The Android app environment has proved to be adaptable and much developer-friendly, after a bit of slow initiation. Running Android apps generally require an Android smartphone or tablet apparently, but what if you presently use iOS or different mobile OS, and want to try out Android without really getting an Android phone?
Well, luckily, with a little groundwork, you can run Android apps on a common old Windows PC. There are a few different methods to do this, each with their own strong and weak points.
ARC (App Runtime for chrome) Welder for Chrome
Almost certainly the simplest method to get Android apps running on your Windows PC is to use Google’s ARC Welder Chrome extension. As this is a Chrome extension, it is not only limited to Windows PC, you can also use this method on a Chromebook or Mac. The method is very much similar no matter which type of platform you are using on Chrome. Simply go to the Chrome Web Store and take hold of the ARC welder extension to get everything you require for installation.
ARC Welder is a beta version tool, and it is mostly directed at developers. Still, the method of loading an app is very easy. You will need an APK to load into ARC Welder, which you can get from backing up an app on your objective Android device, or you can download an APK from n number of places from the internet.
When you have your APK all set to go, you can open ARC Welder from Chrome’s app list and point it at the file. After that, you just have to select how you want the app to turn into — tablet/phone, landscape/portrait, and even if you want it to have access to clipboard. Not each app will run, and some of those that run will be having missing elements. ARC Welder does not presently have local support for Google Play Services if you are not the app developer and have access to the app’s code, so Google’s apps and some third-party ones will do not run.
The sideloading prerequisite along with the perimeter of one app at a time makes ARC Welder less than perfect for running Android apps on Windows on the regular basis. However, if you just want to get one up and running for checking or just to play around, this should be your first choice.
The Android emulator
The most uncomplicated way to get Android apps running on Windows is to go through the Android emulator made public by Google as part of the authorized SDK. The Android emulator can be used to develop virtual devices running on any version of Android you want with diverse resolutions and hardware patterns. The primary downside of this method is somewhat difficult setup process.
You will require to take hold of the SDK package from Google’s website and use the involved SDK Manager program to download the platforms you wish — almost certainly whatever the most current version of Android occurred to be at the time (5.1 at the time of publishing). The AVD manager is where you can develop and manage your practical devices. Google makes some pre-configured alternatives present in the menu for Nexus devices, but you can set the parameters yourself too. Once you have booted your practical device, you will need to get apps installed, but the Android emulator is the bone stock open source edition of Android.
As there is no Play Store, you will need to do some file management. Take the APK you want to install and slump the file into the tools folder in your SDK directory. After that, use the command prompt whereas your AVD is running to enter adb install filename.apk. The app should be appended to the app list of your practical device.
The biggest issue is that the emulator is slow enough that you will not want to make a tendency of running apps in it. Games are actually out of the question too.
Android PC ports
If you do not mind further disturbance, you can have a more flowing Android app experience by installing a personalized version of the operating system on your PC. There are some ports of Android that will run on desktop PCs, but support is rather limited as the widespread hardware configuration alternatives are available for PCs. The two most important choices for a complete Android installation on PC are Android-x86 Project and Android on Intel Architecture.
No one is in an ideal state, and you will require a supported portion of hardware such as theTablet fo Lenovo ThinkPad x61 Tablet for Android-x86 or the Dell XPS 12 for Intel’s version. You can install them over top of Windows, but it’s not the best plan. The best method would be to make a separate hard drive panel and install Android over there.
If your hardware is not at all supported by either of these projects, you can also try to install them in VirtualBox, which should be a bit faster than the authorized Android emulator. It possibly would not be good enough for games, but most applications should be installed and run properly.
BlueStacks App Player
If you are looking to get numerous apps and games running on your computer with the least effort, then BlueStacks App Player is here to help you. The BlueStacks App Player is just a good way to get apps working, but it in fact runs a complete version of Android at the back of scenes. Not only that, but it has the Play Store integrated, so you have quick access to all of your bought content.
The BlueStacks client will be loaded up in a desktop window with diverse app categories such as games, social, and lot more. Clicking on an application or searching it does something unanticipated — it brings up the complete Play Store client as provided on tablets.
The only issue with BlueStacks is that it cannot run on a standard Android build. All the changes the company made to get apps working on a PC can create problems — some apps just fail to run or crash suddenly. This personalized environment is also of less value as a development tool because there is no assurance that things will turn into the same on BlueStacks as they might be on an actual Android device without all the back-end changes.
So what’s the best method to run Android apps?
If you want to check something with the purpose of putting it on different Android devices, then emulator is still the best method to give builds a quick look at the PC before getting them on to Android phones or tablets. It is slow, but standardized, and you will be capable of seeing how things will work on the actual deal.
The Android PC ports are absolutely good to play with, and performance is up to the mark when you get apps running, but they can be fastidious.
If you want to get more than a handful of apps running on your PC so you can really use and benefit from them, BlueStacks App Player is the most excellent solution. It is quick, has Play Store access, and works effectively on multi touch Windows devices. ARC Welder would be something if you only need to use one app at the single time. The setup is simple and it is absolutely free.