Running Android on Windows
Running Android on Windows is possible by various methods that distinguish the complexity of the initial setup, functions and performance. Why might you need an Android emulator? - in most cases, for the average user “just to watch”, the developers of mobile applications use it for comprehensive testing of their programs. But they are already well aware of all the possibilities to run an Android game on Windows.
One way or another, if you have a desire to download the Android emulator and try running applications and games in the Windows environment, here you will find several ways to do this.
BlueStacks - for those who do not need a full emulator
BlueStacks - One of the most popular programs for running Android games on Windows. It is designed specifically for games and does not offer the user a full-fledged emulation of Android, however, this will be enough for many, moreover, in games BlueStacks shows slightly better performance than most other emulators.
You can download BlueStacks from the official website http://www.bluestacks.com/home.html , it supports not only Windows (XP, 7 and 8), but also Mac OS X.
After installing the program, it will open in full screen mode, however, you can enable window mode. In the main window you will see a list of games available for download (you can also use the search). To install applications, you need a Google account (you can create a new one).
In addition, if you have an Android smartphone or tablet, you can install the BlueStacks Cloud Connect application to synchronize applications between it and Windows.
Genymotion - a quality Android emulator with wide functions
The Genymotion emulator is quite simple to install, it allows you to emulate a wide range of real devices with different versions of the Android OS and, most importantly, it works quickly and supports hardware graphics acceleration.
You can download Genymotion for Windows or Mac OS from the official website http://www.genymotion.com/ . This emulator is available for download both for free and in paid versions. For personal use, the free option is quite enough, there are no restrictions.
To download the Genymotion Android emulator you will need to register on the site, then use one of the download links. I recommend using the first one, which includes VirtualBox and automatically makes the necessary settings. When installing, do not start VirtualBox, you will not need to run it separately.
Android game running on Windows using Genymotion
And after Genymotion was installed and launched, in response to the message that no virtual devices were found, select to create a new one, then click the Connect button in the lower right, enter the data that you specified during registration to access the list of devices . Selecting a new virtual Android device, wait for the necessary components to load, after which it will appear in the list and you can launch it by double-clicking or using the Play button. In general, nothing complicated. At the end, you get a full-fledged Android system with wide additional features of the emulator, which can be found in more detail in the help for the program (in English).
Note: when creating the first device, after downloading the files, the program reported an error of mounting a virtual disk. Restarting Genymotion as an administrator helped.
Windows Android or Windroy
Android Windroy Emulator
This program with a straightforward name from Chinese programmers, as far as I could understand and see, is fundamentally different from other Android emulators for Windows. Judging by the information on the site, this is not emulation, but porting of Android and Dalvik to Windows, all the real hardware resources of the computer and the Windows kernel are involved. I am not an expert in such things, but Windroy feels faster than the rest listed in this article and more “buggy” (the latter is excusable, since the project is still in work).
You can download Windows Android from the official site http://www.socketeq.com/ , there were no problems during installation and startup (however, they say that not everyone starts), except that I could not switch the program in windowed mode (runs in full screen).
Note: install in the root of the disk, on the thematic Russian-language forums there is a lot of information about Windroy.
Creating emulators in Android Virtual Device Manager
Android Windroy Emulator
On the site for Android application developers - http://developer.android.com/ you can download everything you need to program for Android (Android SDK). It goes without saying that this kit also includes tools for testing and debugging applications on virtual devices.
Thus, this is the official way, but it is not too simple for the average user. If you wish, you can find all instructions for installing the Android SDK and creating virtual devices on the specified site, but I won’t describe the whole process here - it would take a separate article.
YouWave for Android
YouWave for Android is another simple program that allows you to run Android applications on Windows. You can download the emulator from the website http://youwave.com/ . Developers promise high compatibility and performance. I myself did not launch this product, but judging by the reviews on the network, many users are happy with this option, while some YouWave has the only thing that started from Android emulators.
That's all, I hope one of these methods will allow you to experience Android on your Windows computer.