Contents of Post
- 1 The Preeminent Android Emulators for PC and Mac
- 1.1 AMIDuOS
- 1.2 Andy
- 1.3 Bluestacks
- 1.4 droid4x
- 1.5 Genymotion
- 1.6 KoPlayer
- 1.7 MEmu
- 1.8 Nox
- 1.9 Remix OS Player
The Preeminent Android Emulators for PC and Mac
There are a lot of effective explanations 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. Please note, the process is rarely easy and some of these require some technical knowledge. Also note that many of these emulators are made more or less the same way. It’s a matter of finding the one that works for you. Let’s get started.
Price: Free Trial / $10-$15
AMIDuOS is first on our list and this is a relatively newer Android emulator for PC. 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.
The entirely free emulator called Andy. Andi is able to 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. About the only complaint we’ve heard is that people occasionally have problems uninstalling this one.
Price: Free / $2 per month
Bluestacks has long been the solution for putting Android on your PC. For a while, they fell behind but have spent much of the last year bringing much needed updates to their platform. The result, dubbed Bluestacks 2, is a faster, more stable, and an overall better Android emulator for PC than its predecessor. It supports multitasking apps and has built-in functionality for things like shaking the screen and setting a location, features it did not previously have. It’s still marketed mainly to gamers, but it is now far better for those looking for productivity solutions as well. The price remains the same as it did previously, which is free with an optional $2/month premium subscription. It’s still quite bloated and many of its new features cater to a very specific gaming audience, but it’s still a good option overall.
The Next emulator is called droid4x and it’s an interesting choice for an Android emulator on PC. It runs in a similar fashion as Andy or AMIDuOS and the performance and productivity is about the same as well. 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
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 use them.
KoPlayer is a newer Android emulator for PC. It has also managed to fly under most radars until recently. It’s another emulator that is made for gamers. You’ll be able to use keymapping to emulate a controller with your keyboard. Players will also be able to record game play and upload it wherever they want. The install process is easy enough and it seems to work alright. Like most emulators, it does have issues that you’ll run into randomly. Tis the life of a virtual machine instance of Android. Nevertheless, it’s a free option that’s worth a shot.
MEmu is another of the up and coming Android emulators that seems to do quite well. It boasts complete compatibility with Intel and AMD chipsets which is nice and their latest releases are for Android Lollipop 5.1.1 which is also great news. It comes with root access as well as a sidebar that comes complete with a ton of extra functionality and features. It’s not bloated and scores well on benchmarks. It’s a nice alternative to many other Android emulators, especially if you need one for both gaming and productivity. You can also get help in their forums, check out new releases, and more on their official blog.
Next up is Nox. Like Bluestacks, Nox is one of those Android emulators for PC 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.
Remix OS Player
Remix OS Player by Jide is one of the newer Android emulators for PC. It’s also the only one that runs Android Marshmallow instead of Android Lollipop or Kit Kat. The installation process is pretty simple and using it also fairly easy. It’s built for gaming so you’ll have a variety of options via the sidebar to customize the experience to your liking. It’s new, so they’re still working out some bugs. Even so, it still works better than most and it’s free in perpetuity. The only main caveat is that it doesn’t support AMD CPUs.