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7 Best Android App Emulators for Windows

Updated on April 29, 2016

Android app emulators for Windows lets you test-drive Android applications on your PC. You may have experimented with an application that comes bundled with a software development kit. But third-party apps offer the best simulation experience.

Third-party Android emulators run the latest games launched on Google Play, or allow budding developers to experiment with their brand new app. Here’s a rundown of some of the best Android emulators on Windows.

1. BlueStacks

BlueStacks is one of the best emulators with which to play Android games on PC. It runs old as well as new apps launched on Google Play. You can also try out an app you have written. Just right-click on your .apk file and select the app player to test it out.

Once BlueStacks could run only a handful of apps, but with recent enhancements you can now run many applications and games effortlessly, though you may experience slow frame rates while playing 3D games. The app player has a nifty search option, where you can type in the app name, click on the search result, and wait for the app to install completely.

The app player also lets you tweak and manage installed apps. You can change the app size (tablet, large phone or default), uninstall apps, or add an onscreen keyboard. There’s also an option to sync your phone or tablet with your PC using this app player.

The best part of the application player is its interface. I found it very simple and clutter-free. I could easily find my installed apps via a menu enlisting all applications horizontally. There’s also a vertical sidebar that suggests new apps to download. BlueStacks is still in beta mode and is available free, but it may turn into a paid app in the future.

The newest version can now play a majority of apps, including top 3D games.

BlueStacks
BlueStacks

2. Andyroid

Andy Android emulator will run any app on your Windows PC provided you have a decent rig. Built on the Oracle VM VirtualBox, this emulator is fully customizable and will run smoothly on modern PCs. The makers of Andy have also launched an application that turns your Android tablet or Smartphone into a controller. Just download the app and play your favorite games on your PC wirelessly.

Downloading and installing Andy setup will take time. Before installation, check whether your PC meets Andy’s requirements. Andy is CPU-intensive software and requires a minimum of 3GB RAM and 20 GB of hard disk space. Your PC should have a dual-core CPU that supports virtualization technology. Make sure you have enabled Vt-x in the BIOS.

In case you want to uninstall this emulator, just manually delete Andy folders located in C:/Program Files. Simply using the emulator’s uninstaller won’t remove it completely. After deleting all folders, make sure you use CCleaner’s registry cleanup tool to remove any traces of this software.

Andy Android Emulator
Andy Android Emulator

3. AMIDuOS

AMIDuOS is a paid emulator, but you can use it for free for 30 days. The software is easy to install and won’t take as much time as Andy. It offers a complete Android experience and runs quite fast. Minimum PC requirements are dual core CPU with 2 GB RAM, hardware virtualization enabled in BIOS and OpenGL 3.0. The software also supports 3D acceleration, so users can play almost all graphic-intensive Android games on their Windows PC. What the software actually does is it takes advantage of Windows OpenGL drivers, which ensures a decent frame-rate improvement.

With AmiDuOS installed, you can easily share video, music and image between your Windows PC and Android. The software’s SD card options let you adjust the SD card size using a simple tool. AmiDuOS offers a complete Android experience, including gaming and can be installed in a jiffy. A must-download Android app emulator for your Windows-powered PC. And if you are looking for an emulator like BlueStacks, I would suggest you give Windroye a try.

AmiDuos Android App Emulator for Windows
AmiDuos Android App Emulator for Windows

4. Jar of Beans

Jar of Beans is a user-developed emulator developed by "UnrealManu." It runs all apps and games supported by Android Jelly Bean devices. The best part of this app is that games that require hardware graphics acceleration run smoothly on this emulator.

Jar of Beans is second best to BlueStacks when it comes to emulating apps and games. It can play games in full-screen mode, and switch to tablet mode for Android tablet-supported games. Plenty of settings help you customize your gameplay and app usage experience. It offers a wide range of configuration options, including different viewing modes, a virtual SD card, and keyboard support. In future versions, the emulator will boast multiple resolutions and skins.

