For a while now it has been known that Visual Studio 2015 will ship with an Android emulator. There are a few of these on the market and in my opinion, Microsoft has the fastest and most robust one, especially when developping with Xamarin.
Now, for what i am doing lately, i end up running Visual Studio 2013 with Xamarin but require and Android Emulator. Currently that requires me to open Visual Studio 2015 RC, open the Android emulator dialog, choose an emulator image and launch it. At that point I can use it from Visual Studio 2013.
I did some digging aroud, and this is the command line tool that ends up being used to launch the emulator. I discovered it using ProcessExplorer.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft XDE\10.0.1.0\xde.exe" /sku Android /displayName "VS Emulator 4.5\" Lollipop (5.0) XHDPI Phone" /memSize 1024 /diagonalSize 4.5 /video "720x1280" /vhd "C:\Users\Erik\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudioEmulator\Android\Containers\Local\Devices\vhd\4.5_Lollipop_(5.0)_XHDPI_Phone\image.vhd" /name "VS Emulator 4.5-inch Lollipop (5.0) XHDPI Phone.erik"
Put that in a “cmd” file and there you go, a quick way to launch the Android emulator.
p.s. this particular command line won’t work for you unless you are named Erik 🙂