After several years of hearing about the possibility that Android and Chrome OS could end up converging, this morning we woke up to the news that Google could be about to bring the Android apps to your cloud operating system. I would do it by integrating the Play Store directly into Chrome OS.
Although it is still too early to know if this new function will also reach the Chrome browser so that all users benefit from it, we cannot forget that today we continue to have other alternatives available to be able to use Android applications on our PC without the need for native compatibility in Chrome.
In the list that we show you below we offer you seven of them. By focusing only on applications, extensions like Arc Welder have fallen by the wayside, and by focusing on free we have left out AMIDuOS and YouWave. But don’t worry, because you will see how we are not going to miss them.
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BlueStacks, possibly the most complete option
BlueStacks is not only one of the oldest applications with which to emulate Android on the PC, but also one of the most complete. That does not mean that all apps work perfectly, but we will not have problems in most of the most important ones. The Android version you use is 4.4.2.
The application is reminiscent of a browser, with a left panel with some functions such as installing APK files, and with each application that opens in a new tab. Once our Google account has been entered We will enable the Google Play Store so that we can download any game or application normally. It also has a plugin to broadcast our games using Twitch.
MEmu, a rival to consider
Based on Android 4.2.2, MEmu is another alternative that focuses mainly on games, although that does not prevent works perfectly with other apps like Instagram. It is able to change position to display vertically whenever necessary, and as BlueStacks includes the option to directly install apk files.
The application has a sidebar with Android control buttons and a few advanced options, and stands out above all for allow us to map our keyboard so that it simulates touches on the screen, and also the keys or a control to simulate the inclination of the device. By the way, it includes the Google Play Store so that we can download all the applications we want.
Andy OS, simplicity as a flag
Andy OS is another of the classics that always appear when we talk about Android emulators. Based on version 4.2.2 of Google’s mobile operating system, it stands out for offering a clean interface with almost no add-ons in which we see the same thing that we would see in any Android tablet that we bought.
You miss some options like installing apps directly from .apk files, but at least you have access to the Play Store to try and make up for it. We can give you root access if we needed it, and its only negative point is that it continues to drag some performance problems that put it a step behind alternatives such as BlueStacks.
Genymotion, emulating different devices
Genymotion works on VirtualBox to help us emulate multiple Android devices with operating system versions ranging from 4.1.1 to 6.0. We can create several versions of different virtual devices and launch the ones that suit us best depending on the applications we want to test.
It does not come with Google Play pre-installed, so we will have to add it ourselves, but at least allows to install any APK dragging the file and dropping it on the application screen. Having the most modern version of Android gives you a certain advantage when it comes to running certain applications, but the absence of the application store takes away integers as an option aimed at inexperienced users.
Nox, another good option focused on gaming
We abandon virtual machines to return to emulators with Nox, which is based on Android 4.4.2 to offer another alternative that is also focused on games. That is why it includes options to use the keyboard to play or simulate mobile gestures. Come on, you will use the Android gyroscope from the keyboard or control knob that you configure.
The interface is practically the same as MEmu, with a sidebar with several options to rotate the screen, end processes or control Android, and with a pre-installed Google Play Store so that we can download the applications we want.
Droid4x, your mobile as a control knob.
With a much more modern interface Than the rest of the options, Droid4X also emulates Android 4.2.2 to offer us yet another alternative. It is dedicated to gamers, so in addition to boasting better performance than the competition, it allows us to use our keyboard together with the mouse to control games.
It may seem at first glance that except for the control detail this application lacks options, but nothing could be further from the truth. We can click on areas of the desktop to configure the keyboard key that simulates playing there, install APKs and download aokucacuibes from the Play Store. Another curious detail is that Droid4X offers a mobile app to be able to use our smartphone as a control command.
KO Player, a newcomer who points out ways
And we finish with KO Player, a new emulator also dedicated to gamers in which we will find the possibility of mapping the keyboard keys, create a shared folder to use the files on our PC or record our games to be able to upload them later to the network. All this is packaged in an interface faithful to Android, although with some modification in the placement of some shortcuts.
And speaking of Android, without reaching the modernity of Genymotion this emulator makes sure to surpass its competitors using version 4.4.4. It also comes with the Play Store pre-installed, which is why the absence of being able to install apks becomes a little more bearable.
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