The emulator can also double up as an app-testing sandbox. You can easily test your apps without requiring a real device. You can import .apk files created on your PC into the emulator using a special button. Since Jar of Beans allows custom settings, you can easily tweak options according to your app preferences, and can even create a virtual SD card of any size you want.

Note: Seems Jar of Beans has been discontinued by the developer. Do keep us updated if you have any news about this app player.

Jar of Beans
Jar of Beans

5. AMD AppZone

Powered by BlueStacks, this free app player plays 3D Android games, on AMD-powered PCs only.

The best part of AMD AppZone is that it can run games in full-screen. The AMD website also has select games that you can install and play on your AMD-powered emulator, plus productivity apps and utilities listed on the AppZone application page. Like BlueStacks, this app player allows for easy synchronization between apps on your device and computer.

AppZone can be used to try out some top Android games, but it is not suitable for application testing.

AMD AppZone
AMD AppZone

6. YouWave

YouWave supports apps built for Android 2.3 devices and performs exactly like your phone or tablet. It can rotate the screen and play multiplayer games. It simulates memory card functionality, allowing users to save their game in the same way they would do in an actual device.

This Android app emulator for Windows has a built-in application store that lets you search for a game or software and download it to your PC. However, there are some apps you can't download because of limitations in the software. The app player can’t play Angry Birds, or any other applications that have ARM native code and run on devices powered by ARM processors. Nor does YouWave support applications that require hardware sensors.

You can try YouWave for a few days, but to get the full version you have to buy an activation key. While the program is good for trying out simple apps, I would recommend BlueStacks if you want a complete Android emulation experience.

YouWave
YouWave

Which is the Best Android Emulator for PC

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7. GenyMotion

Many games and apps run only on Android 4.0+ powered devices. Fortunately, there’s an app player that runs on Jelly Bean, is fast, and supports plenty of virtual devices.

GenyMotion comes bundled with a virtual machine, Oracle VM VirtualBox, but you can download and install both separately. Installation is easy and so is the configuration, but before downloading, you will need to register with the site. You may also need to sign-in with your credentials to authenticate with GenyMotion Cloud before running apps via its virtual device. The app player is still in beta, so performance may not be up to the mark.

GenyMotion can’t run all 3D games. Graphically-intensive games like Temple Run may crash on PCs and laptops that don’t have CPU virtualization technology (Intel VT – X or AMD V). There are also complaints of games crashing because the app player does not support the X-86 architecture. However, basic apps run smoothly, in fact a lot faster than the old version of Bluestacks. It can be of immense use to app developers as there are more than 10 virtual devices, test configurations, and seamless integration with Eclipse and Android Studio. You can download the app player from http://www.genymotion.com/.

GenyMotion
GenyMotion

Comments

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  • Lj Danas profile image

    Lj Danas 16 months ago from PI

    You need at least 2gb ram to run Bluetacks.

    Btw, there are new Chinese emulators like Nox and Droid4X.

  • profile image

    Arie 19 months ago

    Can I get source code for Trojan removers on my email acc aa7is789@gmail.com plz send me tech trix

  • profile image

    sanee 20 months ago

    i have 1gb ram which emulator will run on my pc

  • unvrso profile image

    Jose Juan Gutierrez 21 months ago from Mexico City

    I`ve been trying to use the emulator that comes within Android studio, but I can not get it to work. I`m going to try bluestacks. Thank for the information.

  • profile image

    ajay kc 23 months ago

    clash me cannto be install on my laptop by blustack can you help me to install it

  • profile image

    AllMightyMixer 2 years ago

    I'm using Bluestacks but I don't have the same cool interface as in the article. Why?

  • profile image

    asmaulhusna561 2 years ago

    can we use whatsapp ,instagram with amidous or jar of beans?

    and it runs fast?

  • profile image

    GasparIlom 2 years ago

    any of this provide ARM support apps

  • profile image

    Asterix 2 years ago

    Any emulator which supports screen rotation and works on 512mb ram.....

