From mobile phones and tablet PCs to OS, I like to write in-depth information, guides, reviews and tutorials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Genymotion.com.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Sei Chele on September 12, 2017:
why does not support Intel G33/G31 Chipset Family
please help me
Bert Danas from PI on April 01, 2016:
You need at least 2gb ram to run Bluetacks.
Btw, there are new Chinese emulators like Nox and Droid4X.
sanee on December 09, 2015:
i have 1gb ram which emulator will run on my pc
Jose Juan Gutierrez from Mexico City on November 23, 2015:
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.
ajay kc on September 22, 2015:
clash me cannto be install on my laptop by blustack can you help me to install it
AllMightyMixer on June 26, 2015:
I'm using Bluestacks but I don't have the same cool interface as in the article. Why?
asmaulhusna561 on May 28, 2015:
can we use whatsapp ,instagram with amidous or jar of beans?
and it runs fast?
GasparIlom on May 06, 2015:
any of this provide ARM support apps
Asterix on March 07, 2015:
Any emulator which supports screen rotation and works on 512mb ram.....
?_?If you answer then thanks in advance....:-)
Rajesh Bhuin from India on October 19, 2014:
I used the blue stacks android emulator app on my PC. It was pretty good, but every app was not supported.
Anurag (author) on July 24, 2014:
No I don't think so.
tejas sondule on July 24, 2014:
dude will i be able to run jar of beans without graphic card will i be able to
Androidlover on June 27, 2014:
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
nousinfosystems on March 17, 2014:
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!
asijit on March 02, 2014:
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..
Anurag (author) on February 12, 2014:
John Fox from Richmond, VA on February 11, 2014:
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!
Danomite on February 09, 2014:
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.
Shivam on February 07, 2014:
How to use what's app on jar of beans
In play store it says that version is not capable of the software
Anurag (author) on January 17, 2014:
@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.
Anurag (author) on January 17, 2014:
@ashish It seems Jar of Beans has been discontinued. You can try others mentioned in this list. All are free to download.
ashish norbert on January 17, 2014:
will jar of beans work without graphic card???????????//////
Tim Anthony on January 14, 2014:
Many people want android apps on PC. Specially watsapp, hill climb racing, temple runner, etc. Bluestacks is also quite famous android emulator.
James Richton from USA on January 09, 2014:
These are some good emulators for PCs. Thanks.
Jhon Peter Jackson on January 04, 2014:
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 !!! ???
rockey on December 25, 2013:
i am always having the problem of graphics
Anurag (author) on December 08, 2013:
@Sagar I don't think so.
Hezekiah from Japan on November 26, 2013:
Thanks, I didn't know about most of these, definitely start with Blue Stacks.
James Richton from USA on November 05, 2013:
Do these emulators really work?
Anurag (author) on October 16, 2013:
@Jatel02 Updated post with download link, second paragraph in "Jar of Beans".
Samson Ogola from Nairobi on October 15, 2013:
Nice and informative article.. I'm currently looking for the Jar of Beans download links.. you din't provide any
dika on September 23, 2013:
where is download link for Android emulator ?
Douchebag 123 on August 26, 2013:
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 from Tampa, Florida on August 22, 2013:
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?
mojahid on August 14, 2013:
in bluestack ,wechat is not supporting video calling.....anyone tried video calling through wechat in any other emulator?
Chad Davis on August 07, 2013:
I need to try one of these... what does it do when an app needs to determine location information?
Ty on June 25, 2013:
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
jorell on May 27, 2013:
Well bluestack has a error 25000
Anurag (author) on May 04, 2013:
@Smith You must have a a decent graphics card + updated graphics card driver. Your netbook graphics card must support OpenGL ES 2.0.
Smith on May 04, 2013:
my netbook have 2gb ram , but still not work, because atom
there is a way to install bluestack?
Anurag (author) on April 28, 2013:
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.
murmur on April 27, 2013:
hey ı installed bluestacks but when I open this app it say loading but not opening why is that pls help
Anurag (author) on April 24, 2013:
@hmmmmm Switch to a new graphic card or update your graphic card drivers.
hmmmm on April 23, 2013:
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?
mark on April 14, 2013:
1st time to use this emulators ..1st, i'll try the blue stacks,,..
permesh on April 09, 2013:
blue stack is not run in my computer having 1 gb ram
Rika on April 07, 2013:
aww ,, so cool,, ty,,
Anurag (author) on April 07, 2013:
@Kiran Graphically-intensive games do lag a bit. Make sure the app meets the minimum system requirements (1GB RAM, decent graphics card).
Anurag (author) on April 07, 2013:
@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.
Yuvraj suthar on April 06, 2013:
My youwave is not running, why?
kiran on April 05, 2013:
bluestacks gets slow after a while and games like subway surfers lag a lot win 8 user
Joseph from Makati on March 28, 2013:
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
bluestcks on March 23, 2013:
bluestacks needs 1gb ram if you don't have them, i't would not run.
Anurag (author) on February 18, 2013:
@Hideki-ryuga You're welcome
Hideki-ryuga on February 18, 2013:
Thanks for this hub. I was looking for a solution to view an application I created for android. Well done!
ZZZ on February 05, 2013:
Read your article unfortunately bluestacks does not install on netbooks computers with atom processors
muhriza on January 27, 2013:
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?
Anurag (author) on December 17, 2012:
@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.
jan2x19 on December 17, 2012:
i want to try this very interesting software or emulator..how am i giong to download this app?
Anurag (author) on November 29, 2012:
Thanks, Tony! Jar of Beans is pretty new and a promising looking app player.
J Antonio Marcelino from Illinois, USA on November 29, 2012:
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.