the new version of Windows Mobile 5, then "platform fragmentation" would occur, where an API was available on Device A, and not on Device B.

    What happens with a software developer uses this API, and the owner of Device B buys and installs it? It doesn’t work. Frustration and confusion all around. Not to mention multiple versions of the SDK for developers to fight with.

    Of course, ideally, all information would be publicly available and we would trust developers to do The Right Thing. If nothing else, that would make our job easier when it comes to documentating it all! 🙂

    However, the risk of creating multiple platforms is a very real one, and for the moment at least, that’s one reason why AKU material isn’t released publicly.

    And that’s why any application written for Windows Mobile 5 runs on a device that has Windows Mobile 5 on it.

    Hope that helps.

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