    ?_?If you answer then thanks in advance....:-)

  • androidfan profile image

    Rajesh Bhuin 2 years ago from India

    I used the blue stacks android emulator app on my PC. It was pretty good, but every app was not supported.

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 3 years ago

    No I don't think so.

  • profile image

    tejas sondule 3 years ago

    dude will i be able to run jar of beans without graphic card will i be able to

  • profile image

    Androidlover 3 years ago

    A used bluestack before and now i deleted it because it's too big and getting slower on my pc.. I want an Android Emulator on my PC that is simple yet very useful. I wil give a try for jar of Bean

  • profile image

    nousinfosystems 3 years ago

    this is brilliant hub! hey anurag do you know that I have used bluestacks when I didn't have android mobile and played lot of games on my PC but some of my friends had no clue.. and the first time I'm hearing this 'Jar of Beans' in the above list!

  • profile image

    asijit 3 years ago

    my bluestacks is not workin now.. its show loading and loading. and i uninstall it. but whan i install blule stak again isn't installing. can tell me what happened..

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 3 years ago

    Thank you.

  • ravenrage07 profile image

    John Fox 3 years ago from Richmond, VA

    Used Bluestacks a little bit in the past wasn't all that great but maybe I configured something wrong. Thanks for the hub! Voted up and following!

  • profile image

    Danomite 3 years ago

    Bluestacks and Samsung T500 tablets and others with Atom processors are not performing well at all. Beta-2 shows promise from what I read but only time will tell.

  • profile image

    Shivam 3 years ago

    How to use what's app on jar of beans

    In play store it says that version is not capable of the software

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 3 years ago

    @Akash I don't think it will be able to play graphic-heavy games without a graphics card. Even in my laptop (which has an on-board graphics card), all visually-demanding games crashed, except for a few, such as Clash of Clans.

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 3 years ago

    @ashish It seems Jar of Beans has been discontinued. You can try others mentioned in this list. All are free to download.

  • profile image

    ashish norbert 3 years ago

    will jar of beans work without graphic card???????????//////

  • WestelCS profile image

    Tim Anthony 3 years ago

    Many people want android apps on PC. Specially watsapp, hill climb racing, temple runner, etc. Bluestacks is also quite famous android emulator.

  • TOPTENTECH profile image

    James Richton 3 years ago from USA

    These are some good emulators for PCs. Thanks.

  • profile image

    Jhon Peter Jackson 3 years ago

    I have everything , but BlueStacks ain't working !! I tried a workaround that stopped it from checking the Graphics Card when it installs , but , still , when it's UPDATING , I'm gonna have to do the workaround AGAIN !!! Does anyone of you have a solution please !!! ???

  • profile image

    rockey 3 years ago

    i am always having the problem of graphics

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 3 years ago

    @Sagar I don't think so.

  • Hezekiah profile image

    Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan

    Thanks, I didn't know about most of these, definitely start with Blue Stacks.

  • TOPTENTECH profile image

    James Richton 3 years ago from USA

    Do these emulators really work?

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 3 years ago

    @Jatel02 Updated post with download link, second paragraph in "Jar of Beans".

  • Jatelo2 profile image

    Samson Ogola 3 years ago from Nairobi

    Nice and informative article.. I'm currently looking for the Jar of Beans download links.. you din't provide any

  • profile image

    dika 3 years ago

    where is download link for Android emulator ?

  • profile image

    Douchebag 123 3 years ago

    Hey can any1 Just give me the right link to download Youwave or JarOfBeans , My bluestacks wont work cuz i have a more recent Version of Aeria Ignit and it wont work -_-

  • askScottJohnson profile image

    askScottJohnson 3 years ago from Tampa, Florida

    What is the difference between an emulator and an app viewer? I am trying to create videos about how to use the Samsung Galaxy phone that I have. I would like to use Camtasia - thus I need the phone screen to be on my computer screen is this possible with one of these programs?

  • profile image

    mojahid 4 years ago

    in bluestack ,wechat is not supporting video calling.....anyone tried video calling through wechat in any other emulator?

