There are plenty of reasons why you would want to use an Android emulator on PC. For starters, it offers you the incredible Android experience on the big screen. It provides ease of interaction by replacing taps with mouse clicks and keypad with the keyboard. Playing the games on a larger display is sometimes more fun. If you happen to be a developer, you can test your apps on the PC, which is definitely more convenient. We catalogue the top 8 Android emulators for Windows you can use. Keep reading!
When we begin to talk about best Android emulators for Windows, BlueStacks is arguably the first name that crosses our minds, and why not? BlueStacks has been around for quite some time now and is considered to have pioneered the Android emulation technology. BlueStacks works on Android KitKat 4.4, which may seem like quite an old deal to many. But, there is no denying that it is a very well designed and highly functional Android app player for PC you will find today.
It seems that BlueStacks hasn’t been able to catch up with the competition, in spite of being one of the most popular names. Many new players have entered the market and seem to offer better performance and more features. Yet, we reckon that BlueStacks merits a mention in the list of top emulators. BlueStacks has a free version as well as a paid version. It is a user friendly interface. It is easy to use.
2. Remix OS Player
Remix OS Player, as the name suggests, is the Android player for Windows. It is a much more advanced emulator as compared to many other on this list. It is available on both Windows and Mac. This – totally free of cost – Android emulator, runs on a rather newer Android version 6.0 or Marshmallow. It is an advanced player and thus not supported on some of the chipsets by AMD. You must also enable Virtualization Technology in your BIOS setup in order to use this player.
Remix OS Player has a very attractive looking and yet highly functional interface. The layout is very well organized with absolutely no clutter. It has shortcut buttons nicely placed on the desktop and there is a taskbar along the bottom edge of the screen. It allows direct access to Google Play Store, which means you can get instant access to all the apps you want. If you love to play Android games on the bigger screen of your computer, you will be happy to know that this emulator has been optimized for gaming.
MEmu is another great Android emulator you would love to have on your Windows PC. This emulator uses the Jellybean 4.2 Kernel but you can upgrade to Android lollipop. All you need to do is install some extra packages. MEmu is compatible with almost all the Windows PCs but works best on the newer computers, especially the ones with graphic cards. Thankfully, it is supported on all the AMD chipsets, which isn’t quite the case with Remix OS Player.
Just like Remix, it comes packed with Google Play Store pre-installed. This allows you to quickly download all the Android apps you would like to use on your PC. In case you are looking to side-load an app not available on Play Store, you can easily unpack and install the APK files saved on your computer’s hard drive. MEmu is a lightweight and functional Android emulator with loads of features. It does not have one of the recent Android versions, but still offers plenty to the users. MEmu is fee to download and use.
4. Nox App Player
Nox App Player is a relatively new Android emulator. But, in a very short span of time it has made its presence felt. Although Nox runs on the old KitKat version, just like BlueStacks, it offers better performance and more advanced functions. Nox App Player is a feature rich emulator and yet lightweight. It barely has any effect on the performance of your computer when it is running. The interface may look a little baffling in the beginning as it packs lots of feature at one place. But, once you have familiarised yourself to it, you may not want to use any other emulator.
Google Play Store is built in to Nox and thus getting the mainstream apps is incredibly easy. If you have an APK for a third-party app, just drag and drop it over the interface and let the emulator do rest of the installing. If you like to use rooted Android, there is a rooter version as well. All the iterations and variants are free of cost.
LeapDroid is considered to be one of the most solid Android emulators of all times. LeapDroid has been officially discontinued. Google acquired the company and later shut its shops. But, this does not mean you cannot get it for your Windows PC. There are plenty of third-party sources from where you can download the installation files.
LeapDroid is an old emulator based on Android KitKat 4.0 (which was new when the emulator was launched). However, it is still one of the best options to gain access to Android ecosystem from your computer. Like the others on the list, it comes pre-installed with Play Store. It also lets you install the apps using the APK files saved on your hard drive. Since the emulator has been discontinued, do not expect any support from the developers. While it is a well designed program, it may still contain some bugs that have not been fixed and there have been no updates. And of course, it is free to download and use.
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Genymotion was primarily designed to be used by the Android developers but became popular among the personal users as well. It is a more advanced emulator, as you may have guessed already, since it is used by the developers. It requires you to turn on the virtualization technology in BIOs before you can use it. You will also need to install the most updated edition of VirtualBox to use Genymotion. Once you have downloaded it, simply create and account and start using the emulator.
One of the most amazing things about Genymotion is that you can install almost any version of Android on it. So, whether you wish to use the latest Nougat 7.0 or the old KitKat 4.4, you can get it all.
Genymotion has a free version for personal users. But, if you need it for commercial or development purposes, you will need to buy the premium version. The paid iteration of the app unpacks loads of advanced features. Genymotion is great for developers. If you are a casual user, you would rather want to use one of the other emulators on this list.
If you are looking for an advanced, feature-rich, developer friendly Android emulator, AMIDuOS is another option for you. Like the other advanced emulators, AMIDuOS requires you to enable the virtualization technology in BIOS. You also need to make sure your computer has Microsoft Net 4.0 or above.
There is one glaring problem with DuOS, especially if you want it for personal use. It does not support Google Play Store. Instead, it has built in Amazon App Store. When it comes to the collection of apps, Amazon’s Store is no match to Google Play Store. Of course this emulator lets you install the apps from the APKs. But, it might be quite a hassle. You will need to find the APK files for all the apps and download it on your PC. AMIDuOS is not free but it offers a 30 day trial. If truth be told, we would recommend you to use other emulators for personal use.
Andy is also a good option if you are looking for a fuss-free, minimal, and lightweight Android emulator. In fact, if you are used to BlueStacks but want a replacement, Andy could be a viable alternative. It offers quite satisfactory Android experience on your PC. It can run all the mainstream as well as third-party apps. It has a user friendly and easy to use interface. It is completely free of cost.
The only reason why it makes to the bottom of the list is because it is not as stable as the others. But, over time, it has become less problematic as compared to what it used to be once.
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