Using Android emulator for messaging?

Who here does this?

I am happy enough with some rather old-school forms of computer communication. But as I try to do more meatspace networking in my area, I am increasingly running into people who only text-message each other, using Snapchat, Kik, and others. My ancient Android 2.X phone is basically resigned to PDA duties these days since I cannot afford phone service. And to my amazement, hardly any chat clients offer desktop versions.

So I am thinking about the possibility of installing an Android emulator/IDE and using it as a chat client. My main system is LinuxMint 17.3. But there are compound difficulties that I don’t know the Android nor the chat apps. So I imagine that there might be a curve of getting it working, or even knowing whether or not I’ve gotten it working. A few things I like about this possible arrangement is being able to use wired ethernet and an actual keyboard instead of a phone.

Would it work? Is it crazy? Any ideas or opinions?


I’ve looked into android emulation a few times. It may be worth giving a try. It’s also possible to set up an Android virtual machine. I’m not sure what the performance difference is but the virtual machine looked more interesting to me.

This looks like a pretty thorough guide to installing marshmallow as a virtual machine. I’d go marshmallow instead of the latest for your use because the other one is in beta and it’s less likely the apps you want will work on it.

Emulation may still be the better option if you don’t have lots of RAM because the virtual machine needs a gig of RAM. I don’t have an x86 Linux box right now or I’d take this as my excuse to test out both for you. :laughing:

Best of luck. :slight_smile:


Couldn’t you just use these services over wifi with the phone?

I don’t use wifi, and the phone is old enough that I am skeptical about the availability of chat clients for it. It worked great as a phone, but times when I have tried to use it via wifi at airports, cafés, etc it has always been worse than useless - I don’t know how much of that is due to the service or its reception. Either way, real ethernet and keyboard are far preferable for me.

From cursory searches, it seems like the official Android IDE for Linux will do this, whereas virtual machines require touching or mousing a virtual screen.


Android emulation still sucks, and you won’t be connected to a cell network for SMS. If your apps use plain-data, then it could work.

But if you value your time, a cheap smartphone might provide the best time:money:performance ratio.


Are there really no SMS gateways netside? That’s crazy.

I have no idea. That’s why I am asking here! I know that there are various protocols, but I don’t know how plain they may be.

IMO value lies in learning how to do things

I am not going to expect performance for zero money, otherwise I would simply use the phone I have.

It would seem terribly obscure that I have a houseful of computers but could not use them to simply communicate in packetized ASCII.


Just get a google voice number. You can do SMS using the Voice app; Hangouts; or via email (don’t recall if the messenger SMS app works without mobile service.)


I don’t know about Voice or Hangouts these days but the web client for Gmail used to let you send people text messages. If the apps @popobawa4u intends to use works primarily over SMS on the “device” it might be kind of iffy no matter what else is going on.


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