Having an Android emulator installed on your Mac or PC could be very useful in many situations.
For example, I manage some Instagram accounts and want to post photos using my Mac. You might have heard of some third-party services allow us to post photos after authorizing. Well, they do work. But doing that violates Instagram’s policy and could lead to the accounts getting blocked. Fortunately, an Android Emulator for Mac like BlueStacks is more than enough to help me deal with this problem.
If you’re looking for such an application and wondering which one is good enough, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve sifted through many applications out there to compile this article and hopefully, it can save you some time and effort.
1. BlueStacks App Player for Mac
BlueStacks is the most popular one among all the Android emulator available as it has millions of users all over the earth. Many of my friends use this application to play games such as Boom Beach, Clash of Clans, Walking Dead,… on their computer. As they said and I’ve experienced on my Mac, it works pretty well with most popular Android games and apps.
Not just for gaming, you can also download music or other apps from Google Play Store, or test your Android application if you’re an Android developer. If you use Instagram or Twitter, you can even use the webcam as the camera or browser photos saved on your computer.
In terms of interacting, the biggest difference is you use the mouse to click and scroll instead of the traditional swiping that is used on Android devices. So if a game/app requires swiping, running it with BlueStacks would be very cumbersome. Typing on BlueStacks is another drawback as the buttons react not quite smoothly. However, we usually don’t use an emulator for typing purposes, so it could be fine.
Download BlueStacks App Player for Mac at BlueStacks’ Website.
Droid4x is the emulator designed to provide a dedicated gaming experience. What makes it very powerful for gamers is the ability to take advantage of the computer’s keyboard and use it as a controller for Android games. Using the keyboard mapping feature, you can map your screen area, actions, touch-gestures, swipe gestures, etc to specific keys on your keyboard.
Another essential function in Droid4x is it allows you to use Ctrl + C, Ctrl+V to copy and then insert the text between the host operating system and the guest Android virtual machine. If you have to
Droid4x also has the setting tool that allows you to change to your favorite orientation and resolution. To do so, simply click the list icon and then the list of resolutions will appear at the top. Once you’ve selected new screen size and orientation, reboot the virtual machine so the new settings can begin to take effect.
Installing APK files to Droid4x from your computer is dead easy. Click the APK+ icon (left side of the Droid4x screen) to browse your host operating system, select and load. No third party apps, connections or browsers required. With aforementioned benefits, if you’re an Android developer or a game enthusiast, Droid4x would be your best bet.
Genymotion is geared toward developers who want to test their apps or games on a variety of devices with various versions of Android. It’s a dedicated virtual machine software for Android rather than just an Android emulator. You can start multiple virtual devices at the same time, run multiple apps on each of them and switch between these “devices” easily.
Specially, Genymotion has OpenGL hardware acceleration support which makes it extremely fast, smooth and without lag. Taking advantage of OpenGL also allows it to run Android applications with amazing 3D performance.
The biggest disadvantage of using this application is you have to install Oracle VM VirtualBox additionally as Genymotion operation relies on the use of VirtualBox in the background. If you don’t already have VirtualBox installed, you will be asked to do so prior to installing Genymotion.
Genymotion can be downloaded from the official website of Genymotion.
Also read: Top 5 Best Windows Emulator for Mac
Next on our list is an entirely free Android emulator named Andy. Just like other emulators, this application allows developers and users to enjoy robust games & apps and experience them in multiple device environments.
Apart from the essential functionality of running Android applications, what makes Andy stand out is the ability to sync seamlessly between desktop and mobile device. Thanks to this feature, you can run your communication apps (whatapps, snapchat, viber,…) and see messages or notifications from your desktop.
Playing games on Andyroid is another plus point as you can use your phone as a remote control and OpenGL hardware is also supported. Take a look at picture below which is a perfect illustration.
You can download Andy from www.andyroid.net.
If you are into hardcore mobile app development and looking for an Android phone simulator then Xamarin Android Player is the tool I recommend. Xamarin is basically an IDE for app development and it’s similar to Android Studio.
Xamarin Android Player runs Android on x86 and utilizes open GL and hardware accelerated virtualization which makes is significantly faster than the stock Android emulator.
Some of the key features include battery simulator, location simulator and webcam utilization as front and back cameras.[Download Xamarin]