Do you have an Android phone? Do you have a PC? Maybe you’ve thought before about how good it would be to integrate the two. Of course, there are many apps and programs on a PC that are simply to complex to migrate over to an Android phone – the hardware capabilities of smartphones need some more time to develop! However, it is possible to do it the other way around. PCs are more than powerful enough to run Android applications, it’s just that Android software isn’t designed to run natively on a PC.
For more information on this, we spoke to a London-based tech company called TechQuarters. They have been providing IT support in London for over a decade; and in that time they have seem the rise of smartphone technology. TechQuarters know of a number of different ways in which to run Android apps on a laptop or a desktop computer. Depending on the PC you have, the OS you use, your internet connection, and also what aspect of Android you want to be able to access on your PC.
- Android-x86 (to use Android as your OS)
Computers are built according to Instruction Set Architectures (ISAs), which are just a set of rules and instructions that a device (such as a Central Processing Unit) must execute in order to function. Android, and most mobile devices (such as tablets and smartphones) are built according to a family of ISAs known as ARM.
Computers, on the other hand, are built according to a more complex family of ISAs known as x86 – which were developed by Intel, and later on by AMD. This is fundamentally why Android apps don’t work on PC.
Android-x86 is a software that ports the smartphone OS to the x86 computer architecture, thus allowing you to run Android as your computers operating system (instead of Windows or Linux, for example).
- Genymotion (for Android-like emulation)
If you’d rather not use Android as your main OS for your PC, you can also emulate Android, allowing you to run the mobile OS on top of your PC’s operating system.
Emulation is a common way of running software from different platforms. If you’re looking to emulate the full Android experience, then Genymotion is an excellent software. It uses hypervisor software (specifically VirtualBox) in order to virtualize the full Android OS on your PC. This was initially designed for developers to explore the backend of the Android operating system.
If you are a developer, this is an ideal solution for you – but it will cost you money. Alternatively, if you’re merely a hobbyist, there is a free version you can get when you create an account on the Genymotion site.
- Mirror Android with Microsoft’s Your Phone
Do you already have an Android phone that you use? Do you use Windows on your PC? And are you simply looking for a way to run Android apps on your PC? If this is the case with you, then you don’t need to worry about emulation, or porting the Android OS to your x86-based computer. You just need the Your Phone app from Microsoft.
Your Phone is an app that you can install on Windows, and use to connect your PC with your Android mobile. This then allows you to mirror your phone to your PC. It lets you recreate your Android’s user interface just like some of the other solution on this list, or you can simply use it to give you full access to your apps, your notifications, photos, and messages.
- Install Android Apps Directly to Windows 11
If you are using Windows 11 on your PC, there is a way to access Android apps even if you don’t own an Android phone. This is a feature that many businesses have been talking about a lot. For instance, the IT support services London provider TechQuarters offers has a lot to do with Microsoft products, because they are a Microsoft partner; and because Android is the chosen mobile OS for many business users, the prospect of integrated use of Microsoft and Android software is quite exciting.
Microsoft have built Android app support directly into their latest version of Windows. As long as you meet the system requirements, you will be able to run hundreds of thousands of Android apps natively in Windows. It requires you to installed two things: The Amazon Appstore, and the Windows Subsystem for Android. Once you have done this, you’ll be able to install Android apps, pin them to your taskbar, or your start menu just like Windows apps