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You Can Run Android Apps on Windows And Mac Desktops?

Web & Mobile

Isadora Teich wrote this article


There has been a lot of buzz going around about new ways that you can use Android Apps.

This is exciting as previously certain platforms or tools were only accessible from certain brands or types of devices.

How does being able to use TikTok on your desktop for the first time sound, for example?

There are a few different ways to accomplish this. Best of all, they are free! You can quickly access millions of Android apps however you choose to do so. Let’s take a look at how this all works.


One of the most popular and efficient ways is to install BlueStacks 5 for Windows and BlueStacks 4 for iOS. BlueStacks will allow you to run Android apps on your desktop. The San Jose, CA-based company claims that more than 2 million Android apps are supported by its technology. Their software has complex virtualization technology which was created through the work of 10 engineers.

Is This Legal?

Especially with how notoriously uncompromising Apple can be, it might seem like the whole internet is buzzing with illegal tips and tricks.

However, this is not true at all! Unlike Apple, Android is an open operating system. This means that there is a lot more room for developers and users to customize their products and experiences with no intensive legal strings attached.

As Android is an open operating system, BlueStacks is free for users to access, download, and install.

It also only takes up a modest 2GB of storage on your computer. It also requires at least 4GB of RAM, although 8GB or more is recommended.

However, it is important to note, if your computer is quite old, you may have to download a newer graphics card driver.

How To Get The Most Out of BlueStacks

Once you have downloaded BlueStacks, all you need to do is log in with your Gmail address and password.

Then you are good to go.

However, it will likely take some time to figure out which apps or games work the best on your desktop computer, as well as what you need to best enjoy them.

Of course, there are limitations. For example, if you are using Instagram on your desktop, it will need to be attached to a webcam in order for you to take pictures or videos.

BlueStacks 5 offers support for the Google Play Store, as well as a Controls Editor. With it, you can create and customize control options for all of your favorite games.

You can also access a Game Center, where you can browse games based on a number of variables. This includes things like popularity and genre.

The Your Phone App

Another popular way of accessing Android apps and games on a PC is by launching the Your Phone App. This app is actually already built into Windows 10 and many Samsung Galaxy Smartphones.

On these phones, there is a preinstalled Link to Windows app, which works just as well.

USA Today reports that setting up these features can be a bit complicated. They also say that BlueStacks simply performs better. However, it does allow PC users to wirelessly access apps on smartphones that are connected to the same wifi network.

Starting Up The Your Phone App

If starting from your PC, type the words “your phone” into the search box on the taskbar.

Then click or tap it to launch the app.  If starting from your Android phone, there are a few more steps. You will be asked to sign into your Microsoft account, and then need to install or open the companion app on your Android device. In order to do this, you will have to open a web browser on your Android device and enter the link that pops up on your PC.

Then, you will need to sign into the companion app using the same Microsoft account that you are using on your PC. Go to your PC and select the “Pair with QR code” option. Finally, you use your Android App to scan to the QR code that’s displayed on your PC. This effectively links the devices.

Once this is done, you can access your Android phone from your PC and link the devices.

Using Windows 11

In June, Microsoft actually unveiled Windows 11. This will include a wide range of new features. One of these was the ability to run android apps. Other exciting features include Widgets, Microsoft Teams, Desktops, and Snap Groups.

However, the Windows 11 update will most likely not be available to the public until late 2021.

Microsoft says it will be available this holiday season, which is still some months out. Also, there has been a little drama with it already. Microsoft released a tool to allow users to test their PC or laptop and figure out if it could handle Windows 11, and the tool didn’t really work.

There has been some confusion about how this update is free for and how long it is free.

For example, Lenovo states: “The free upgrade offer does not have a specific end date for eligible systems. However, Microsoft reserves the right to eventually end support for the free offer. This end date will be no sooner than one year from general availability.”

So, the free upgrade offer has no end date. However, Microsoft can end support for it in a year, or whenever they want, if they choose to? So it does have a potential end date, just not a clear one? 

These are questions many people have been asking. 

Since this update is some months away, and it will basically do nothing for iOS users who want to access Android apps, you may want to try out the other options.

Currently, there is a beta version available, but Tech Radar recommends that you do not download it on your main computer, as there are still some bugs to work out.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to running Android apps on your PC or iOS laptop or desktop, you have options! While you can wait for Windows 11 if you are a Windows user, you definitely do not have to. On top of the tools we explored already, there are a number of options, including Genymotion and Android-x86.

With BlueStacks, iOS users can even access Android apps today, if they so choose.

It is truly an interesting time in the world of apps. More accessibility is always good, however, in this case, it does raise some questions.

Are many iOS users dying to use Android apps in the first place? Also, if a game or app is formatted specifically for a phone, will it translate well to a desktop screen?

We will have to see how all of this comes together in the future.

About Since 2009, we have helped create 350+ next-generation apps for startups, Fortune 500s, growing businesses, and non-profits from around the globe. Think Partner, Not Agency.


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