TOP ANDROID EMULATORS

TOP ANDROID EMULATORS

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Ever wanted to test  your mobile app on your PC without having to load the Android SDK Emulator? How about playing your favourite mobile game such as Clash of Clans or Cut the Rope on your PC? This is now possible by running Emulators on your PC! You can pretty much do almost everything except make mobile phone calls – you cannot insert your SIM card in that USB slot. You never know this might be possible in the near future with these emulators. Anyways, I’m going to share with you the Top Android Emulators you can use on your PC. Here’s the list:

BLUESTACKS

Bluestack Website

Image Source: Screenshot of Bluestacks website

Mobile OS : Android

Compatibility: Works on Windows and Mac

Price: Free

I came across this Emulator when watching a Webinar and the instructor showed us how to use Facebook on a mobile phone environment. You can pretty much install Games or any Android app on this emulator.  You basically download and install the Bluestacks software from here. Installation and configuration of Bluestacks was pretty straight forward. You can login using your Gmail account to sync data to Bluestacks. Here’s some screenshots of the application.

Bluestack Initialising

Bluestack Home Screen

INSTRUCTIONS FOR TESTING YOUR APK FILE

Windows

If you’re using Bluestacks in Windows there is an Import Windows Files feature in the Bluestacks Settings page.

  • First, Click on the All Apps Button on the Home Screen

Bluestack All Apps

  • Click on Bluestacks Settings

Bluestack Settings

  • Click on Import Windows Files

Bluestack Settings Page

  • Click Proceed

Bluestack Settings Import Proceed

  • Click on the APK file you want to import

 

 

Bluestack Settings Select Location Of File

  • Now go to Google Play and download any file manager. I chose ES File Explorer File Manager

File Manger ES File Explorer

  • When it’s finished installing click on Open

File Manger ES File Explorer Open

  • The Imported file will be located under Device/sdcard/windows/BstShareFolder. I will be using the My Healthy App for Gals as an example.

Bluestack Imported File location

Bluestack Install MyHealthyAppForGals

  • Click on the file and select Install

Bluestack Install MyHealthyAppForGals Select Install

  • Select install button

 

Bluestack Install MyHealthyAppForGals Select Install Second Install Button

  • Click Open

Bluestack Install MyHealthyAppForGals Open

  • When the My Healthy App For Gals opened it was displaying incorrectly. The reason for this is the app was designed in portrait mode only.

Bluestack My Healthy App For Gals

  • To fix this we need to change a setting in Bluestacks. Click on the Bluestacks icon in the task bar.

Bluestack Taskbar icons

  • Click on Rotate Portrait Apps and make sure Enable is selected

Bluestack Taskbar Rotate Apps Disable

  • This fixed the problem

Bluestack My Healthy App For Gals Portrait

Mac

If you’re using a Mac then the Windows instructions above will not work. As a workaround you will need to upload your APK file to Google Drive or Dropbox. Then go to the browser in Bluestacks and download the APK file. Once downloaded open the file and it will ask you to install the APK just like installing it on your mobile phone.

OUR FINAL THOUGHTS ON BLUESTACKS

Bluestacks does a brilliant job in displaying your mobile app without having a device. For games its brilliant because you now have a bigger screen to play with. Now, if your app uses features like NFC, Bio metric fingerprint, SMS notifications then this will probably not work. Overall, I found Bluestacks to work really well when testing our apps. It is actually quicker than waiting for the SDK emulator to load. We also found it useful for recording tutorial videos.

ANDY

Andy Homepage

Image Source: Screenshot of the Andy Website

Mobile OS : Android

Compatibility: Works on Windows and Mac

Price: Free

After testing Bluestacks I decided to see if there was any other Android Emulators and stumbled across Andy. Installation of Andy was also pretty straight forward. However, the only difference is that with Andy you will need to setup everything like you normally do when you first turn on your mobile phone – it didn’t take too long to set it up.

Andy Welcome Screen

Andy Home Screen

INSTRUCTIONS FOR TESTING YOUR APK FILE

Windows and Mac

  • Unlike Bluestack, Andy doesn’t have the Import Windows Files feature. There are probably multiple ways of transferring the APK file to the Android Operating System on Andy but the simplest would be to just download it from Google Drive or Dropbox. So open up the Browser in Andy.

Andy Browser

  • Enter the URL and download the file.

Andy Browser Dropbox Download

  • You will be prompted to select whether to download using the Browser or ES Downloader (comes built in with Andy). Select Browser (downloading with ES Downloader kept failing for me)

Andy Browser Dropbox ES Downloader

  • Scroll down on the Download Icon at the top left hand corner.

Andy Browser Dropbox Dropdown arrow

  • Click on the File you just downloaded

Andy Browser Dropbox Browser

  • Click on Install

Andy Browser My Healthy App For Gals

Andy Browser My Healthy App For Gals Open

  • In this case, Andy opened up the application in the correct orientation – nice!

Andy Browser My Healthy App For Gals Mobile App

OUR FINAL THOUGHTS ON ANDY

The Andy Emulator is also very similar to Bluestacks however we found it to be a bit more slower in terms of performance and it crashed a few times. Overall, still a good Emulator to use.

 

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