Running Android on Windows
Running Android on Windows is possible by various methods, which are distinguished by the complexity of the initial configuration, functions and performance. Why may need an Android emulator? - in most cases, for the average user "just to see", the developers of the 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 in Windows.
Anyway, if you have a desire to download the Android emulator and try launching 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 Android emulation, however, many will be enough of this, besides, 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, but you can also turn on windowed 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 will need a Google account (you can create a new one).
In addition, if you have a smartphone or tablet on Android, then you can install the BlueStacks Cloud Connect application to synchronize applications between it and Windows.
Genymotion - a high-quality Android emulator with extensive features
The Genymotion emulator is quite easy to install, allows you to emulate a wide range of real devices with different versions of the Android OS and, most importantly, it works fast and supports hardware accelerated graphics.
You can download Genymotion for Windows or Mac OS from the official website http://www.genymotion.com/ . This emulator is available for download in both free and paid versions. For personal use, the free option is 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, its separate launch is not required.
Android game running on Windows with 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 at the bottom right and enter the data you specified when registering to access the device list . 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. Upon completion, you get a full-fledged Android system with extensive additional features of the emulator, which you can learn more about in the program help (in English).
Note: when I created the first device, after downloading files, the program reported a virtual disk mount error. Helped restart Genymotion as administrator.
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 Android and Dalvik to Windows, while using all the real hardware resources of the computer and the Windows kernel. I am not an expert in such things, but it feels like Windroy is faster than anything else listed in this article and more “buggy” (the latter is excusable, since the project is still in progress).
You can download Windows Android from the official website http://www.socketeq.com/ ; no problems were noticed during installation and start-up (however, they say that not everyone is starting up), except that I could not switch program in windowed mode (runs in full screen).
Note: to install in the root of the disk, on thematic Russian-speaking forums there is a lot of information about Windroy.
Creating emulators in Android Virtual Device Manager
Android Windroy Emulator
On the website for Android application developers - http://developer.android.com/ you can download everything you need for programming for Android (Android SDK). It goes without saying that this kit 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 on installing the Android SDK and creating virtual devices on this site, but here I will not describe the whole process - a separate article would go to that.
YouWave for Android
YouWave for Android is another simple program that allows you to run Android applications in Windows. Download the emulator from http://youwave.com/ . The developers promise high compatibility and performance. I did not launch this product myself, but judging by the reviews on the network, many users are happy with this option, while at the same time youWave - 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.