How to run Android apps on Windows 10

How to run Android apps on Windows 10
The integration between Android and Windows 10 continues to improve constantly. Google and Microsoft are in fact working to bring the Apple ecosystem closer (and why not overcome). The latter in fact provides a galaxy of products (iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods) capable of communicating with each other and offering a complementary user experience. In contrast, however, the operating systems of Big G and the Redmond giant are the most widespread on the market respectively in the smartphone and computer field. A significant advantage as they can count on a boundless installed base.

In recent years, various software and technologies have spread that allow you to use Android apps on Windows 10. As we will see, however, the approaches to this feature they are basically two: on the one hand the so-called mirroring, that is a sort of projection of the smartphone display on the computer screen; on the other hand what in technical jargon is called emulation, that is the possibility to run the Google operating system as a whole within the Microsoft operating system.

How to run Android apps on your Windows 10 PC without programs

In this case we refer to the mirroring technology, which is exploited by a feature internal to Windows 10 introduced by Microsoft with the 20185 build. Initially it was intended for subscribers to the Insider programs but is now in roll- out also in the major releases of the operating system of the Californian giant. The function in question is called "Your phone" and allows the connection between PC and some Android smartphones, allowing users to directly run the green robot apps through the computer screen. There is a however.

As already mentioned, this is a feature compatible only with some Android smartphones. In particular, Microsoft has signed an exclusive partnership with Samsung, so the only devices able to take advantage of "Your phone" are those of the South Korean company. In this sense, the Redmond giant has created an official support page where you can consult the list of products with which you can use this function. Among the various models we remember the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but also the foldable Galaxy Z Fold2 5G and Galaxy Z Flip 5G.

Multiple applications can be used simultaneously and operation is extremely simple: in the notifications drop-down of compatible Samsung smartphones just select the quick command “Link to Windows”; at that point you need to start the appropriate tool on Windows 10 and that's it. This is a very convenient possibility, which considerably expands the concept of productivity of mobile devices, partially filling the existing gap with respect to the Apple world regarding the complementarity between mobile phone and PC.

How using Android on PC and Mac with emulators

Emulation is a method of integration between Android smartphones and computers (both Windows and Mac) that is becoming increasingly popular. The advantage, compared to mirroring, is certainly that of greater stability of use and the absence of compatibility problems with individual models. Not surprisingly, different software has spread that can emulate the green robot on board desktop operating systems. Let's analyze the main solutions.


It is considered one of the best Android emulators for Windows 10. Memu is characterized by a simple and intuitive interface and requires minimum requirements really within everyone's reach:

Intel or AMD processor with x86 / x86_64 architecture Windows XP / Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 10 operating system Virtualization technology enabled in the Bios (Intel VT-x or AMD-V) 2 GB of RAM 2 GB of internal memory The recommended requirements instead, that is those with which to obtain the best possible experience with Memu, are:

processor: Intel i5-8400 16GB of RAM Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card Windows operating system 10

Installation and configuration

To install Memu just go to the official software portal and click on the "download" button. In this way, the download of the most recent version of the software starts automatically which, at this moment, is 7.3.0 released on December 16, 2020. Then you need to run the "memu-installer.exe" file and, after a few moments, the system will ask you to allow the program to make changes to the device (you will obviously have to click on the "Yes" button). At this point, another application window will open from which to start the installation process.

Once the installation is complete, from the Memu Launcher click on the Google Play icon Store. This is because you need to add your Google account, exactly as it happens with the first configuration of an Android smartphone. Once this is done, the system will start downloading all the apps associated with your account and it will obviously be possible to download any application in the digital store of the Mountain View giant. All very simple and immediate, without complicated procedures.


Created by the American company BlueStacks Systems Inc. in 2011, BlueStacks App Player is a platform for games that allows the emulation of Android applications for MacOS and Windows operating systems starting from version 7. The main features are the fully customizable environment, support for multiple operating system configurations and integration with Google Play. Regarding the system requirements, it is good to distinguish according to the OS on which your computer is based.

