Unlike the Apple Company, Google has made it easier for third-party developers to develop an Android emulator for PC users, including those who use Windows 10. While iOS is a closed-source OS, the source code for the system is not publicly published, Android is an open-source OS. This makes it possible for people to look at or even change the source code for their own purposes.
As opposed to Apple, Google is not tied to any entity—or even itself—to exclusively sell hardware running an Android OS. Apple, on the other hand, doesn’t have any incentive to let people use its software without buying its products like iPhones and iPads. Letting or even supporting an iOS emulator existence would only reduce hardware sales. Meanwhile, Google has found it beneficial if PC users are also using Android OS, as that also means more people would use Google services like Play Store which will only increase the company’s profits.
Since that is the case, you can expect that there will probably be no iOS emulators, at least in the foreseeable future. On the contrary, there are many Android emulators out there which make it difficult to choose the best one.
But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here is a list of what we think are five of the best and most compatible Android emulators for Windows 10.
BlueStacks is arguably the most well-known app among the Android emulators’ scene. It can be used for free and it’s highly optimized to make Android gaming experience as smooth as possible—something that most folks interested in an Android emulator wish to achieve. Why would people play Android games on a PC rather than their own smartphones?
Well, there are a few reasons. The first being to eliminate the hassle of having to charge the battery between sessions of games, which undoubtedly helps a lot for avid gamers. The second one is comfort. Playing on a PC gives gamers the convenience of having a bigger screen to play on, not to mention the possibility of incorporating a mouse and keyboard to gain the upper hand in online games.
The main weakness of BlueStacks, however, is its heaviness, meaning relatively powerful hardware on the PC part is needed for the app to run seamlessly. Additionally, the app can also feel bloated and laggy sometimes. Still, at the end of the day, we would recommend BlueStacks as a decent choice for those who are interested in emulating Android for the first time. Download BlueStacks.
MEmu is another great emulator aiming to be an all-around useful tool. Not only for gamers, but MEmu is also known to be quite good as a productivity platform as well since you can run multiple instances of applications at the same time for testing purposes. Another plus point for MEmu is that it’s completely free, unlike BlueStacks that requires you to pay $2 per month to avoid having to install apps from BlueStacks partners—though it can still be used for free.
MEmu also equally supports both AMD and Intel chipsets. In other words, if you run a PC with an AMD CPU, opting to use MEmu is most likely within your interest. MEmu also can run the older generation of Androids including Jelly Bean, Kit Kat, and Lollipop. Download MEmu.
Just like BlueStacks, Nox Player is an emulator mostly intended to be used by gamers. In terms of functionality, Nox also provides numerous features such as giving users the option to specify the RAM and CPU sizes as well as key-mapping, letting you integrate mouse, keyboard, and controller into gameplay.
Nox is 100% free and doesn’t force you to download any software that you don’t want. The Android system emulated by Nox can be easily customized and modded as the app comes with pre-installed rooted Android. Download Nox Player.
Andy is one of the emulators that offer the best overall Android experience. Not only does it good for gaming, but the platform is also tailored for developers who would want to tweak around.
Andy comes with a bunch of neat features, including using your smartphone as a controller or as a remote play device, storage integration useful for testing and debugging, customize RAM and CPU, and the capability to direct install apps from the desktop browser. Download Andy.
Genymotion is more distinct from the other Android emulators we’ve mentioned. Genymotion is purely aimed at developers. It’s best used if you want to test the app or game you’ve developed into certain devices, without having to personally own them. You can also change the Android version, making Genymotion a versatile app that provides speedy emulation for an efficient workflow.
Often paired with Android Studio, Genymotion has a lot of features that will be too many to mention one-by-one. One big drawback of Genymotion is its subscription fee, ranging from $136 to $412 per year. However, the features available are enormous, e.g., battery, WiFi, GPS test, and storage test to make sure the app is highly optimized for selected devices. Otherwise, there is also a free version exclusively for personal use, with much fewer features. Download Genymotion.