There was time when your phone was merely a walkie-talkie plus pager – not anymore! Now, your Smartphone is your constant companion, guaranteed to entertain, inform and keep you in touch with loved ones. So who gets the prize for making our cellphones so smart? Apps, of course! First there was instant messaging and then games, music and so on – the app genres that we currently enjoy on our handsets have no limits. Most of these super cool facilities are specifically designed for phones and phones only – developers forgot to think of the PC angle.

How many times have you been frustrated by that beep from your phone and wished you could chat with your friends and work on your PC side-by-side on a single screen? Or how many times have you wanted to play that Android game on a larger screen? Unfortunately, most Android app developers ignored these possibilities. However, there is a method that allows app developers to test apps under development, on their PCs before releasing them to app stores. The solution for running Android apps on your PC is a side product of this method. In a nutshell, we can use an ‘Emulator’ and APK files to run these Android apps on our Windows or MAC personal computers.

Run Android Apps on PC or Computer :

You needn’t be a developer or tech junkie to figure this out! Running Android apps on your PC is just as easy as installing any other PC program. The trick is to make the app think that you are running it on an Android platform and this is only possible by emulating an Android environment on your PC. Before we get started, let me tell you all about emulators and APK files.

An Emulator is a hardware/software or both, that duplicates or emulates the functions of one operating system (guest) in another operating system (host). In the context of an Android emulator, they duplicate an environment that closely resembles the Android OS, in a Windows/Mac OS; thus tricking Android apps to run on the Windows/Mac PC.

APK or Android application package is a file format for distributing and installing app software/middleware into the Android OS. Android programs are compiled and then all the parts are packaged in one .apk file. This file contains the program codes, resources, assets, certificates and manifest files bundled together .APK files are ZIP file packages based on JAR format.

Steps to Download Android Apps for PC :

There are several Android emulators available for free downloading from the internet. Blue Stack is highly recommended and is followed by Intel AppUp in popularity and ease of use. Windroy is available exclusively for Windows devices. List of Emulators used to Run Android applications on your Computer is given below,

How to Run Android Apps On Your PC [Windows and Mac]

BlueStack is the first production software that allows you to use Android apps on your PC. You can directly download apps and run them on this emulator and also sync apps from your phone using BlueStack Cloud connect Android app. While native Android emulators are significantly slow in performance and requires a lot of system resources, Bluestacks is available in beta for Mac and windows PC. A version is available for Windows 8 surface tablets too. You can load as many as 750,000 apps including games, media apps and text messaging. Bluestacks claims 5 million downloads so far and can run all android .apk apps. On the downside, you could face graphic card issues during installation of this emulator. Make sure that you have installed the latest version of DirectX and the latest video graphic card drivers before you proceed with Bluestacks. Also, your system’s VGA card should be OpenGL 2.0+ supported.

Know more about BlueStack from their official website: www.bluestack.com

Installing BlueStacks :

  • Download the Blue Stack installation package from the link given above.
  • Once the downloading is completed, run the setup file on your PC.
  • You will now see the installation wizard starting up.
  • Just follow the instructions carefully, as and when they are prompted.
  • The installation will take a few minutes to complete.
  • Once the emulator is installed, restart your computer. (Recommended)
  • Now, you can search and use your favourite Android apps on your PC.

How to use Bluestacks :

  • Double-click on the BlueStack icon on your desktop, to start the program.
  • On the BlueStack Window, find the search bar.
  • Type in the app name that you wish to use on your PC.
  • When you find the app, click on it.
  • Your app will be automatically installed by BlueStack.
  • Now you can run the app on BlueStack. Or, if you cannot find the app on BlueStack search result
  • Search for the desired app’s APK file on the internet and download it to your PC.
  • Now, open this .apk file with Blue Stack emulator.
  • The app will be installed automatically in a few minutes.

How to sync your phone apps with PC using BlueStacks Cloud Connect:

Download BlueStack Cloud Connect app player from Google play. Link

Remember: To use Cloud Connect, you must have BlueStack emulator installed on your PC.

  • Download and install BlueStack cloud connect.apk on your PC from the link mentioned above.
  • Once installed, open BlueStack emulator on your PC.
  • Go to ‘Settings’ on the home page and select ‘Cloud connect’.
  • Enter your email ID and mobile number, to receive the channel pin.
  • Also install Cloud connect app on your Android device. You can do this either by downloading from the Play store or connecting your device to your PC using a PC suite.
  • Once Cloud Connect is installed on your phone/tab, enter the channel pin to synchronize it with your PC app.
  • Now, select the app that you want to sync with your PC and you are done!

Android Apps for PC Download using Windroy

Socketeq a Chinese startup company also tried to pitch in their contribution to Android emulators and developed Windroy. It runs stock Android Ice Cream Sandwich within the Windows kernel. It is a full-fledged Android OS running on your PC and not just a simulator app. You can run all the Android apps and 3d games with WindowsAndroid, but it currently does not support Audio, which indicates that you wouldn’t receive any audible notifications. You system needs OpenGL 2.0+ support to run WindowsAndroid. Or you can overcome this issue by installing latest versions of graphic drivers and DirectX.