Best Android Emulator for PC
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Popular, Free & Best Android Emulator for PC

These days there is a lot of craze for Best Android Emulator for PC. Recently, one of the Mobile App Test aspirant asked me a simple question – Is there an alternative to Android Studio if I want Android Emulator? Or in other words what are the Best Android Emulator for PC options I have?

For general understanding of Emulators – please visit the previous post “Emulator, Simulator & Real-device Testing“.

You no longer need a dedicated Android phone or tablet to experience the 1.4 million apps available in Google Play. Android emulators make it easy to run Google’s mobile OS side by side with Windows, so you can always access your favorite mobile messaging apps, games and more on the PCs you already own — and take advantage of your larger monitor, hardware keyboard and other peripherals.

Best Android Emulator for PC

Though there are a number of available Android Emulators for PC, selecting the right one is very necessary, impacting the overall performance of the system. So, to make things easier for you, we have compiled a list of nine (9) Best Android Emulator for PC. So, let’s get started.

Andyroid (alias Andy)

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.

  • Andyroid supports almost all the versions of Windows like Windows 7/8/Windows 10.
  • The best feature of Andyroid is you can install any application through your desktop browser.
  • Installing Andyroid is easy and does not require any special knowledge, just that you should have Virtual box installed in your computer. The installer file will automatically install Oracle VM, in case you don’t have it installed.
  • Andyroid is mainly designed for playing Android games on windows big screen. If you love to play android games then you can try this emulator
  • Supports anything you could do on an Android tablet or phone, including adding widgets to your home screen, backing up your virtual device to Google, touchscreen and receiving app notifications
  • Use your Android phone as a remote for Andyroid emulator on the desktop.

At least 4GB of RAM, if not more, is recommended to run Android apps with Andy.

BlueStacks

BlueStacks is kind of the de facto option for a lot of consumers when it comes to Best Android Emulator for PC.

BlueStacks Android Emulator

  • 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.
  • Easy to download, install, configure & use.
  • Installing 3rd party Android App (apk) in BlueStacks is very easy, just double click on the apk files to install it.
  • Download and install the apps and game directly from the Google Play Store.
  • Uses “Layercake” technology which helps you to play the most graphics-intensive games smoothly on your pc.
  • If you have a touch-screen computer, you can interact with Android apps just like you would on an Android phone or tablet: by tapping, swiping and tilting away.
  • Unlike other programs it doesn’t need a third-party virtualization tool.

According to the company, the system is compatible with 96 percent of the apps available in Google Play and 86 percent of Android games. At least 2GB of RAM, if not more, is recommended to run Android apps with BlueStacks.

Droid4x

Droid4x Android Emulator has come up with all feature that are available in an Android device. Some people say that Droid4x has more features compared to all other Android Emulators.

Droid4x Android Emulator

  • Resize the Droid4x Android Emulator to any dimension as you like.
  • Control anything from your Mobile.
  • Use your keyboard to play the games and also you can configure the keyboard options.
  • You can also use a joystick to play games.
  • Record the screen when you are playing any game or using any app on your windows big screen and can then send it to all the top social media networks.
  • Some Android apps require shaking the mobile like WeChat, you can also use those apps and can shake the screen using “shake” option.

Genymotion

Perfect alternative to Bluestacks. This Android emulator is geared toward developers who want to test their apps or games. You can configure the emulator for a variety of devices with various versions of Android to help suit your needs.

  • It has got all the features that Bluestacks possess and also has some unique features. Some advanced features include OpenGL, and hardware acceleration support.
  • It is built on x86 Architecture and is faster in processing than Bluestacks.
  • Copy any text from your windows pc into emulator and vise-versa.
  • Install apps using command prompt and also by drag and drop.
  • However, configuring GenyMotion is a bit tough and requires some advanced skills.
  • Genymotion will work on Linux, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 Touch, Mac and Ubuntu and is probably the most adaptable.
  • Just like Andy, Genymotion uses Virtual Box, which will be used by the emulator to create a virtual machine.

Jar of Beans

Jar of Beans Android Emulation platform is based on the famous Jelly Bean OS and is geared towards high resolution applications.

Jar of Beans Android Emulator

  • Once installed, the user needs to download apks which he needs to install in the emulator.
  • Jar of Beans supports majority of the apps.
  • Jar of Beans works well with all of the available Windows platforms
  • The work performance ratio is surprisingly high!

Nox

Like Bluestacks, Nox is an Android emulator that is set up to cater to gamers.

  • Utilities and additions that are specifically catered to helping gamers control their games using their keyboard and mouse.
  • Capacity to assign “swipe right” to, say, an arrow key and simulate actual gesture movements directly on your keyboard or joystick.

Official Android Emulator

The Official Android Emulator offers all users the look and feel of an Android Smartphone on their PC. You’ll also get a Google Android Development kit as part and parcel of the whole shebang. This is also a free option and well worth a closer look, particularly if you enjoy the more technical side of Android.

Xamarin

The Xamarin is uncommon android simulator, It is lesser popular as compared to other regular android emulator for PC windows / Mac. Xamarin is quite good! It gives you latest android experience on windows as well as MAC PC. It is one of the bug less emulator, but it requires virtual box dependencies like GenyMotion and Andy.

YouWave

YouWave is not that much popular but it works fine. YouWave don’t have any special features but it is very simple to download and install on your computer.

YouWave Android Emulator

  • Awesome interface and thus makes using it very easy.
  • Available for almost all the versions of Windows such as Windows 7/8/10.
  • Show all the apps in a selected directory so you can download all the apps and games to your computer and can install them by browsing.
  • Installed applications sit on the left hand side of your screen and actual smartphone desktop populates the right side.
  • Users can install apps by using apk files or by directly heading to play store and downloading the app.

YouWave Android emulator is the natural pick for users who don’t use a high-end system. Unlike other emulators, YouWave can be installed and run in a low configuration PC without any problems.

It is hard to hand pick a single winner as each emulator has its own pros and cons. I have been personally using BlueStacks for quite a while and found it to be one of the most simple yet intuitive emulators out of the lot. Which Android emulator for PC have you used, and which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope you liked the article? If Yes, do like & share it. If Not, I am eagerly waiting for your comments, suggestions & feedback. If I missed any Best Android Emulator for PC, feel free to mention it in the comments!

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One thought on “Popular, Free & Best Android Emulator for PC

  1. Excellent list, thanks for sharing.

    Quick question, any recommendation for using emulators in a Continuous Integration environment (Jenkins setup on AWS)? We tried using Android Emulator Jenkins plugin, butt here are certain restrictions on that we faced and need to use third party virtualization utilities.

    Anyone tried emulators in CI and running automated tests?

    Your help is appreciated

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