Android Emulators are one of the most amazing things for Windows PC and Mac users. Your computer becomes a dynamic device which can run other apps and software which are only compatible with another operating system like Android.
People, who never use an android emulator in a windows 10, 8 or 7 PC will always have this question in their mind that why would you need to download emulator if you have an Android smartphone which can simply run android apps and games without any other external tool? Well, it could be any reason for someone to run Android apps on a Windows/Mac PC. A developer who wants to test his apps before releasing the app to the public would use an Android emulator of their choice to test the app. Another reason could be that the person wants bigger real screen estate when playing android games with the use of physical keywords and mouse.
Using an Android Emulator will give a whole new experience with the little bit of a usual Android smartphone experience since the UI of the emulators (except some emulators) will be similar to an ordinary Android smartphone.
Android Emulator for Windows and MAC
So today we are going to look at the 17 best android emulators for Windows PC and Mac. Particularly the Android emulators given in this guide are compatible with Windows 7/ 8/ 10 & Mac. This is a complete guide on, How to download and setup best Android emulator on PC? This article will give you a brief description of the android phone emulator and how and where you can download them.
These Emulators are available for free and are available for both Windows PC and Mac. So you don’t need to spend a penny to install and experience any of the Android emulator’s mentions in this guide.
Note that installing any of the Android studio emulators would require some kind of basic knowledge about Android, Windows PC, and Mac which almost everyone will have so I don’t think there should be any problem with this guide. This guide is very precise and if you read this article carefully and you won’t face any issue or whatsoever.
So here are 10 best Android emulators for Windows PC and Mac.
Andy Emulator is completely free of cost, and you can download it from lots of third-party websites. You must be thinking that why I didn’t put Bluestack as the number one Android emulator for Windows PC and Windows. This emulator had few issues when it was first released, but with the few updates released by the developers, it has become a serious competition with the Bluestack. In my opinion, it is even better than the Bluestack Emulator. If you are using Windows 10 or Mac, then you should definitely try this emulator. The emulator is also available for Windows 10, 7 & 8.
Andy can run all the free android apps including games, launchers, productive apps, entertaining and education. You can even get root access with this emulator which makes this emulator very productive especially for the developers. However, it is not a perfect emulator, in fact, there is no perfect android emulator. All the emulators have at least one flaw which can be a deal breaker for someone. Andy Emulator will run Android 5.0 lollipop which is not up to date since the Android smartphones have to reach android 8.0 Oreo. Maybe in future updates, these emulators will get new OS version.
BlueStacks Emulator is another great emulator, and it has been in the android emulator department for a while now. This is a very trusted android emulator for both Windows PC and Mac. The developers especially prefer this emulator over any other Emulator because of its dynamic ability. Although the emulator is still running on KitKat and you can download and install all the free android games as well.
Nintendo Emulators are one of the biggest reason why people use the android emulator on their computer because you can play all those legendary Nintendo Gameboy games on your computer with the help of Android Emulators like BlueStack.
BlueStacks is the oldest as well as the first private android emulator. So people who are using BlueStacks since the beginning does not even bother looking at other options.
If you are a minimalist then you will fall for this emulator. Nox App player is an amazing android emulator, and it is the cleanest when it comes to the user interface of the app Nox App Player is preferable for the mobile gamers since this emulator consists of efficient game rendering engine which can run heavy games smoothly.
Nox App player is clean and gives you a stock android like experience. You can directly install games and apps from the google play store which is given in the app drawer. If you have apk installed on your Windows PC and Mac, then you can also install that apk. Make sure that you enable “unknown Source” which you can do from the settings app.
This emulator comes handy for developers as well. They can test their apps and work on them.
Dolphin Emulator is another great emulator for this list. Dolphin Emulator is one of the newer emulators in the market. It can run Nintendo GameCube and Wii emulator, so this is good news for Nintendo and Wii lovers. With these titles, you can download and play games like Mario, Sonic and street fighters on your PC.
However, Dolphin for Android has some games compatibility which is more limited than the one available on Windows and Mac. Dolphin is also available for Linux. Dolphone has touchscreen controls as well as physical controls like your joystick, keyboard, and mouse.
Although there is a compatibility issue with Dolphin, it allows you to configure the emulator in almost every aspect. You can also enable “dual Core” enhance the performance of the emulator.
Archon Emulator is the unique emulator in the emulator department. Archon Emulator is the first ever emulator which runs on Google Chrome OS. If you have one of those Google Chrome OS running devices and you want to run an Android Emulator, then you should definitely try this emulator I mean what another choice you even have.
The anchor can also run in Google Chrome Browser in the form of an extension. Archon cannot be download separately; you will need Chrome Browser and then install Anchor inside chrome to run this app. Google Chrome is available for all the major platforms so Mac users can also run on Archon Emulator.
Archon Emulator uses the default Android runtime package to run Android apps. Google is expected to release a new update which will support Android apps for Chrome browser in the future. Till then we can use Archon emulator to run Android apps and games in Chrome browser.
Archon has a modified apk android app package which the developers implemented so that people can use it for testing purpose only. So as long as you are not doing any fishy thing with this emulator, you are good to go.
KoPlayer is not as good as the emulators mentioned above when it comes to the user interface, but it has lots of good features which makes it worthy of trying. This is a Win-only Android emulator. You get Google Play store inbuilt in the emulator, and it is compatible with Windows 7/ 8/ 8.1/ 10. Watching movies and videos from Youtube and Netflix makes this emulator a great entertainment companion since it has an adaptable resolution and you can watch contents in full screen.
