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Discover how to use Android apps on Windows

Are you wondering how to use Android apps on Windows? Then you came to the right place. Although there are multiple and excellent applications that coexist in both environments, there is a good number that only operates in mobile formats. But in this guide we will detail all the alternatives that exist to use your favorite Android program on a PC.

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Eye: it is not as easy as installing a Windows program, although Microsoft may be working on an option to bring Android applications to Windows 10 (usingmirroring)The latter we cannot confirm, but there are always tricks to get it. To help simplify things, we have compiled a complete guide on what software and utilities you need to install and use your favorite Android applications on almost any Windows computer

Bluestacks emulator

The Bluestacks App Player is one of the most robust Android emulators that exist, allowing you to run games and applications in Android 7.1.2 (Nougat) on your Windows desktop. It has a custom design interface that facilitates the switching of emulation settings and the launch of applications and the technology "Layercake" that uses hardware accelerators to improve the performance of Android games on Windows. If you have a Facebook or Twitch account and a PC with more than 8 GB of RAM, you can even stream applications and games directly from the Bluestacks window.

It is important to keep in mind that while Bluestacks is free, an optional subscription ($ 2 per month) will give you access to premium support and exclusive offers from application developers. Here’s how to install Bluestacks on your computer’s hard drive:

Step 1: Download the installer from the official Bluestacks website.

Step 2: Start the installation application and choose the storage location for the data files and applications. Unfortunately, the Bluestacks directory cannot be changed and installed on the boot drive by default.

Step 3: Once Bluestacks finishes installing, run it, enter the credentials of your Google account: start a session in the Google Play Store, where you will find all installed and purchased applications.

Dual Start

There is an alternative to Android emulators that offers you new versions of Android, but the configuration is a bit more complicated. It's called "dual boot" and effectively transforms your Windows computer into an Android device. You will get the option to start on Android when you turn on your computer, and Android will work the same as on your phone or tablet.

However, it is not as simple as installing native Android: computer hardware (processor, graphics card, etc.) is usually incorporated from third-party manufacturers, so you should find a custom distribution that is compatible with your machine.

Phoenix OS

Like the late sRemix, Phoenix is ​​a full Android 7.1 or 5.1 operating system that runs on your Windows computer, which gives you all the functionality of a desktop operating system, along with full compatibility with Android applications. Here we explain how you can configure it.

Step 1: Go to the Phoenix OS download page and download the latest installer for your PC. Select the .exe or .ISO file for the Android version of your choice (you can select the installer for Android 7.1 or Android 5.1).

Step 2: Create a new partition to install Phoenix.

Step 3: Run the Phoenix installer and install it in the new partition. Alternatively, you can create a bootable USB drive with it and install it on boot.

Step 4: Choose a volume letter and the size of the volume you want to create.

Step 5: Wait for the installation process to complete, restart and select Phoenix OS from the start menu. The latest versions of Phoenix OS are preloaded with Google Play Store, so just download the applications from there and that's it!

Android-X86

Android-x86 is an open source project that allows the latest version of Android to be ported to Windows hardware (currently Android 8.1 RC2 Oreo). The latest version of Android-x86 adds the expected support for Google notifications, smarter administration of background applications, smart text selection and hardware acceleration OpenGL ES 3.x for Intel, AMD and Nvidia graphics .

Although the customizations that are allowed for Android are minimal, the Android-x86 team added some significant settings so that the Android installation has an interface similar to that of a desktop. This version has a new taskbar launcher and applications can be launched in windows of varying size instead of full screen.

Android-x86 also allows you to customize Android to your liking: you can install third-party themes, home screens and all without worrying about whether they are compatible or not (unlike what happens with Remix OS). Here is a list of compatible devices. How to install Android-x86 on your PC's hard drive?

Step 1: First, make sure your computer's hard drive has at least 2 GB of free space. Download the latest ISO from Android-x86 and if your device is not listed, download the generic file.

Step 2: Download UNetbootin. Run UNetbootin and select the Android-x86 ISO file you downloaded earlier. Select the USB drive from the list of options and click OK. Wait for UNetbootin to copy and install Android-x86 on your flash drive.

Step 3: Restart the computer and select Start on the boot device selection screen, then select your flash drive. In the UNetbootin menu, select Install Android-x86 on the hard drive.

Step 4: Select the partition (or location) where you want to install Android-x86. The program will ask you if you want to format the disk, if you are not sure, do not do it.

Step 5: You will be asked if you want to install GRUB. Select S, and S again. Then you will be asked if you want to “make the system r / w”, which allows Android-x86 to read and write data to your hard drive. Select S.

Step 6: Restart your computer a second time. Once installed, as with the Phoenix operating system, use Google Play to install Android applications as desired.

* Updated on March 11, 2019 by Mara Teresa Lopes.

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