Running Android Apps on Your Desktop
There are many cool Android apps that are not available for desktop Windows or Mac computers. But with a little work you can try Android apps without an Android-powered smartphone or tablet. Here are several ways to get Android and its apps running on your Windows PC or Mac OS desktop...
Want to run the Android operating system somewhere other than your smartphone or tablet? Maybe you're a die-hard desktop or laptop user, vowing never to buy a smartphone… but you secretly want to try out an app that your friends have been raving about.
Candy Crush? WhatsApp? Instagram? Plants vs. Zombies? On your old-school PC or Mac computer? Yes! One way to make it happen is with emulation. The upside of emulation is that you are running pure, straight-from-Google Android, not a customized OEM version. You get to see apps the way Google intended them to run.
The easiest way to test-drive Android apps on a Windows or Mac computer may be the free BlueStacks App Player. It’s easily installed and features integration with the Google Play store. The store helps you find apps by category, search term, and even by seeing what apps your Google+ circle members are using. One-click installation makes it super-easy to try, and it runs in a window, right alongside your other Windows or Mac apps.
AMIDuOS is another tool that enables you to run Android apps on a Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer, without installing any virtual machine software, or dual booting. AMIDuOS can run nearly all of the Android applications available in Android app markets. If you didn't succeed at getting your favorite app to run in Bluestacks, chances are good that it will work under AMIDuOS.
If your hardware supports it, AMIDuOS can provide the full Android experience, taking advantage of multi-touch, gestures, cameras, audio, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyrometer, and compass. File sharing between Windows and Android environments is supported. You can try AMIDuOS free for 30 days, after which it can be purchased for $10.
Ahoy, Matey! Here's Your Port...
Virtual machines and emulators can consume a lot of system resources; some apps will run sluggishly and some will stall out. For a more fluid experience that’s closer to an actual Android device, you can install a Windows “port” of Android.
A port, in computer science, is a software program re-written for an environment (operating system and/or hardware architecture) other than the environment for which it was originally written. The performance of a port depends on the skill and care of the person(s) who write it.
The Android for Intel Platforms ports are written by Intel Corp. engineers who do a pretty high quality job, in general. The Android-x86 Project is an open-source port developed and maintained by a group of volunteers; it will run on both Intel- and AMD-powered PCs. Both of these ports support lists of specific machines on which they will run, e. g., Dell XPS or Lenovo Thinkpad.
If your machine is not supported by either of these ports, you may try running one of them under Oracle Corp.’s VirtualBox virtual machine manager.
Ideally, the computer on which you want to run your Android apps has a camera and touchscreen like a smartphone or tablet, but many apps also support mice (more or less). If you have a touch-enabled laptop, tablet or convertible running Windows 8, it's probably ideal. But these tools will work even on hulking desktop computers. Test-driving Android apps on a PC can help you decide whether to switch to Google’s mobile operating system, or open up a new world of mobile apps that were previously out of reach on your desktop.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 10 Apr 2015
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Running Android Apps on Your Desktop (Posted: 10 Apr 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved