Welcome to Android Apps for PC, a one stop website dedicated to several tutorials and how-to guides for running your favorite Android Apps on your Windows PC. Google Play currently hosts more than a million apps. Unfortunately, many of these apps do not have standalone PC or web versions; and so, people who do not have any Android devices with them cannot experience them.
Fortunately for them, there are a few software programs for Windows and Mac that can emulate the Android environment for running apps. Here, you will get step by step instructions on how to install and use these programs to run Android apps on your PC without the need of any dedicated Android device.
- 1 How to run Android Apps on PC
- 1.1 BlueStacks Android App Player
- 1.2 AndroVM - Android in a Virtual Machine
- 1.3 Genymotion Android emulator
How to run Android Apps on PC
BlueStacks Android App Player
BlueStacks App Player is an Android Emulator available for both Windows and Mac. Here’s how you can use BlueStacks to run your favorite Android Apps on PC.
Pre checks and Installation
Before you proceed with the BlueStacks installation process, there are a few things to verify in order to make sure you are ready to run BlueStacks. BlueStacks has the following common requirements.
- .NET Framework 3.5 or above.
- A suitable graphics card with updated drivers.
- Minimum 2 GB of RAM.
Make sure your PC fulfils all the above requirements. For more information, refer to the full article on Fix BlueStacks Installation and Runtime Problems.
Once you are ready to install BlueStacks on your computer, download the setup file and run the installer. You will need an active Internet connection as BlueStacks will download additional files during the installation process. There is also an offline installer if you want to install BlueStacks in offline mode.
Running Android Apps using BlueStacks
You can install apps in BlueStacks either by searching for them in BlueStacks or directly from an APK file. BlueStacks can install apps directly from Google Play, GetJar or the Amazon App Store. Just search and install apps from within BlueStacks; or if you already have the APK file, you can just double click on it to install the app inside BlueStacks.
Getting more out of BlueStacks
This is more or less the basic stuff about running Android apps within BlueStacks on PC. If you wish to push the limits, extend boundaries and get more things done with BlueStacks, here are a couple more tutorials for you.
BlueStacks can run most of your favorite Android Apps, but the App Player is based upon Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) ROM. The problem is some apps on Google Play run only on upgraded Android versions (ICS or JellyBean). If you want to run those apps on your PC, BlueStacks isn’t the right emulator for you.
AndroVM - Android in a Virtual Machine
AndroVM is another alternate for running Android Apps on PC. AndroVM is a custom Android ROM running inside VirtualBox. Currently, AndroVM uses Android Version 4.1.1. (JellyBean). As you might have guessed, AndroVM lets you to have the entire Android experience from your PC.
Install & Set up AndroVM on PC
- Download and install VirtualBox on your computer.
- Head on to the AndroVM website and download the following Android ROM: androVM_vbox86tp_4.1.1_r6.1-20130222-gapps-houdini-flash.ova
- Extract the downloaded file on your computer.
- Double click on the .OVF file. VirtualBox will automatically load the Android image into it.
- Next, you will be prompted to import settings for the image file. Click on Import.
- After the settings are imported, you are finally all set to power up your new Android device (inside VirtualBox).
- Double click the androVM image inside VirtualBox; Android will power up in a new window.
Note: When you start Android on VirtualBox, you will be prompted a few notifications. Just click OK and proceed. Android will boot up in the background.
Setting up Android for PC
The first time you start AndroVM, you need to set up the Android device. These steps are similar to setting up a real Android device when you power it up for the first time. The steps are briefly listed below:
- Select your language.
- Set up / Sign in to your Google Account.
- Set up your Google Wallet (Optional). Click on Not Now to skip this step.
- Configure Backup and Restore options for your device.
- Set up Location Services.
- Configure current date and time.
- Congratulations! Your virtual Android device is now fully set up.
Just one more thing, open up the App Drawer and select androVM config. Here, turn off Hardware OpenGL if you have a less powerful CPU. You can additionally enable the Physical Keyboard.
Genymotion Android emulator
AndroVM has now evolved into GenyMotion. If you have a good Graphics Card with OpenGL support, you may want to use it instead of GenyMotion. GenyMotion also includes common device hard keys as a part of the interface and has a standalone launcher. You need to sign up for a GenyMotion account in order to download the emulator. GenyMotion also includes separate Android 4.2 builds for different virtual devices.
How to install GenyMotion on your PC
- Sign up for a new GenyMotion account.
- Login to your account and navigate to the homepage.
- Click on the Download GenyMotion button.
- On the download page, select the suitable GenyMotion setup for your computer.
- If you are on Windows PC and do not have VirtualBox installed, download the combined GenyMotion + VirtualBox installer.
- If you are on Windows PC with VirtualBox already installed, just download the standalone GenyMotion installer.
- If you are on any other OS, download the respective version of VirtualBox for your system separately (from Oracle’s website) and then download the respective version of GenyMotion installer.
- Install GenyMotion with VirtualBox, if it isn’t already installed.
- Launch GenyMotion from the desktop shortcut just created (not GenyMotion Shell).
- Login to your Genymotion account and access the list of available Android images.
- Select a suitable image and click OK.
The selected image will be downloaded. After the download is complete, the specific image file will be shown inside GenyMotion Panel. Click on Play to start the virtual Android environment.
NB: GenyMotion requires a very powerful CPU and eats up a lot of resources. Running Android inside GenyMotion might affect your system’s performance and speed.