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3 free ways to run Android apps on your PC



Ever wanted to run an Android app or an Android game on your PC so you would not be directed to a tiny phone screen? Or you need to test a feature on Android, but you do not have an Android device at hand. There are three free ways to run Android (and its apps) on your computer.

Run your favorite apps with BlueStacks.

If you only want to run a few apps and do not want the emulator to look [19459009benötigen] like Android you should try BlueStacks . Over the years, it has become the best Android app emulator and offers many features to help ensure that your apps and games are running smoothly. Because Android emulation is used to emulate Android, you should jump to your computer's BIOS and enable Intel VT-x or AMD-V if your computer supports it for best performance.

  BlueStacks Android Emulator

Download BlueStacks and install it like any other Windows or Mac program. It will take up about 2 GB of space on your computer (plus any apps you download), and when it starts it will be greeted with its custom home screen. It does not mimic a traditional Android launcher, but gives you access to the Play Store to download all the apps you want. They appear as separate shortcuts on the BlueStacks splash screen and on your Windows desktop. Just double-click an icon to run that app.

BlueStacks is great for apps that do not have equivalent desktop apps, but the emulator is really great for games. BlueStacks includes built-in mouse and keyboard mappings that you can customize with the touch controls found in various Android games. You can also adjust the resolution, DPI, FPS, and CPU or RAM size assigned to the emulator to get the best balance between speed and graphical fidelity.

BlueStacks unfortunately brings some ads and clutter with it's not as intrusive as it used to, and it's a low price for the functionality you get – especially considering it's Android 7.1.1 as the base used, which is higher than most alternatives in the market.

Emulate Full Android Experience with Genymotion

If you want to explore the Android OS itself, not just individual apps, Genymotion is a decent emulator. The main product of Genymotion was developed for developers and costs money. However, there is a free version of the software that you can download for personal use. All you have to do is create an account on the site first.

  Genymotion Android Emulator

Genymotion uses VirtualBox to emulate Android. Therefore VirtualBox must either be installed on your PC or the version downloaded with VirtualBox. Install it like any other Windows program. Make sure that you select the version for "Personal Use" in the wizard. (And, as with BlueStacks, you want to enable Intel VT-x or AMD-V through your computer's BIOS, if any.)

When you start Genymotion, a list of device templates you can use will be displayed Screen resolution, the Android version, and the resources assigned to the emulator. Install the desired template and double-click it to launch Android. You can navigate the home screen, launch apps, and emulate specific events such as the GPS location.

Note that you start with a barebone version of Android that does not even come with Google Apps. If you want to have the Play Store, you'll need to click the "Open Gapps" icon in the upper-right corner to to install it. No matter which template you choose, you will not get any custom versions of Android. For example, if you opt for the Samsung Galaxy S9, you will not receive a Samsung One interface. It only determines the resolution and specifications of the virtual machine.

I found that Genymotion is a bit sluggish even on my fairly powerful PC, but its mileage may vary and it works well enough to explore Android's settings and other built-in features. If Genymotion does not meet your requirements, Google's official Android Software Development Kit will also come with an Android emulator, although the setup is a bit more complex. Therefore, I would not recommend it to most users.

Run Android directly on your PC with Android x86

If you're looking for something that has more features, you can get as close as possible to Android with the Android x86 project your pc. Android x86 is an open source project that ported Android to the x86 platform, so you can run it on your computer instead of an ARM-based phone or tablet.

  Android x86 emulator

There are several options available for you to run in Android x86. If you want to run Android as a desktop OS for your PC, you can download it as an ISO image and burn it to a USB drive with a program such as Rufus . Then connect the relevant USB drive to the PC in question, restart it and enter the Start menu (usually by pressing a key like F12 during startup).

By booting from your Android x86 USB drive, you can either run Android in a live environment without affecting your PC, or install it on your PC hard drive for long-term use (and improve performance).

Alternatively, you can also run Android x86 From your existing operating system, you can download the disc image and run it in the VirtualBox . Again, this is a bit more advanced if you are not familiar with VirtualBox, but our guide to running Windows on a Mac may familiarize you with the process.

The official website includes some tips for getting Android x86 up and running in a virtual machine . It's more work than using something like BlueStacks, but it's also closer to pure Android, which is a nice benefit.


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