Android devices are getting better day by day, whether we talk about screen quality, processors, performance, but they will never be able to match the experience that you get on a PC. Be it gaming or any other task the functionality of a big screen, mouse and keyboard can’t be matched. To help you experience all of this but with Android, emulators come into the play and there are many Android emulators for Windows.
We can argue that to experience Android bigger and better, tablets were made and there are many out there in the wild but name one tablet that you saw breaking the market or even name a tablet you’ve ever used besides the iPad. Also with the crappy screen quality, slow processors, and terrible cameras, tablets are surely a no go.
Emulators are like virtual operating systems that take over your computer and allows you to use stuff with letting your original operating system know about it. Basically, they simulate your Android device to your PC and let you enjoy your Android experience on a bigger screen with mouse keyboard and what not. Though there are Chromebooks available in the market they’re practically useless if you’re a heavy user.
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There are many Android emulators for Windows out there in the wild but we have curated a list of the best ones available out there which are compatible nearly every Windows PC available:-
Top Android Emulators for Windows:
If you know anything about Android emulators for Windows it is nearly impossible if you haven’t heard of BlueStacks. It is one of the oldest android emulator available in the market and at a time was the undisputed king of the Android emulators for Windows market. The Bluetooth was based on Android 4.4 KitKat which I guess is still present on around 30-40% Android devices. It has grown old and is a bit bloated as compared to the newer generation emulators.
The BlueStacks is indeed older and dated but this does not mean that it is useless, in fact, it has a lot of potentials that can still give a tough fight to competitors. There’s no use of an emulator if you can’t download games and apps using it thus it comes with Google Play Store pre-installed so you have access to the library of apps that the developers have to offer.
The BlueStacks is the only emulator in the business which can do Twitch live streaming. There were days when people used YouTube for all this stuff but with the shitty live feature and the aggressive guidelines, people are running away to Twitch for all the live streaming of their games. Facebook life can also be accessed if you’re interested using the BlueStacks TV. The emulator behaves like a true Android device and thus multitasking can easily be done.
Bluestacks is available in two versions:- Free and Premium. Like every other developer who provides their software is free, BlueStacks also annoys its consumers by putting a barrage of ads on their face and pursues them to but the premium version.
Nox Player can also be put up in the league of the oldest Android emulators for Windows that are available in the market. It is one of the most popular Android emulators to hit the market and has been a leader in providing services and numerous features to consumers. Nox Player is also based on Android KitKat 4.4 and thus justifying which is why it is so popular.
Moreover, Nox Player has tons of advanced features and its performance is something that it keeps it relevant still in the market. Nox Player has a learning curve when it comes to using the emulator because it has so many features that might blow in your face and you may not be able to enjoy it to the fullest. But as they say time heals everything it is the same case with Nox that with time you learn to make use of all the features.
Let’s look at some of the features of Nox Player:
- You can control how many CPU cores, amount of RAM and FPS you want to allow to a particular app. Crazy Right! Not only this you can even switch between DirectX or OpenGL if you are facing any problem with your gaming experience.
- The Google Play Store is in-built and even if you want to install some third-party apps using the Nox Player you just have to drag the APK to the emulator ad your app will be installed.
- The main reason of using Android emulators for Windows is to have the advantage of a physical keyboard and mouse, so Nox Player comes with a feature called simulate touch that provides with the ability to map shortcut keys on your keyboard.
- Just like screen recording in iOS, Nox Player also allows you to record not everything but some aspects of your Android device experience so that you can take the help of them to work later.
Nox player is a great Android emulator for Windows and the best thing is that comes with a rooted version of Android. All this makes Nox Player a strong recommendation for using on your Windows PC.
Android Studio has its own emulator but it does not have that many features as Genymotion has and hence it proved to be a great alternative to the default emulator. The thing about Genymotion is that it is more targeted towards developers rather than the normal consumer market. So rather than normal gaming features, Genymotion has features that will benefit the developers and thus is a great Android emulator for Windows for developers.
Features of Genymotion Android Emulator:
- Genymotion is available in both free and premium versions. The free version of the Genymotion Android emulator lets you manually tinker the camera, battery, and your GPS coordinates.
- The paid version of Genymotion lets you screencast what is on your phone or other Android device and all gives you the access to remotely control the Genymotion Android emulator for Windows using a smartphone.
- Genymotion has plug-ins for Android Studio, Eclipse, IDEA, and IntelliJ so that the developers can work on their apps using the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) so that they don’t have to go through the hassle of transferring apps between phones and PC.
- Also, Genymotion works from Android KitKat 4.4 to Android 7.0 Nougat, thus enabling you to use a ton of devices without restriction.
- Genymotion also has a cloud-based emulator which can be accessed using just your browser! But the catch in all of this is that you have to request for a private access so you can’t directly access it.
Genymotion requires you to install VirtualBox and also you have to sign up for an account before completing the installation process. Also, keep a check that you have enabled virtualization technology in your BIOS before you move on to download Genymotion.
You know you’ve created someone tremendous when Google buys it to use it as their own product. LeapDroid is one of the most versatile Android emulators for Windows. The sad part is that after acquiring it, Google shut it down after a few months for some reasons. But there are many saviors on the internet who have the APK of LeapDroid android emulator so people can still use it.
Since it was for some short period of time a Google product it is Obvious that it has Google Play Store inbuilt so that you can you can have access to all the apps and games available on the Play Store. It is however based on Android 4.4 KitKat, thus limiting the reach to a number of devices only. But you can add shortcuts for Pokèmon Go and Clash Of Clans so it is a win-win situation for everyone.
LeapDroid is one of the best Android emulators for Windows because of the following features. You can check them out here.
Features of LeadDroid:
- Just like Nox Player, LeapDroid also provides you with the feature of installing APKs directly from your PC. So, you don’t have to go through the hassle of transferring files between your Android Device and PC.
- If you’re a game buff you also have the option to choose the graphics rendering modes i.e., OpenGL and DirectX. Also, you can use your apps in full-screen mode and if you want to screenshot something in your apps or games (Winner Winner Chicken Dinner) you also have that tools.
- Since emulators provide you with the flexibility of using a physical keyboard and mouse, you can set keyboard shortcuts for different games. So that you can gain an advantage over your opponents.
- For mouse controls, you can simply use gestures and use the scroll wheel to make the pinch to zoom feature work on your desktop.
LeapDroid is a great Android emulator for Windows if you are someone who has an Android KitKat device lying around. The company is not operating, so don’t expect support for the emulator and bugs can be a bit problematic. Nonetheless, LeapDroid is one of the best Android emulators for Windows you can use.
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Summing it Up
Android emulators have picked up a pace in the recent times and are of great use if you work around them carefully. Most of the developers have taken the Android emulator route to test their apps and games so they don’t have to go through much hassle. There are many Android emulators out there but you have to be careful which one to use.
We have curated a great list of emulators that you can use on all of your Windows desktops and take full benefits of the Android platform. We hope that you have a joyful experience using our guide.