Android emulators such as Bluestacks and Genymotion allow you to install Android apps on Windows PC. Now why you want to install Android apps on PC when you can have them on Android Phone? Well, the reason could be anything. You may not have an Android phone to install your favorite app, or you may want to play Android apps on a large desktop screen. Whatever, be the reason, there are several methods to run Android apps on PC. In this post, I will show you how to install Android apps on PC.
Install Android Apps on PC using Bluestacks
Whenever we talk about Android Emulators, the Bluestacks is the first application that comes to your mind. Bluestacks is the most popular Android emulator that is available for both Windows PC as well OS X.
The advantage of Bluestacks over other Android Emulator is that it does not require you to install Virtual Machine before installing it on your PC. It is easy to download and install and runs smoothly most of the time.
What is not so good about Bluestacks is that it requires you to have a decent PC with average specifications. If you are running an old hardware, then Bluestacks may not work the way you want it to work. At worse, it can even cause some problem affecting your other tasks.
If you are a twitch user, you can use the latest game streaming feature available in the Bluestacks to stream your games to Twitch.tv.
Before you install Bluestacks, check the system requirement mentioned in the official Bluestacks page and compare it with your current PC / Laptop configuration. If you think, your PC can take the load, here is how to run Android apps on PC using Bluestacks.
Follow these steps to download and install Bluestacks.
Download and install .NET Framework 4.6 installed on your PC. If you don't have it, download it from this URL.
Go to the official page of Bluestacks here. Click the Download button and Bluestacks will begin downloading to your computer. Note that by default Bluestacks downloads the online installer. Which means once you download and run the installer, it will start downloading Bluestacks files from the server.
If you don't want that to happen and would rather prefer an offline Installer, then click this URL to download the Bluestacks offline installer. The Bluestacks Offline Installer is 315 MB in size, so wait till the download is finished.
Once the download is finished, run the installer. If asked to provide administrative access, click OK.
Wait till the Bluestacks installation finishes. Once done, it is time to install Bluestacks.
Open / Run Bluestacks on your PC. Sing in using your Gmail account to Google Play Store.
Now search for the app that you want to install on Windows PC and install it. The Bluestacks will download and install the app on your PC.
Whenever you want to access any Android app that you have installed on PC, open Bluestacks and you can find it there.
Android Apps you can install on PC using Bluestacks are Cookie Jam, Panda Pop, New Words with Freinds, Juice Jam, The Walking Dead, WhatsApp for PC, Viber for PC, Telegram app for PC, Facebook Messenger, Skype, WeChat, BBM on PC and more.
Run Android Apps on PC using Genymotion
Genymotion is yet another Android Emulator that has been built for the Android app developers. Genymotion is a premium service that comes with the monthly subscription. The subscribers can select any package and use the emulator to test their app in the real environment before making it alive on the Google Play store.
However, if you are not a developer and want an Android emulator only for playing Android games on PC and installing Android apps, then you can sign up for the free version of the Genymotion software.
The difference between Genymotion and Bluestacks is that Genymotion is created to support the developers. Whereas Bluestacks is a consumer end product aimed at the masses. The Bluestacks does not require you to install Virtual Box before installing Genymotion, but the Genymotion requires you to have a Virtual box installed to run the software.
Also, Genymotion seems to be far less resource hungry than Bluestacks. So, Genymotion should work fine in your laptop with not so good specifications.
Thinking what is a Virtual Box? Don't think too much if you don't know what it is. Genymotion offers two version of Genymotion emulator. Genymotion with Virtual box and Genymotion without Virtualbox. You can download both from the given link below. So let's get started.
Visit Genymotion page and create a new account using your email ID.
- Get Genymotion with Virtual Box from this url. 142 MB in Size (This version is recommended if you don't have a virtual box installed already).
- Get Genymotion without Virtual Box from this url 48 MB in Size.
So download and install any one of the above version. Once downloaded, proceed with the installation.
Now run Genymotion. When the Genymotion window opens, it shows a message " You don't have any virtual devices added" "Do you want to add one"? Click Yes.
Next, in the "select a new virtual device window" click Sign in, and enter your username and password to sing in (use Genymotion account username and password).
Now you have to select a new virtual device from the given list of available virtual devices. You can select Android smartphone and of course the Android version. So select a device and click Next.
Now enter a name for your virtual device and click Next. Now your new Virtual Device will be downloaded and deployed. Once done, click Finish and close the deployment window.
You can view your new virtual device added in the Genymotion main window.
If you want to start it, select the Virtual device and click Start button on the top.
Now the virtual device will open. You can view the main screen of the Virtual device.
Install Android Apps in Genymotion
Now that you have a virtual device running, you can start installing Android apps in them. To run any Android app in Genymotion do the following.
Download Android app apk. You have to download the apk file of the Android app that you want to install in Genymotion.
Once downloaded to your PC, open Genymotion and start the virtual device.
Now drag and drop the APK file to the main screen of the Virtual device in the Genymotion. The APK will be installed, and you can start using that app in the Genymotion.
WhatsApp for PC
Now if you want to install WhatsApp on Windows PC, then you don't necessarily need to install the Bluestacks player on your PC. WhatsApp has an official Windows PC client for those who want to use WhatsApp on PC.
The advantage of using the official WhatsApp client for Windows is that it allows you to sync your phone's WhatsApp with your PC's WhatsApp client. The disadvantage is that you cannot use WhatsApp on PC without having it on your phone.
However, if you are one of those who want WhatsApp notifications to appear on their PC while using it for your work, the official WhatsApp for PC client is a good choice. It allows you to receive and send text messages from the PC.
How to use WhatsApp on PC
First, make sure that you have WhatsApp installed on your phone.
Also, make sure that your PC and phone is connected to the same WiFi network. If you are using different internet connection for PC and phone, then read how to create Wi-Fi hotspot using command prompt in Windows 10.
Download and install WhatsApp for PC from this URL.
Install WhatsApp for PC and follow the on-screen instructions to install WhatsApp on PC.
ShareIt for PC
Shareit is yet another popular Android file transfer and sharing app that made its way to Windows PC. Shareit by Lenovo is now officially available for Windows PC. The PC client needs some improvements as there are glitches now and then. But, for most of the time, it works just fine. To install Shareit on PC, do the following.
Go to the official shareit website ushareit and download the shareit app for Windows PC.
Once downloaded, proceed with the installation of the app on PC.
Make sure you have shareit installed on your phone. Run shareit on PC and select a file to send. Select receive on your phone and follow the on-screen instructions on both the devices.