When comparing Official Android SDK Emulator w/HAXM vs ARC Welder, the Slant community recommends Official Android SDK Emulator w/HAXM for most people. In the question“What are the best ways to run/emulate Android on a PC?” Official Android SDK Emulator w/HAXM is ranked 2nd while ARC Welder is ranked 5th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Accelerometer support
Pro Flexible interface
Pro Works on Windows/Mac/Linux
Pro Libre/Open source
Pro Various power characteristics can be emulated
Via the power command, AC charging state as well as battery state, presence, health and capacity can be changed.
Pro LCD density can be abstracted
Pro GPS emulation support
Longitute, latitude and altitude information can be supplied to the device once it's running. NMEA 1083 formatting is optional.
Pro Can simulate complex network environments
Each running instance of the emulator has a separate virtual router allowing complex simulations and setups. Network speed and delay can be simulated either by using presets for various network formats or manually entering desired values. It's even possible to interconnect one AVD to another AVD.
Pro The virtual device is capable of recording and playing back audio
Pro Camera support
Pro Allows sending an SMS to the virtual device
You can send an SMS using the command
sms send <senderPhoneNumber> <textmessage>
Pro GSM emulated modem allows telephony emulation
Telephony emulation allows simulating incoming calls as well as establishing and terminating data connections. Calls can be accepted, but there's no support for call audio.
Pro SD card emulation support
A disk image can be loaded into the emulator on startup to act as an SD card. This can be done via AVD Manager or mksdcard utility. While the SD card cannot be removed from a running emulator, files can still be moved, copied to and from, and removed from the card. The SD card can be of any size up to 128GB.
Works on Chrome 41+ on Windows, Mac, Chrome OS and Linux.
Pro Developed by Google
Even though it's a developer preview, it's likely to evolve quickly as Google is developing it. Since Google is also behind Android, it makes sense to use a more official way of running APK. If they don't work, you may check with the developer so it may eventually work.
Pro Allows running apps in a Chrome web browser
It installs as a Chrome App and runs on most operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS), even thought x86 support will be put in maintenance mode soon.
Con Setting up the whole environment is a hassle
Con No Bluetooth support
Con Can't place actual phone calls
While simulated phone calls can be placed and received, there's no call audio support.
Con Bad OS X support
Con Clunky UI around things like GPS and such
Con Not all Google Play services are yet supported
ARC Welder supports OAuth2, Google Cloud Messaging , Google+ sign-in, Maps, Location, and Ads APIs from Google Play services.
Con Only supports "arm" apk files
"x86" apk files don't work as of 20150422.