Use Android apps on Windows – there are these possibilities!

There are a variety of application programs for Windows. But every now and then you prefer to use your smartphone apps. Wouldn’t it be nice if Android apps also ran on the Windows PC? It is nice! In this article you will find out what options are available to use Android apps on your home PC.

Graphics with symbols of numerous well-known apps

There are now millions of apps. However, users are sometimes limited in the possible applications. Image source: Pixabay

On the go, apps on your smartphone are a welcome change from boring waiting times – or your loyal companion during your lunch break. There are millions of different apps for free download in the Android Store. In addition, a significant number of Windows users use Android smartphones.

Using the Android apps on the PC at home is only a logical wish. The easiest way to do this is with special emulators. With all emulators, however, you have to pay attention to which Android version is supported. Basically, apps that need Android 4.1, but also more recent versions, will run with the emulators. That’s enough for new apps like PUBG Mobile, Mein Deal or Perfect Slices.

The best comes first: MEmu emulator

The Android emulator MEmu comes from Microvirt and comes with the Play Store. You can not only run apps from the Play Store on the Windows computer, but also install external APKs. So you have access to countless Android programs and games on your PC.

You feel right at home in the surface, as it is based on the well-known structure of Android smartphones. In addition, there is a bar on the right edge that enables quick and easy operation of the emulator.
The smartphone control is converted to the mouse and keyboard. Keyboard-like entries such as tilting the cell phone or swiping are also possible on a PC using key combinations. For this, the MEmu provides a tool with which you can easily define your own key combinations or mouse commands.

Of course, this is particularly suitable for game apps, which gives you an advantage over other players. In addition, you create screenshots using a shortcut.

  • MEmu is free
  • Simulates an interface with Android 7.1
  • Support for OpenGL ES 3.0
  • Compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 10

Nox App Player – emulator with useful features

Android version 7.1.2 can also be emulated with the Nox App Player since the update to version 6.3. As with MEmu, in addition to apps from the official Google Play Store, APKs are also supported. Overall, the emulator is very stable and works well with most Android apps.

Useful features expand the functions and ensure simple operation. In addition to the control bar on the right, which is known for the emulators, the Nox App Player also offers a drag-and-drop function. You can simply drag files from the Windows interface into the window of the Nox App Player. This is especially useful for APKs that you downloaded under Windows.

In addition, the emulator offers the possibility of adapting it in terms of CPU, RAM and resolution. The screencast function, with which you can easily record videos of the apps, is also very exciting. With the location function, you also fake the app any location.

  • Nox App Player is free
  • Simulates an interface with Android 7.1
  • Support for OpenGL ES 3.0
  • Compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10

BlueStacks – synchronization between smartphone and PC

The industry leader among Android emulators is BlueStacks. With the new version of BlueStacks 4, the developers have improved a lot, so that the emulator is now faster and easier to use. Apps can be started directly via a Windows shortcut without having to start the Android interface beforehand.

Of course, you will also find the option here to adapt the keyboard layout to your ideas. With the “BlueStacks Cloud Connect” app on the smartphone, BlueStacks also offers the option of synchronizing your mobile phone with the emulator on the PC.

  • Free version of BlueStacks shows advertisements
  • Support for OpenGL ES 3.0
  • Compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10

Android apps on Windows 10 without an emulator thanks to “your smartphone”

Microsoft itself brings the smartphone of its customers a little closer to the PC, at least under Windows 10. The “Your smartphone” software integrated in the operating system will in the near future be able to partially take on the tasks of the emulators. The app currently supports access to Android photos and texting from a PC. The push notifications are also displayed on the PC.

However, the software is currently only luring a few behind the smartphone. However, thanks to the new function of mirroring the phone’s screen on the Windows 10 desktop, this could change in the future. This would make it possible to control apps and games from Google’s Play Store on the PC without an emulator.

However, this feature is currently still in the beta phase and only available for Windows Insider. In addition, there are some requirements for the Android smartphone and the PC so that the screen can be mirrored at all:

  • At least Android 7.0 must be installed on the smartphone
  • Current version of Windows 10 required (build 18335 or newer)
  • The PC must have a Bluetooth interface with low energy peripheral role
  • Android smartphone must be switched on and within Bluetooth range

It is still too early to do without the emulator

However, currently only the smartphones of the Samsung Galaxy series S8 and S9 and the Microsoft Surface Go are supported. But since this feature could reach millions of users, sooner or later there will be access options for the general public. Until then, you can use the emulators mentioned above.

As is the case with emulators, users sometimes have to struggle with problems. The latest apps that rely on the better engines like Vulkan are often not (yet) supported. The software interface is often not fully developed compared to the operation on a smartphone.

Since Android apps are geared towards touchscreens, there are sometimes problems with the control, which cannot be completely avoided even when converting to a mouse and keyboard or even to the gamepad.

The advertising that can be found in many emulators is also sometimes annoying. However, most emulators are free, so you should be lenient. Let us know in the comments why you use an emulator for Android apps on the PC and which one works best for you.