  • chadwiki profile image

    Chad Davis 4 years ago

    I need to try one of these... what does it do when an app needs to determine location information?

  • profile image

    Ty 4 years ago

    and Jar of Beans is full of browser/toolbar hi-jackers. even when you try custom install and select NOT to install, they try to install anyway

  • profile image

    jorell 4 years ago

    Well bluestack has a error 25000

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 4 years ago

    @Smith You must have a a decent graphics card + updated graphics card driver. Your netbook graphics card must support OpenGL ES 2.0.

  • profile image

    Smith 4 years ago

    my netbook have 2gb ram , but still not work, because atom

    there is a way to install bluestack?

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 4 years ago

    After installation, BlueStacks downloads run-time data. Let the application download the data completely. Once the run-time data is downloaded, restart the PC and double-click on the BlueStacks icon on the desktop. Wait for the app to load. It takes some time to load on slower PCs. If it is not loading, then uninstall and reinstall Bluestacks.

  • profile image

    murmur 4 years ago

    hey ı installed bluestacks but when I open this app it say loading but not opening why is that pls help

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 4 years ago

    @hmmmmm Switch to a new graphic card or update your graphic card drivers.

  • profile image

    hmmmm 4 years ago

    i want to use whatsapp on my pc , i am trying to isntal bluestacks but always there is an eror abot graphic card... can any one help?

  • profile image

    mark 4 years ago

    1st time to use this emulators ..1st, i'll try the blue stacks,,..

  • profile image

    permesh 4 years ago

    blue stack is not run in my computer having 1 gb ram

  • profile image

    Rika 4 years ago

    aww ,, so cool,, ty,,

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 4 years ago

    @Kiran Graphically-intensive games do lag a bit. Make sure the app meets the minimum system requirements (1GB RAM, decent graphics card).

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 4 years ago

    @Yuvraj The minimum/recommended system requirements to run apps like YouWave and BlueStacks are 1GB/2GB RAM and a decent graphics card. The app requires at least 1 GB of RAM. Check your system specs.

  • profile image

    Yuvraj suthar 4 years ago

    My youwave is not running, why?

  • profile image

    kiran 4 years ago

    bluestacks gets slow after a while and games like subway surfers lag a lot win 8 user

  • imsef profile image

    Joseph 4 years ago from Makati

    I have tested the bluestack. It was really perfect for me and i was even able to record a game while playing on bluestack. :D

  • profile image

    bluestcks 4 years ago

    bluestacks needs 1gb ram if you don't have them, i't would not run.

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 4 years ago

    @Hideki-ryuga You're welcome

  • Hideki-ryuga profile image

    Hideki-ryuga 4 years ago

    Thanks for this hub. I was looking for a solution to view an application I created for android. Well done!

  • profile image

    ZZZ 4 years ago

    Read your article unfortunately bluestacks does not install on netbooks computers with atom processors

  • muhriza profile image

    muhriza 4 years ago from Indonesia

    Wow, i only know BlueStacks, Youwave and AndroVM all this time. To bad some messaging apps doesn't support AndroVM (whatsapp, viber, pinger and etc), that's why i stick only to BlueStacks.

    Btw have you tried WhatsApp on Jar of Beans?

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 4 years ago

    @Jan2X19 I have provided the link to Jar of Beans (Check out Jar of Beans section). The rest can be downloaded by typing in their name on Google Search. For example, if you want to download and install BlueStacks, then type its name on the Google Search box and press Enter. The first result will display the BlueStacks website. Click on the website and you will find the download link.

  • profile image

    jan2x19 4 years ago

    i want to try this very interesting software or emulator..how am i giong to download this app?

  • Tech Trix profile image
    Author

    Anurag Ghosh 4 years ago

    Thanks, Tony! Jar of Beans is pretty new and a promising looking app player.

  • Tonyx35 profile image

    J Antonio Marcelino 4 years ago from Illinois, USA

    While I've heard of Blue Stacks before, first time I've ever heard of "Jar of Beans" I'll definitely have to give that Android OS emulator a try. +1 Useful and Interesting.