How To Use Android Apps on a Windows Computer

If you like to run android apps on pc then this guide will help you to do that on five way. The Android App Player it’s possible to use on windows pc very easy and for free device machine. So far we have learned that the ecosystem of Android’s application is quite developer favorable and supportive, even though it had a slow start. Anybody has a permission to develop an app for Android for free, and publish it to the Play store only with a handcuff of restrictions. Due to this fact, many useful Android apps were developed, but unfortunately some of them are not available on iOS or similar platforms.

Android Apps on Windows PC

In order to use Android apps you will need Android smartphone or tablet of course—however what if an iOS user for example wants to try out an Android app? What should he do in order to run the application without using an Android device?

Luckily enough, with just a little bit of effort it is possible to run Android apps using a Windows PC. There are several methods which can enable you this, and each of them has their own pros and contra.

Running Android Apps on Windows computer

Method 1- ARC Welder extension for Chrome

The simplest method which can allow you to run Android app on your Windows computer is the ARC Welder Extension for Chrome. Because this is a Chrome browser extension, it means that it is not restricted only to a Windows Computer, so it is most likely that it will work on a Mac as well. The procedure will be of course the same, regardless of the platform you are using Chrome on. Just open the Chrome Web Store and install the ARC Welder extension.

The ARC Welder is a beta tool, and its main focus is at developers. However, the task of loading an app is very easy. In matter of fact, it is almost the same to the platform which Google uses to run Android apps on Chrome, only without the Play Store. To begin, you will need an APK to load into ARC Welder, which can be done by backing up an app on your current Android device, or you can download an APK from many places on the internet. Still, it is not recommended that you download paid apps, or apps from unsafe sites. Currently, there are couples of sites which archive legitimate free APKs, such as APK Mirror.

ARC Welder

Once you have your APK, you are good to go. Start the ARC Welder from Chrome, and direct it at the file. After that, choose the way you want the app to render i.e. you want it to be portrait/tablet, landscape, phone, and if you want to have a clipboard access.

Not all apps will run android apps on pc, and even those that will, may be missing components. Currently ARC Welder does not have a native support for Google Play services, so the Apps from Google or similar third party apps won’t be able to run.

But, the games and apps which work also have tendency to run very well in ARC. The apps such as Instagram, Evernote should function perfectly fine. It will be possible to have only one app installed in Chrome thru ARC Welder at a time, so whenever you want to change to a different app, you will be required to go back and install the dialog anew.

Due to the siedloading requirement and the one app at a time limit, makes the ARC Welder not comfortable enough for running Android apps on Windows on daily basis. But, for those who want to test one app or to play around, this one should be the first choice.

Android Emulator on Windows PC

The 2nd stop to run Android apps on a Windows computer is to use the Android emulator which was released by Google as part of their official SDK. You can use the emulator to create virtual devices running and Android version you like with different hardware configurations and resolutions. The first negative aspect of this process is the fairly complex setup procedure.

Android Emulator

The user will need to download the SDK packet from Google’s page and utilize the included SDK Manager program to download the platform he wants (most likely it will be the most recent version of Android which is available at the time 7.0 at this moment). To create and manage virtual devices you will need the AVD manager. Some pre-configured options are available in the menu for Google’s Nexus devices, but it is possible to set the parameters manually as well. Once your virtual device is booted, it will be necessary to install the apps, but please note that the emulator supports only android apps for pc, no Google apps are included.

And the fact that there is no Play store, you will have to do some file management. So choose the APK you wish to install (it may be Google app package) and drop the file into the tools folder of your SDK directory. Then utilize the command prompt while the AVD is still running to enter (in that directory) adb install filename.apk. Afterwards the app will be added to the app lists of your virtual devices.

One of the biggest advantages in this is the fact that the emulator is unmodified Android directly from the source. The apps which are rendered in the emulator render exactly the same as they render on devices, and almost any one of them should run without problem. This emulator is the best for testing apps builds before they are loaded onto test devices. The biggest downside of the emulator is the fact that it is slow enough, and you would not want to constantly run apps on it. You should not even consider running games on it as well.

Android PC ports

In case you don’t mind to go thru an extra effort, it is possible to get a better Android app experience by using a modified version of the OS on your computer. Several Android ports can run on a desktop computer, however, not all platforms will be capable to run them properly. The recommended choices for a full Android installation on a computer are Remix OS based on x86 and Android-x86 Project.

Both of them are not complete, however the Remix OS is a bit more built out. The Remix OS will need at least 2GB of RAM and 2GHz dual core processor, but in reality, you will need much more than that to get a good experience. Also, the UI is not stock Android, but it’s based on the x86 project code, with implemented modifications for a more desktop experience which it may be for the better nonetheless because the user can install both over top of Windows. But, we think that, that may not be a good idea and it would be better to create a separate hard drive partition and install android app player for pc there. The Remix installer will lead the process.

In case you don’t want the android installed on your computer, you can try to run the operating system in Virtual Box, which should give better results than the official Android emulator. Most likely, the gaming experience won’t be good, but the majority of the apps which you will install should work properly. Also, there is no Google Play integration when you install the Android ports, however, with Remix you can easily side load Play Services.

BlueStacks App Player

To run several apps and games at the same time on your computer without putting extra effort, then you should try out BlueStacks App Player. This app player runs a full, modified version of Android behind the scenes. But that’s not all. It also has the Play Store built in, which will enable you instant access to any content you have previously purchased.

The client of BlueStacks App player will initiate in desktop window, showing several app categories such as social, games etc… Pressing on an app, or searching will do something unexpected, it will bring the Play Store client in the same way as it is rendered on tablets. You can navigate around the interface just as on a real Android device, which clearly is an indicator that there is more to the BlueStacks, than the title of being an “app Player”. Moreover, you can even install a third party launcher such as Apex or Nova from the Play Store and set it to default.

BlueStacks App Player

And having full Play store access, means that you don’t need to use side loading apps, and on top of the BlueStacks runs apps pretty good. You can play most of the games, however please note that you may have difficulties using a mouse while playing.

If your computer has touch screen, then you can use apps and games which rely on more than only one touch input. The BlueStacks app player can turn your windows tablet computer into a part-time Android tablet. “LayerCake” is the name of the technology which BlueStacks have given because it allows you to run Android apps on a layer on top of Windows.

The only known problem with BlueStacks is that it does not run on a standard Android build. Any modifications which the company made to make the apps work on PC can cause some problems and some apps may crush all of a sudden. Also, the customized environment will not do any good as a development tool, because there is no real guarantee that the things will work the same on BlueStacks as they will on Android device, without the modifications. In addition, it is fermium service, and pro subscription fee of $2.

Which is the recommended choice?

In case you are interested to test something before you use it on an Android device, then the emulator is probably the best choice, because it will give you a quick look on PC before you use the app on Android smartphone. It may be slow, however it is standardized, and you will get to see how things work. The Android PC ports have their strong sides and good overall performance with apps, but they can be a bit picky.

Probably the best choice for user who wants to run more apps at once and actually use them is the BlueStacks App Player. It is quite fast, it has Play Store, and works with multi touch Windows gadgets.

If you need to run only one App at a time, then the ARC welder will do the job as well, because it has simple setup and it is free. But, if you want to use the Android apps for a prolonged period on your computer, then it is recommended that you install the Remix OS. It may take you some time to get used to it, but it is basically a full Android based OS for your computer.

One Response

  1. Avatar Sofia Machen April 17, 2017

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