If you’re wondering how to run your favorite Android apps, but don’t have an Android tablet or smartphone handy, you might consider using an Android emulator. This allows you to run a simulated version of Android on your PC without the need for your own Android device.
There are many Android emulators for Windows, but not all of them are worth trying. Here are five of the best Android emulators for Windows 10 PCs to help you get your Android up and running on Windows.
With a polished user interface and a range of testing tools, Genymotion is one of the best Android emulators available, especially for developers.
It offers the largest number of configurations for simulating different types of Android devices, as well as for simulating the equipment connected to these devices, such as GPS. If your Windows PC is too slow to run, you can even switch to running Genymotion in the cloud if you have a suitable Genymotion subscription.
Besides Google’s own Android emulator, it is the only Android emulator for Windows with support for the latest Android versions. It has the option to install the Google Play Store to install your own apps without having to install them manually.
Genymotion is usually a paid product, but the company offers Genymotion for fun to run your favorite games and applications without paying. You need to register an account before you can download and use Genymotion, regardless of version.
You also need to download and install VirtualBox before you can set up and use Genymotion on your PC.
If you’ve always wanted to get to grips with Android games, but don’t have Android hardware to do it, then GameLoop Emulator is for you.
GameLoop is a product of the Chinese tech company Tencent, an Android emulator fully focused on merging mobile games with Windows PCs. It helps that many of the biggest Android games like Call of Duty: Mobile are produced by Tencent.
Support for non-gaming apps is limited, but that’s not the point. GameLoop has been enhanced and optimized to play the best Android games, delivering smooth gameplay and controls that match the PC keyboard and mouse and touch controls you’d expect on an Android smartphone.
You shouldn’t use GameLoop if you’re not interested in Android gameplay, but if so, then this is one of the best Android emulator options for you, even if it doesn’t have all the Android games you’d expect. P>
BlueStacks was launched as one of the first options for playing Android apps and games on Windows PC. In a limited market, it is still worth mentioning, especially since it allows you to install any supported games and applications.
Like Genymotion, BlueStacks supports the Google Play Store, but you will only be able to install apps and games that support your architecture. The BlueStacks screen is very similar to a typical Android device, so it should be comfortable for all types of users.
However, there are also disadvantages. Currently BlueStacks only supports the older Android 7 operating system. Plus, it is bloated with pop-up ads that can ruin the user experience. A subscription service is available to remove ads and provide additional customer support.
While this can be problematic, it doesn’t change the fact that BlueStacks is still one of the easiest Android emulators to use, offering an optimized Android interface for gaming and general use.
If your games won’t launch in GameLoop, consider BlueStacks or NoxPlayer, our next Android emulator.
NoxPlayer is another Android emulator that focuses on games, but it has several options that can make it a versatile tool for any Android user.
First, it allows you to download your own apps, so you’re not completely dependent on the Google Play Store. However, you are not deprived of the opportunity to use the Play Store as it is also included in the application.
NoxPlayer has built-in macro support for screen automation. It’s an additional niche, but it can be useful for automating boring tasks in Android games that encourage you to work hard.
You can also record Android screen in NoxPlayer, customize keyboard and mouse controls, and launch multiple Android windows at the same time. It’s easy to use, with a polished interface similar to Genymotion
However, the big drawback is that NoxPlayer only offers Android 7, which is on par with BlueStacks Since the Android version is a bit outdated, this might put off some users.
Android Emulator Studio
You may be worried about trusting a third party emulator. In such a case, you should try the Android Studio emulator. It is Google’s own emulation tool and is included in the larger Android Studio development kit for app developers.
Like Genymotion, Android Studio Emulator comes with all the necessary tools to enable you to test Android apps. You can simulate various equipment, including cellular functions such as calls and text messages. It also comes with various versions of Android for you to try, including the most recent versions.
This is primarily an Android test emulator, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run Android apps in it. You will need to download these by downloading the Android APK file and dragging and dropping it manually onto the Android emulation screen.
While powerful in its own right, Google has never developed the Android Studio emulator as anything other than a testing environment. For example, you may find that performance is slower when compared to other emulators, so this isn’t exactly the best Android emulator. This is true for general use, but especially for games where you will need to consider alternatives such as GameLoop or NoxPlayer
You will need to balance this with regular updates and the Google support that comes with Android Studio Emulator versus other providers. If that’s what you want, try Android Studio Emulator