The minimum system requirements for Windows devices are: Microsoft Windows 7 operating system and later versions; Intel or AMD processor; At least 2 Gigabytes of RAM; At least 5 Gigabytes of free disk space; Updated graphics drivers from Microsoft or the chipset vendor. The recommended requirements instead, that is those with which to obtain the best possible experience with BlueStacks, are:

Microsoft Windows 10 operating system; Intel or AMD multi-core processor with single-threaded PassMark score> 1000 and virtualization extensions enabled in the BIOS; Intel / Nvidia / ATI, Onboard or Discrete graphics controller with PassMark score> = 750; At least 8 Gigabytes of RAM; Internal archive based on SSD standards; Broadband connection; Updated graphics drivers from Microsoft or the chipset vendor. As for the Mac world, the minimum requirements are:

Mac OS Sierra (10.12), High Sierra (10.13) and Mojave (10.14); At least 4 GB of RAM; At least 4 GB of disk space; Graphics drivers updated by the graphics card manufacturer; Apply the latest updates from the App Store app on your Mac; You may need the latest graphics drivers from your Mac's graphics card manufacturer's website.

Installation and Setup

By installing BlueStacks on Windows, all program files are usually stored in a subfolder of \ Program files. “The bulk”, including the images of the Android virtual machines (saved in VDI format), is instead stored in the% programdata% \ BlueStacks folder. The installation is completed by applying the default settings but at the end of the procedure it is possible to press the small button at the top right, depicting a gear, to define the behavior of the software.

By clicking on Settings you can adjust the video resolution, the graphics libraries to be used (OpenGL or DirectX), the DPI, the number of processor cores of the host machine to be used, the memory to be allocated to the Android virtual machine and much more yet. At the first start, you must log in to your Google account through the Play Store icon, exactly as with Memu. In this way you will find yourself having to deal with a user experience identical to that of smartphones based on the green robot.

Android Studio

Android Studio is an integrated development environment ( IDE) for development for the Android platform. It was announced on May 16, 2013 at the Google I / O conference held by Google Product Manager, Katherine Chou. It is available for free under the Apache 2.0 license. [1] Based on JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA software, it was designed specifically for Android application development. It is available for download on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and replaces Eclipse's Android Development Tools (ADT), becoming Google's primary IDE for native development of applications for the green robot.

It's therefore a professional application, basically designed for application developers, but which still emulates the operating system developed by Google on a desktop environment.

Installation and configuration

To install Android Studio, just go to the official software portal and click on the "download" button. In this way, the download of the most recent version of the software which, at the moment, is 4.1.1, starts automatically. Then you need to run the "android-studio.exe" file (or .dmg depending on whether it is a Windows or Mac computer) and, after a few moments, the system will ask you to allow the program to make changes to the device (you will obviously have to click on the "Yes" button). At this point another application window will open from which to start the installation process.

The last step of the installation phase of the development environment is to check which Android packages are installed on our system and possibly install the missing ones. To do this, click on the Configure item in the welcome window and then select the SDK Manager option. In the window that opens, click on Launch Standalone SDK Manager at the bottom and the Android SDK Manager will be displayed. In general, however, we are faced with an interface designed for development, for which high skills are required to use.

Other ways to run Android on Windows 10

How said at the beginning, in recent years various applications have spread that can guarantee a certain type of integration between Android and Windows 10. The two technologies of mirroring and emulation remain the key point of all these software. Not surprisingly, apart from those already mentioned, one of the most popular is AirDroid, a program based on the mirroring concept and particularly effective.

AirDroid: mirroring and remote control

AirDroid is a multi-platform application, available for Windows, Mac OS X, Android and in web-based version, which allows you to interact via desktop with your Android smartphone and lately also with iOS devices. The application allows you to access and manage your device or tablet directly from the desktop, without wires and for free.

The application, over the years, has improved a lot and especially in terms of security after numerous problems found. In fact, Airdroid was vulnerable to interception and loss of data if connected with untrusted networks. Currently Airdroid adopts state-of-the-art security systems to guarantee the end user a product that is as safe as possible.

Using AirDroid is really simple and intuitive. First you need to download the tool on the mobile device and then also on the desktop side from the official website, as we will see later. Once installed on both mobile and desktop devices, you just need to register quickly to access all the services offered by AirDroid.

The interface of AirDroid, on the desktop side, is very intuitive and well structured. On the left side we find all the possible menus, dedicated to the main functions of the service: file transfer, file, AirMirror, Notifications, SMS, Call log and Contact. It allows you to transfer files from your PC to your smartphone (and vice versa) as well as control notifications, messages, phone calls. In short, a kind of extension of the mobile phone. Really very convenient in terms of productivity.

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