Ko Player Emulator for windows PC has other good features like drag and drop for installing apps directly through apk files without downloading them from external sources. You can also navigate through the interface with keyboards and play games with it.
Make sure that you enable discrete graphics solution and virtualization technology in the BIOS settings before running any app.
Ko Player is yet to launch for Mac users so meanwhile, you can check on other android emulators which are compatible with Mac.
GenyMotion is another great emulator for developers. If you are developers who test a lot of apps on a regular basis, then you should give Genymotion a try. Genymotion is a self-claimed emulator for the developer because of its features. It is compatible with Android SDK tools, Eclipse and Android Studio.
You can sideload plugins for Genymotion to increase the control over the apps that you are testing.Genymotion has Java API which allows the user to automate apps for testing. BY testing with Java API, you can manipulate the sensor value of the app that you are testing. You can change the location and scenarios as well. You can also emulate fake SMS/Calls to check any relatable app you are working on. So basically this emulator is perfect for developers in my opinion, and it has all the geeky stuff which a normal consumer won’t get.
Remix OS is another emulator which is on the newer side. This emulator is easy to use without any errors or whatsoever. While most of the Android Emulators are running on Android KitKat or Lollipop, Remix OS Android Emulator for PC runs on Android Marshmallow. This is a huge advantage over another emulator because you can simply download and run more new apps and games on your MAC or Windows.
Remix OS has a feature called dual booting capability which means that you can easily install this emulator separately in x86 compatible systems.
Side-loading apk files are possible, but Google Play store is installed by default so you can get pretty much all the android apps from google play store. The user interface is simply because of the stock android like interface.
You can configure keyboards for your likings but I believe it can be more refined and also the demanding games needs optimization. However, you can run decent size games and apps simultaneously thanks to the effective resource utilization.
Remix OS is not available for Mac OS, and I don’t think it is coming for Mac OS any time soon.
Android Studio was released back in 2013, and since then it gains a lot of popularity. This emulator is a successor to the Eclipse IDE which is still in use by some old school developers. Android Studio has an emulator built-in so that developers can test their apps. So basically it means that an Emulator is running inside an emulator which is sort of a gimmick but it works.
Android Studio works fine, and it gets the job done. It has all the basic developer tools, but there are other Android emulators out there who are significantly better than this one. You can download Android Studio Emulator for playing games or trying out WhatsApp on your PC.
Xamarin Visual Studio is a successor to Xamarin Android Player. Unfortunately, Xamarin Android studio discontinued, but you can use it as Xamarin Visual studio.
Xamarin Visual Studio is compatible with both Windows PC and Mac OS. It runs perfectly on Windows 7/ 8/ 8.1/ 10.
If you are looking for developing android apps tools, then you might not want to use this app. This emulator is not developer friendly simply because it does not have the required tools.
Xamarin Visual Studio can run all the popular Android titles without any error. Laos if you have a touchscreen feature on your desktop and laptop then this emulator can also work with it.
The user interface is also not as pleasing as another emulator, and then navigating through the interface can be hard. All and all I would say that this emulator is not for the general consumer. You also need to install Visual Studio separately in order to run Xamarin Visual Studio
Virtual Box is a software for Windows and Mac OS which can run other operating systems as a guest OS. You have to download and install VirtualBox & Android iOS for the initial setup. Speaking of setup, setting up this software and making it able to run other OS can be tedious for some user.
Once you complete the setup, you can have an experience with running Android OS or any other OS as it is running on a physical device that runs such OS. Other emulators are also based on VirtualBOX& VMware software.
Memu is a light android emulator. It does not take much of your computer space. This emulator is not available for Mac OS. Memu runs few kernels that support jellybean, KitKat and Lollipop. The developers of this emulator claim that this emulator will get marshmallow and Nougat update very soon.
Memu is a free android emulator, and although it not much in size, it has all the necessary features which other emulators also have. It can run on Windows7, 8, 8.1 and 10 with both Intel and AMD system (It can also run with or without any integrated graphic).
Droid4X is an old emulator which is still giving competition to other Android emulators out there. This classic emulator is somehow simple and effective. Runs smoothly on Windows PC and Mac. Droid 4X is concentrated towards gamers, particularly casual gamers who just want to kill time. When it comes to productivity, Droid4X is no slouch, and it can deliver some impressive performance to people who do productive tasks.
Droid 4x has recently faced some issue, and now I’m not sure whether the emulator is available or not. But you can check their website.
Youwave is another old emulator but it still working and available for Windows PC and Mac. However, the emulator has not received any updated for years now. Youwave Android emulator is available in two versions, Freemium, and premium. You will get Ads and Ice Cream Sandwich in the freemium version. You must download premium version as it’s much better since it has no ads and runs on a lollipop.
Leapdroid supports almost all the free android apps and games. You can download and run the apps pretty smoothly. Leapdroid has features like enhance gameplay, seamless apps and games compatibility.
The acquisition of Google has made the emulator vulnerable, and there is no update for this emulator anymore. You can still install this emulator, but you won’t get any security patches.
AmiDuos is not an emulator but software which can run Android apps. You won’t get any android like the interface, but that’s not the point here. People install Android emulators to run Android apps, and AMiDUos also delivers that. It runs only on Windows with 32 and a 64-bit system.
Bliss is a decent android emulator which runs on x86. It is available for Windows PC. I don’t recommend this emulator to anyone simply because it has lots of compatible issues. Go for any other emulator mentioned above, but I think you should avoid this emulator.
So these are the best Android emulators that you can download and install on your Windows 10 PC and Mac OS. There are some Emulators which are not compatible with Mac OS, but every emulator in the list is compatible with windows.