This post was most recently updated on April 22nd, 2019
The Android ecosystem is popular for its versatility, openness and flexibility. I mean just about any developer can develop an application and publish it on the play store. This particular feature of the Android OS enables the availability of a plethora of Android apps many of which are not available on other platforms like Windows or iOS. In today’s article, I shall be listing and explaining 4 medium by which you can run Android app On Windows, Mac or Linux.
There is no denying the fact that sometimes it looks selfish when you are enjoying a video alone on your phone while you are in the midst of others who wish to enjoy with you. Occasionally, you just wish to spend hours on your PC without your social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, messengers…distracting you. Well, I want to tell you today that it is possible to run your favourite Android apps on your computers in about 4 different ways. Isn’t that interesting?
4 Effective Ways to run Android app On Windows, MacOS & Linux
Earlier in one of my articles, I gave a tutorial on how to connect your smartphones to your HDTV /Smart tv in other to watch your smartphone’s contents on your widescreen. You can get the article here. Today I will be sharing with you 4 ways to run Android app On Windows(windows or mac basically).
BlueStacks App Player
BlueStacks App Player avails you the opportunity of getting multiple apps and games to run effectively and efficiently on your computer with minimum effort. The BlueStacks App actually runs a full (heavily modified) version of Android behind the scenes. Not only that, but it has the Play Store built-in, so you have instant access to all of your purchased content. It actually adds an entry to your Google Play device list, masquerading as an Android device.
The BlueStacks client will load up in a desktop window with different app categories like games, social, and so on. Clicking on an app or searching does something unexpected — it brings up the full Play Store client as rendered on tablets. You can actually navigate around in this interface just as you would on a real Android device. Apparently, there’s a lot more to BlueStacks than the “App Player” front end. In fact, you can install a third-party launcher like Nova or Apex from the Play Store and set it as the default. Use the link above to download Bluestack from their official website.
ARC Welder for Chrome
One of the easiest ways to get Android apps running on your Windows PC is to use Google’s ARC Welder Chrome extension (ARC stands for App Runtime for Chrome). Since this is a Chrome extension, it’s not only restricted to Windows PCs. You could also use this method on a Mac. The process is much the same no matter which platform you’re using Chrome on. Simply head to the Chrome Web Store and grab the ARC Welder extension to get everything you need to start using it.
ARC Welder is a beta tool, and it’s mainly directed at developers. Still, the process of loading an app is quite simple. It’s similar to the platform Google is using for running Android apps on Chrome, but without the Play Store. You’ll need an APK to load into ARC Welder (known as sideloading), which you can get from backing up an app on your physical Android device, or you can download an APK from any number of places on the internet. There are a few sites that archive legitimate free APKs, like APK Mirror. So please beware of cracks and pirated apps from unknown sources
3. Android PC Ports
The process of getting to port android os on a computer is somehow stressful however if you don’t mind a little extra hassle, you can have a more fluid Android app experience by installing a modified version of the OS on your PC. The two leading choices for a full Android installation on PC are the Android-x86 Project and Remix OS (pictured above), which is based on x86.
Neither one is in a perfect state, but Remix OS is a little more fleshed out. Remix requires at least 2GB of RAM and a 2GHz dual-core processor, but practically, you’ll need more than that for a good experience for graphically intensive apps, please use the recommended requirements as against the minimum requirements. You could install either over your existing windows installation, but that’s not the best idea. The smarter way would be to create a separate hard drive partition and install Android there. The Remix installer will help you do that. There’s no Google Play integration when you install Android ports, but sideloading Play Services is fairly simple with Remix.
4. Run Android app On Windows with “The Android Emulator”
If your own preference is to test an app briefly or temporarily on PC before transferring it into your android phone, then, the next most straightforward way to get Android apps running on a PC is to go through the Android emulator released by Google as part of the official SDK. The emulator can be used to create virtual devices running any version of Android you want with different resolutions and hardware configurations. The first downside of this process is the somewhat complicated setup process.
You’ll need to grab the SDK package from Google’s site and use the included SDK Manager program to download the platforms you want — probably whatever the most recent version of Android happens to be at the time (7.0 at the time of publishing). The AVD manager is where you can create and manage your virtual devices. Google makes some pre-configured options available in the menu for Nexus devices, but you can set the parameters manually too. Once you’ve booted your virtual device, you’ll need to get apps installed, but the emulator is the bone stock open source version of Android — no Google apps included.
Since there’s no Play Store, you’ll need to do some file management. Take the APK you want to install (be it Google’s app package or something else) and drop the file into the folder in your SDK directory. Then use the command prompt while your AVD is running to enter (in that directory)
adb install filename.apk. The app should be added to the app list of your virtual device.
The big upside here is that the emulator is unmodified Android right from the source. The way apps render in the emulator will be the same as they render on devices, and almost everything should run. It’s great for testing app builds before loading them onto test devices. The biggest problem is that the emulator is sluggish enough that you won’t want to make a habit of running apps in it. Games are really out of the question as well. I remember using something similar to this back in the day when I use to mod java file… that was known as Kemulator.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Obviously, if you get an android app running on your computer especially your laptop, you can easily connect it to your HDTV directly via HDMI cable which can, in turn, serves the whole family in the living room. We have more advanced ways of watching android contents on the larger screen. Notable of this method is casting of the app to your TV wirelessly.
On the other hand, even if you do not have a PC that has an HDMI port, streaming your videos on your PC is much more convenient than doing that on even the widest android tablet you can lay your hands on.
As for my recommendations, I will advise any new user to use BlueStack as it is the best and the easiest to use. Alternatively, you can use ARC. Only developers or anyone who doesn’t wish to use the app on pc for long should use “the emulator” If you do not wish to use an internet connection to launch the application and you don’t mind the hassles, use “the android-porting method”. Do not forget to share this wonderful post with your friends and families.