7 Best Android emulators for PC and Mac for 2021

Android Emulators are undoubtedly lifesavers. There are several reasons why one might need to have an Android emulator on their PC or Mac. The use of an android emulator is an integral component of app development. Programmers and coders write code and then use the emulator to test run the app that is under development.

Other than app development, emulators are also widely used for user interface development. The front-end developers come up with a design and a color scheme. Once they are done with the design, they run it on the emulator to visualize and capture how it will look once deployed.

Last but not the least, some gaming enthusiasts also keep android emulators in their laptops with the intention of using them like a keyboard. Whatever the reason may be, everyone wants to pick an emulator that is truly dependable and reliable.

If you need some recommendations in this regard, worry no more. We have compiled a list of the top android emulators in the market that we swear by and rely on.

What Is An Android Emulator?

It is impossible for one to believe that you might have never heard of Android. Android is a popular and open-source operating system for phones that are based on Linux OS.

It is a preferred operating system because it is open source, has vast community support, and is easy to use and figure out. Moreover, it is compatible with a wide range of apps and is one of the most widely used operating systems for phones and tablets, on a global scale.

Now that you know what an Android is, it would be quite easy to figure out what we mean by an Android Emulator. You can think of it as an imitator that allows users to use a virtual phone or tablet, running on the Android operating system, on their laptops or computers. It is also known as an Android Virtual Device or an AVD.

Why Are Android Emulators Needed?

We have already discussed a handful of uses of Android Emulators. But you might still be wondering why one would actually need an Android Emulator for all these purposes when Android phones are readily available. After all, an Android Phone might be the better choice, anyone may wonder.

Why Are Android Emulators Needed

More Power:

The main reason why we opt for emulators is because of power. Computers are obviously far more powerful than mobiles or tablets. Therefore, if you need a fast and responsive Android environment, you will have to opt for an Android Emulator. You can run as many apps on the emulator as you’d like without worrying about lagging. This is because obviously a laptop or a computer is a lot more powerful than a phone or a tablet. You also don’t need to be concerned about battery life and the overall performance of the phone. You will in reality be able to enjoy using your phone through your laptop.

But at the same time, since the hardware and other specifications of the emulator will mimic real-life Android phones, therefore, the metrics you’ll get will be accurate and reliable. You can think like you will be using the phone on your laptop, but the overall interface and the performance constraints offered by the emulator will be the same as that on a real Android phone.

Data Segregation And Privacy:

Another perk of using an Android Emulator is privacy and segregation. You can set up an emulator and use it purely for gaming or development. It will not contain any of your private data or information. Therefore, you will be able to keep your data personal and also use an Android-based environment at the same time.

You can also use an Android Emulator to run and install apps from APKs or run apps that otherwise you may feel can affect the security and the privacy of your phone. When running them on an emulator, you will have to deal with any sort of concern regarding security and privacy.

Screen Size:

If you want to use the Android OS on a bigger screen, this is also where an emulator will come in handy. You can easily adjust the size of the emulator screen and make it as bigger or smaller as you’d like. You can also customize the dimensions of the screen and experience what the application or the interface will look like on screens that are differently sized.

Multiple Devices:

Once you set up an Android Virtual Device manager on your laptop, you will be able to configure and manage as many devices as you’d like. You can experiment and enjoy using different phone models.

Moreover, emulators also allow the users to see their code or interface and realize how it will do on different Android phones. This feature especially comes in handy for the developers who are developing applications or apps to be used by a range of Android devices.

Best Android Emulators

There are a handful of android emulators in the market. But when picking one, you have to choose one that is truly dependable and reliable. You will come across both paid as well as free variations of emulators. But this doesn’t mean that the paid ones are always better. Rather, you will find many free Android Emulators whose performance will not fail to impress and amaze you.

To help you in this regard, we decided to try and test some of the most renowned Android Emulators in the market and then compile the results of the best ones. Here are the ones that we found to be the absolute best:

1. LDPlayer

If you require an Android Emulator for gaming, LDPlayer will not let you down. Featuring the Android Nougat 7.1, it is a powerful Android emulator that comes with a handful of features that every gamer would dream of.

From the macros, screen resolution, and even the controls and alignment, every feature facilitates gaming. Moreover, the emulator is updated regularly so that the users get the latest features and the performance of the emulators cannot be compromised in any case.

You will be able to use a handful of apps and play almost all games on this Android emulator. Among Us, Clash of Clans, Champions, Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter, etc. you name it, and the emulator will be able to support the app.

