Ever wanted to run an Android emulator on your computer? Maybe you’re a developer trying to test out an application, or perhaps you’re just trying to play your favourite mobile game on the big screen. Whatever the reason, if you’re in the market for an Android emulator, you’re spoilt for choice.
So which one should you download?
BlueStacks is widely regarded as the best and most comprehensive Android emulator you can get. Not only does it work on both Mac and PC, but it also allows you to run multiple games simultaneously and has passed the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) certification, so you know your data isn’t at risk.
It’s fast and boasts a community of more than 500 million gamers, which says it all, really.
OS: PC and Mac
Android Studio Emulator
You can’t talk about Android emulators without talking about the brand’s own emulator on Android Studio.
This is the program designed to help you build and code apps specifically for the Android OS, so it only makes sense that it also includes an emulator, right?
Android Studio Emulator is mostly for testing apps, usually ones you’ve built within the program. You can simulate phone calls, texts, access the Google Play store and perform most tasks you can do on an Android mobile device.
OS: Mac and PC
LDPlayer is an Android emulator specifically designed for peak gaming performance. Unlike BlueStacks, it’s exclusive to PC (sorry Mac users) but what it lacks in cross-platform functionality, it makes up for with high frames per second (FPS) and graphics support.
In addition to games, you can also use LDPlayer for popular mobile apps like TikTok and Instagram, though they both have websites now.
Unlike the other Android emulators, ARChon runs as a Google Chrome extension and allows you to run the emulator within a browser window, which is handy if you only need it momentarily but don’t want to download a whole program.
It’s not the easiest emulator to get running, but it works in a pinch if you need to get something sorted on a computer that isn’t yours, or if you don’t have enough data to download another emulator.
OS: PC and Mac