There are a lot of valid reasons why someone would want to run Android emulators on their PC. App developers may be trying to test their application before shipping it out. Gamers may want to use a mouse and keyboard on their games. Maybe you just want it there to have it. In any case, Android emulation on PC is possible and we’re going to take a look at the best Android emulators for PC.
AMIDuOS is first on our list and this is a relatively newer Android emulator. This one comes in two flavors: Lollipop and Jelly Bean. Aside from the version type, the only other difference between the two is Jelly Bean costs $10 while Lollipop costs $15 and those are one-time charges which is kind of nice. AMIDuOS runs very well. It’s a smooth emulator that does things like productivity and gaming quite well. Most users should be able to use this for pretty much whatever they need it for and the install process isn’t bad at all. Obviously, it’s not overly great for developers since it doesn’t give you device-specific configurations but on a consumer level, this one works very well.
Get it now on Google Play!
Next on our list is an entirely free emulator called Andy. We reviewed this when it first came out and while it did have some issues back then, it still managed to prove itself as a capable replacement for apps like Bluestacks. It runs pretty much the entire gamut of the Android experience including productivity apps, launchers, games, and you can even install root access if needed. It has fixed pretty much all of its early day issues but it is still a little bit more involved of an installation than something like Bluestacks. In any case, it is free and it does work very well. We have our video about it linked below if you want to know more.
[Price: Free / $2/month]
Bluestacks is kind of the de facto option for a lot of consumers when it comes to Android emulation on PC. It works well most of the time for most purposes. Generally, this is used by those who want to play Android games on their devices and for that, the service does well enough. You can get it for free but every now and then, the service will download sponsored apps onto your machine that you can usually uninstall. There is also a premium version that doesn’t do this. It works well enough in most cases and it’s a good starting point. Especially for those who are less tech savvy.
Our next emulator is called droid4x and it’s an interesting choice for an emulator. It runs in a similar fashion as Andy or AMIDuOS and the performance and productivity is about the same as well. I may not have said that a year ago but like the other two, there have been improvements made. What makes this one interesting are the add-ons. This one includes an application you install on your smartphone so that you can control games on your computer. For instance, you’ll be able to use the accelerometer to turn your car in Asphalt 8. It’s definitely better than Andy or AMIDuOS for games although we believe that Andy and AMIDuOS may be a bit better in terms of stability and speed.
[Price: Free with paid options]
First on our list is Genymotion. This Android emulator is geared toward developers who want to test their apps or games on a variety of devices without actually being required to own those devices. You can configure the emulator for a variety of devices with various versions of Android to help suit your needs. For instance, you can run a Nexus One with Android 4.2 or a Nexus 6 with Android 6.0. The choice is yours and you can easily switch between “devices” at will. It’s not great for consumer uses such as checking email or using apps, but Genymotion does offer their services for free for personal use so that option is there if you really want to.
Last and certainly not least on our list is Nox. Like Bluestacks, Nox is an Android emulator that is set up to cater to gamers. This includes utilities and additions that are specifically catered to helping gamers control their games using their keyboard and mouse. This includes things like the capacity to assign “swipe right” to, say, an arrow key and simulate actual gesture movements directly on your keyboard or joystick if you have one. It’s a lot of fun and seems to work rather well most of the time. It’s also entirely free. The video below was recorded with laggy software (not Nox, but the screen capture software), but there is a good explanation on how the key macros work.
If we missed any great Android emulators on PC, tell us about it in the comments! If you want to stay up to date on the latest Android apps and games news, you can subscribe to our newsletter using the form below.
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