The reasons for having an Android emulator on Windows / Mac can be several. I mainly use it to be able to play mobile games on a much larger screen than my phone, but it can also be really useful if we are in the world of developing Android apps and games.
Top 10 Android Emulators for Windows and Mac
Emulators are a delicate matter when it comes to compatibility. Although we will not have any problem installing them most of the time, it is possible that they will perform better or worse depending on the hardware of our equipment. We will always find some apps that simply do not work correctly, but that is something - compatibility problems - that we can hardly avoid, in any case.
BlueStacks is the quintessential Android emulator for Windows. It runs a version of Android 4.4.2 and it is one of the most stable emulators known. It is more geared towards gaming and allows streaming on Twitch, but we can install any application that we want, which will work just as well.
It is totally freeAlthough it also has a paid version for those who want to remove the ads that appear from time to time while using the emulator.
Bluestacks official website
2- Nox Player
One of the advantages of Nox compared to other emulators like BlueStacks is that charge much faster. In addition to the detail that it is free and does not include any type of ads. It also has compatibility problems with some games, but that is something that we will find practically in any Android emulator for PC. Allows you to take screenshots and video, install APKs, multiple sessions and several other things.
Nox Player official website
3- Bliss OS
We are before an Android Oreo emulator which works through a virtual machine. We can also install it on a pendrive and run it on a PC, all with a good handful of configuration options: now, it is quite difficult to install.
There is no doubt that we are facing a utility for "expert users", although if we manage to take advantage of its possibilities it can give a lot of itself. Run Android from boot of the team (boot), and the truth is that it is known to give certain compatibility problems. Therefore, if we dare to try Bliss OS, it is important that we first have a backup copy of our operating system before starting to install anything.
Download Bliss OS
Gameloop is another free Android emulator for PC, although in this case is geared towards gamers. It supports keyboard and mouse, and offers good performance. It is not a tool for using productivity applications, although it has a reputation for working wonderfully with all kinds of graphics-intensive mobile games. In fact, Tencent (developer of Call of Duty and PUBG for mobile) considers it their official Android emulator for desktops.
Genymotion is the perfect app for developers. It allows us to test our apps with different devices and versions of Android, such as a Pixel 3 with Android 9.0 or any combination we can think of (it has +3000 virtual devices). Ideal for tests and others.
It should be noted that yes, we are facing a semi-paid tool. The first 1,000 minutes of use are free, but from that figure we will have to pay 5 cents for each minute of testing.
Genymotion Official Site
ARChon is a rather curious emulator, since works as a Google Chrome extension. The installation process is a bit more complicated than in an emulator to use, but in its favor it has the fact that it is compatible with both Windows, What Linux and Mac. And it's also free, of course.
7- Android Studio
Android Studio is the official Android development platform approved by Google. Among the collection of tools offered by Android Studio there is also an emulator, with which developers can check the correct functioning of their apps and games.
For an end user it is not the most recommended emulator, but for developers it is a free tool that does its job perfectly.
Download Android Studio
MEmu is another one of those free emulators that has become quite popular over time. Supports Android Jelly Bean, Kit-Kat and Lollipop. Its main characteristic is that supports Intel and AMD processors, which is not as common as it might seem. It offers the option to record the screen and take screenshots, allows the installation of APKs, keyboard mapping and many other functionalities.
9- Andy OS
Andy, in addition to being completely free, is compatible with both Windows and Mac. It works quite well, but yes, when we install it, let's make sure that it is not included among the startup programs. If not, it will run in the background whenever we start the computer.
For the rest, it allows quite curious things, such as install root permissions, so the usability margin is frankly high.
Andy OS Official Website
LDPlayer, like Gameloop, is another Android emulator for Windows geared towards video games. It allows good keyboard mappings and the performance in general is quite good, receiving constant updates as of November 2019 (although it should be noted that it is based on Android 5.1.1, a version of the system that is quite old already).
However, it is still compatible with titles such as Black Desert Mobile, PUBG, Call of Duty or Brawl Stars, so if we like this type of game and want to play some games from the PC this is one of the best ways to do it.
Android emulators for Windows and Mac that have not had continuity
In addition to these there have also been other emulators for PC that were very successful in their day, but for one reason or another have been abandoned, stopping receiving updates (although we can still find them on the net).
Remix OS Player
Some of you will know Remix OS as it is a desktop operating system based on the Android x86 project. I personally have had serious problems when I have tried to install the full OS, but be careful because it is not necessary to get into eleven-rod shirts if all we want is to install and test a few apps.
Remix OS Player is an emulator based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow for Windows and Mac which is also free. The only problem is that it is not compatible with all AMD chips. It should be noted that the project was hung and has not seen updates for 3 years (although it is still available and can be installed without problems)
Download Remix OS Player
Not that Droid4X has the best interface in the world, but it works perfectly and is free. It is also not as fluid as Nox or BlueStacks, although in general we will not have major problems. It is compatible with gamepads and allows you to make all kinds of adjustments on Android. It also has a version for Mac, but it is quite difficult to find ...
Note: Droid4X was one of the most interesting projects in the Android emulation scene for PC, but in 2016 it was abandoned by its developers and has not had continuity. However, we can still download the installation package.
Download Droid4X for Windows
Probably the best paid Android emulator. It comes in 2 flavors: Android Lollipop (14 euros) and Android Jelly Bean (9 euros), and has a 30-day trial version. AMIDuOS is developed by American Megatrends, and its qualities include accepting gamepads and external GPS hardware, a "root mode”, And the possibility of assigning RAM, frames per second and DPI manually.
The only downside is that it comes standard with the Amazon app store instead of the Play Store. But considering that we can install APKs, it is not too much of a problem.
Note: AMIDuOS closed its doors in March 2018, although if we search the Internet we can still find the odd installer and test it on our computer.
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