We all know Android is a mobile platform, but sometimes there are uses for running Android on your computer. For example, if you are a developer and you are building a new app, there’s no better way to debug it than to plug it in into your favorite emulator and run it right away. Getting an Android emulator is the best option for running your Android apps on your computer. There aren’t many emulators available, but the existing ones are very good. We’ll recommend you the top three Android emulators that we think are the best.
We’re positive most of you have heard of BlueStacks, as it’s arguably the most popular and the best Android emulator of all. It’s available for Windows and Mac OS X, so it enjoys a wide range of audience. What makes it so special is its ease of use. The interface is really simple, and the integration with the computer OS is seamless. The performance is great, basically it’s what would anyone expect from a serious program. It’s not a typical emulator though; it functions just as an app player, so there aren’t any Android menus what so ever. But why would you care so much about that anyway? And the best of all-it’s free!
GenyMotion is another cool Android emulator that doesn’t try too hard to differentiate from the regular Android emulator. It has its upshots though. It features full hardware acceleration which guarantees to run fast. It’s deployed as an ISO file, that can be mounted in VirtualBox and ran directly. It has a standard Android UI, the same you would see on a device. There’s also an Eclipse IDE plugin for developers for easy integration with the debugger. The base version is free, but there are two more paid versions, with more options unlocked.
YouWave is our last pick. It’s a great option, if you are willing to shell out $20, that is. Yes, it’s a paid emulator with a free trial of just 10 days. It has some mixed features from GenyMotion and BlueStacks. It features a separate app panel from the Android user interface window, while also supporting full Android OS interface. It has a boatload of features, like support for non-ARM Android apps, multiple users, multiple screen sizes and more. That may convince some to pay the premium price, but we think most users will want to stick with either one of the free alternatives.