I am looking for a software which runs Android applications on computer.


  1. Can install games (well, mostly)
  2. For Windows 7 (and above) and/or Mac OS X
  • 1.) What means "Premium"? = not gratis? 2.) Must a solution run on both, Windows and Mac OS X, or is one of these OS sufficient? – unor Apr 14 '14 at 13:06
  • @unor It can be free or premium, and yea, OS is optional... any one OS would suffice – Mr. Alien Apr 14 '14 at 13:07
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    I suggest that you edit "Gratis or Premium" to "Free or Paid" or maybe you can remove the entire first point at all – miroxlav Apr 14 '14 at 14:44
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    I have experimented with VirtualBox, but not long enough to write a decent answer. There's plenty of documentation on the net on how to set up VirtualBox with Android. The downside of any solution is of course that the Android hardware is missing and cannot easily be emulated. – user416 Apr 15 '14 at 6:37

You should use a software called BlueStacks which is best known to install Android applications on your Windows machine as well as on your Mac.

Your Requirements:

  1. Gratis or Premium - Yes (As far as the version remains in Beta)
  2. Can Install Games (mostly) - Yes
  3. For Windows 7 and above / Mac OSX - Yes

As far as features go, there are not so many, the usual flow is after you install the software, it will download and install the runtime, and later, after it gets started, you need to provide your Gmail credentials for accessing the Play Store from where you can install any app you require.

You can also install WhatsApp on your computer using BlueStacks.

Here's the Download page where you can get the software for Windows as well as Mac.

Screenshot of BlueStack interface

enter image description here

Credits: AndroidPolice.com

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You can use Android-x86 + VirtualBox

  • free and open-source
  • Windows/Mac/Linux

Want to run Android on your PC? The Android-x86 Project has ported Android to the x86 platform from ARM. Android-x86 can be installed on netbooks with supported hardware, but you can also install Android in VirtualBox.

Android can be run as just another virtual machine, like you would run a Windows or Linux virtual machine. This allows you to play with the Android interface and install apps in a full Android environment on your PC.

Before you can get started, you’ll need both VirtualBox and an Android-x86 ISO to install inside VirtualBox.

Install VirtualBox:

  • Download and install VirtualBox if you don’t already have it installed.
  • Download an Android-x86 ISO: You can find the latest Android-x86 ISO files at Google Code. Download the latest one — currently Android 4.2.

enter image description here

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You can easily play all your android games or run apps on PC using emulators. But I would recommend Bluestack over others . The reasons are :

Installing BlueStacks is as simple as running the EXE file. The program requires 2GB of RAM and just 74 mb of disk space. During the process, BlueStacks tells you it runs best with App Store Access and Application Communications enabled. You can uncheck those options, but it's not clear on that installation screen what they do. App Store Access means what it says: the ability to connect to Google Play or Amazon Appstore (which comes installed by default, along with 1Mobile Market, BlueStacks Charts, Facebook, GamePop, Swift HD Camera and Twitter). Application communications, however, per BlueStacks' privacy policy, dictate that you allow BlueStacks to contact you via text messages, push notifications and/or email. I left these enabled (and haven't received any spam from the company in about a month of testing), but you have the option to opt out.

It does take a while (5 minutes) for the program to initialize for the first time. While you wait, BlueStacks showcases the kinds of apps this program was mainly developed for: games.

  1. On the plus side, however, when running an app with BlueStacks in full-screen mode instead of windowed, it really feels like you're on an Android tablet, complete with support for multi-touch (if you have a touch-screen tablet PC) and sensors integration (so you can do things like tilt to move in a game).

  2. BlueStacks does its intended job of playing games fairly well, even on my aging laptop (with an Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor and 4 GB of RAM). Most games I tried -- including Clash of Clans, Dragon Blaze and Asphalt 8 -- ran without a hitch and looked fantastic.

  3. Finally, BlueStacks offers a few interesting features like syncing apps between your phone and the Windows app via a cloud connect app, moving files between Windows and BlueStacks via a shared folder, and sideloading apps by double-clicking an APK file from your desktop. The cloud connect app didn't seem to work. It's supposed to push apps from your phone to BlueStacks on your PC and also sync the settings over, but I found no changes in either my phones' apps or BlueStacks' apps after initiating a sync, unfortunately. Sideloading apps worked like a charm on the other hand, and that feature works great when you want to test out an app that's not available yet on Google Play. (I used it to try out a new Dropbox feature in beta.)

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