How to run Android apps for free on Windows, Mac: Bluestacks, app
By typing in a sales report for the boss, you decide to take a much needed break.
Will it be a few laughs on TikTok? Send a snapshot to friends via Snapchat? Do you play “Clash with Clans” or “Crash Bandicoot: On the Run”?
The problem is that all of these apps are mobile and your smartphone is sitting on a charging mat. Oh, and the kids are watching videos on your iPad.
Why shouldn’t you be able to access it on the laptop or desktop computer you’re already on?
You can, in fact, run Android apps – designed for a smartphone – on your Windows PC or Mac.
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In fact, there are different ways to do this, and they are also free.
Here are two of the best solutions to run millions of Android apps on your computer:
How to run Android apps on your computer with Bluestacks
The best solution is to install BlueStacks 5 for Windows PC (or Bluestacks 4 for Mac), which allows you to run Android on your personal computer.
The San Jose, California-based company says more than 2 million Android games and apps are supported on its emulator, thanks to complex software virtualization technology developed by 10 engineers over the years.
Because Android is an open operating system, BlueStacks is completely free and legal for users to download and install. It only takes up 2GB of storage once installed, not including apps you can download.
Other system specifications are just as modest, such as requiring at least 4 GB of RAM (system memory), although 8 GB or more is recommended. BlueStacks 5 may also require a download of a newer graphics card driver on an aging computer. But that’s about all.
► To download apps and games from Google Play Store in BlueStacks, just sign in with your Google ID (Gmail address and password) and go to it.
It might take a bit of experimentation to see how certain games should be best played on a PC or Mac. For example, if you’re used to controlling a racing game by tilting your Android phone, you might opt for a keyboard or gamepad instead.
Apps that use your smartphone’s camera, like Instagram, will of course require a computer with a webcam.
Along with Google Play Store support, BlueStacks 5 includes a Command Editor (to create and customize unique control options for your favorite games) and Game Center (which lets you browse games based on genres, popularity and other variables).
How to run Android apps on your computer using your phone
A second way to access Android apps and games on a Windows PC is to launch the Your Phone app, which is already built into Windows 10 (and on many Samsung Galaxy smartphones there is a Link to Windows app preinstalled, which can also work).
It’s a bit more complicated to set up and its performance isn’t as good as Bluestacks, but it does allow PC users to wirelessly access apps on your nearby smartphone, as long as both devices are connected. to the same Wi-Fi network.
► If you are starting from your PC, in the search box on the taskbar, type the words “your phone”, then click or tap to launch the application.
► If you are using your Android phone, select it from the list of phone models. You will be asked to sign in to your Microsoft account and then install or open the companion app on your Android device. To do this, open a web browser on your Android device and then enter the link that displays on your PC.
Then, sign in to the companion app with the same Microsoft account that you signed into on your PC. On your PC, select the “Pair with QR code” button. Now use your Android app to scan the QR code displayed on your PC and link the devices.
You can now wirelessly access your Android phone from your PC, and even pin Android apps to your Windows taskbar, and launch them individually.
While the Your Phone app actually works to access Android apps on a Windows PC, be aware that gamers may find performance a bit sluggish.
Follow Marc on Twitter for his “Tech of the Day” articles: @marc_saltzman. Email him or subscribe to his Tech It Out podcast at https://marcsaltzman.com/podcasts.