Have you ever wanted to play your favorite Android apps on Windows 10? While some apps are actually available in the Windows Store, such as Candy Crush, others are only available on your Android device. Luckily, there are a few ways to make your Windows 10 desktop into a virtual Android device.
Why Run Android Apps on Windows 10
Many useful and fun apps are only available on Android or iOS, but you’d love the same things on your Windows 10 desktop. For instance, imagine playing mobile RPG games on a larger screen. It’d be much easier to navigate and see what you’re doing. Productivity apps would be great to have while you work on your desktop.
Android emulators are designed to allow you to run most Android apps on Windows devices. You get to enjoy the apps you love without constantly switching between your phone and desktop. The great thing is you’ll log in to the Google Play Store using your Google account, so you can sync your Android device with the virtual Android device on your Windows desktop.
Most emulators install just like a normal Windows program. This makes it easy to get started and you don’t have to fool with numerous settings.
Related Read: How to Get a Better Android Battery Life
AMIDuOS is designed to create a complete Android environment on your Windows 7, 8, or 10 desktop, laptop, or tablet. It works as an emulator, so it’s easy to switch between Android and Windows in just a tap or click.
Simply download the program and follow the prompts to install. It’s free for 30 days and starts at $10 for the Jellybean version or $15 for the Lollipop/Jellybean version. It’s the only emulator on this list that actually requires a fee. However, you can try it for the trial period to see if you like it better than other options.
By default, it’s pre-loaded with the Amazon Appstore, but you can download and install the Google Play Store. Launch AMIDuOS, download the Google Play Store, right-click on the downloaded file, and click Apply to AMIDuOS to update the program.
Just like with your Android device, the emulator features full touch and gesture support. It also supports a normal mouse and keyboard for the best of both worlds. You can also share files, videos, and images between Windows and Android.
Remix OS is a popular way to run Android Apps on Windows 10. It’s in constant development, meaning you’ll get faster access to newer versions of Android. Instead of simply being a carbon copy of an Android device screen, the emulator works as a second operating system.
This makes it a great mix between Android and a desktop environment. You’re also able to easily share files between Windows and Android to use with your favorite apps. Just like with a desktop, you have a taskbar, multiple window support, and a file management system. By default, Remix OS comes with the Google Play Store.
However, you have to create a dual-boot environment to use Remix OS, so you can’t easily switch between Windows and Android. You’ll have to restart your computer each time to switch.
Before you install Remix OS, you’ll need to disable Secure Boot. This setting is designed to prevent dual-boot environments. Hold down the Shift key while selecting Restart. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options: UEFI Firmware Settings. Depending on your computer manufacturer, the Secure Boot setting may be in the Authentication, Boot, or Security tab. Set it to Disabled.
Start by downloading and installing Remix OS. Now, you have to restart and boot into Remix OS. According to the support for Remix OS, press F9 for HP devices and F12 for Dell and Lenovo devices to enter the boot options screen. Select Remix OS.
Andy is one of the more frustrating ways to run Android Apps on Windows 10. While it works smoothly, you’ll see some ads and the installer wants to add in a Chrome plugin. However, you can opt out of the extras during the installation.
Much like AMIDuOS, Andy creates a virtual environment on your Windows 10 desktop. This means no need to dual-boot every time you want to use your favorite apps. The program is free to install and use, which is part of why you’ll see ads. Plus, you’ll see ads in some of the apps, just like you’d experience on your Android devices.
One fun thing is the controller support. Andy supports using your Xbox and Playstation controllers. You can also use your Android phone as a remote.
The program comes with the Google Play Store by default. However, you can install other app stores if you want. You’re able to easily save files to the cloud, meaning you don’t have to worry about Android files taking up space on your desktop. Apps can interact with your desktop’s camera and microphone to use popular apps, such as Snapchat.
BlueStacks is one the most advanced ways to run Android apps on Windows 10. It’s completely free, though you can pay a $2 monthly fee for extra support and exclusive features.
BlueStacks is designed with gaming in mind. So, all those higher-end Android games you’d love to play on a bigger screen than your phone, you can now play on your large desktop screen. There’s even a built-in chat app to talk with other gamers for a fun social experience. Support for syncing Google contacts is in the works.
The program also features multi-instances. You’re able to launch not only multiple apps at once, but log in to multiple Google accounts at once. This is great if you want multiple accounts or have multiple desktop users who want to use the emulator.
You have numerous settings to tweak your experience to your heart’s desire. However, BlueStacks uses adaptive environment sync to automatically adjust your settings for optimal performance.
To get started, simply download and install BlueStacks. Please note there are two versions to choose from. The first is the BlueStacks 3 Gaming Platform which is optimized for games. The second is the BlueStacks App Player which is optimized for standard app usage, though it’s still great for playing games.
Choose your favorite emulator and stop being tethered to your phone for your apps.
Related Read: 7 Ways Mobile Apps Compromise Privacy
Contribution by Crystal Crowder
About the Author
Crystal lives and breathes tech. She’s spent over a decade writing tutorials, reviews, and more on tech, business, and lifestyle sites. Her idea of fun is settling down with the latest tech and gadget news.