2. BlueStacks Emulators:

As soon as you start searching for an Android Emulator, you will surely come across BlueStacks. With an installation base of around 10 million users around the globe, it is an obvious fact that it is one of the most popular emulators in the market.

The biggest perk of using BlueStacks is the fact that it combines traditional as well as digital channels and comes up with a combination that maximizes device performance and allows the users to enhance the capacity of the emulator that they are using.

Their Android Emulators are highly recommended for gamers as they have lightning-fast speed. The graphics and interface is also quite impressive and the battery life is optimized as well. Installing this emulator is convenient and hassle-free plus it does not take up a lot of the computer RAM and runs smoothly and the system running the emulator does not lag or hang.

Moreover, users can also customize the controls and change them as desired. All the operations are easy to perform and quite simple. The consumption and resource management of the emulator is so optimized that you will easily be able to run multiple games and apps on the emulator at once.

Although it is an open-source platform, you can sign up for the premium version and subscribe for the additional features at the cost of $24 per month.

3. Android Studio Emulator:

If you are looking for an official Android IDE, Android Studio Emulator should be your go-to choice. It is developed by Google and is a widely used emulator. Especially recommended for coders and developers.

One of the reasons why people prefer using Android Studio is because it does not take up a lot of memory and works quite fast. It is a multi-purpose emulator that can be used for gaming as well as development. The interface of the emulator is quite crisp and clear. Therefore, it is known as one of the most intuitive emulators in the market that is extremely easy to use and get around to know.

Users also have a lot of control and options when they are using the Android Studio Emulator. They can change the emulator window as desired and improve the user experience as needed. You can also run multiple applications on the platform without having to worry about lagging or slowing down.

However, there is one downside to using Android Studio Emulator. It, itself, takes up too much time to start up and launch. This can be irritating at times but other than this, the performance and the features surely make it an excellent choice for anyone who is looking for a decent and reliable Android Emulator.

Another amazing perk of using Android Studio is the fact that it is widely used so you will come across a handful of support platforms that can help you figure out any issue that you may ever encounter. It is a platform that is recommended for both gamers as well as developers.

4. Remix OS Player Emulator:

If you are looking for an immersive Android Emulator for your Windows-based computer or laptop, you should surely give Remix OS Player Emulator a shot. The key mapping pair feature of the emulator is extremely convenient as it allows the users to map the keyboard and mouse gestures with the screen of the emulator so that they can use the phone’s screen through their laptop or computer’s the keyboard and mouse.

You can customize the controls as desired and surely have a lot of fun when you use this emulator to run an Android phone via this emulator. The installation of this emulator is also quite simple and convenient. All you need to do is to download the .exe file and then run it on your system. It will automatically be unzipped and the emulator will be up and running on your system in no time. It is an open-source emulator that is freely available.

One of the reasons why you should be considering this android emulator is the multi-window support feature. You can also use it to boost the productivity of your apps and customize them according to different platforms. It also allows simultaneous operations and you will be able to run games, use it for development and also use for internet browsing at the same time.

The choice of games that are compatible with this emulator is quite limited. Therefore, this emulator may not be the top choice for the people who are looking for an emulator to use for the sake of gaming, but if you are a developer or need to use an emulator to install and run apps, you will surely fall in love with this Android emulator.

5. Nox Player Emulator:

Some people still have security and privacy when they are using emulators. When using the Nox Player Emulator, you will not have to deal with this concern at all. This emulator is GDPR compliant and takes the data and security of the users quite seriously. It is one of the most stable and optimized Android emulators in the market.

Moreover, it is highly recommended for both gaming as well as development. This further boosts its use. You will be able to enjoy gaming to the fullest when using this emulator. It supports running multiple instances at once, allows the users to record the screen and you can also map the keyboard and touchpad strokes to the screen of the android emulator as desired. The mapping allows the users to customize and change the controls of the emulator as needed.

It is an emulator that is available on a global scale and is currently launched in more than 200 countries around the globe. There is a large number of people who use it from all around the world. Therefore, you will be able to find ample support and help forums regarding the use of this emulator. This way, even if you do get stuck with an issue, you can be a hundred percent certain that you will end up finding a solution to it.

6. MEMu Emulator:

If you are someone who is searching for an emulator to be able to play android games on your desktop, you should be considering MEMu Emulator. It is one of the most popular open-source and powerful Android Emulators in the market. The biggest perk of using this Emulator is the fact that you can also play high-speed games like PubG with ease and without experiencing any type of lag or slowing down.

The UI of the emulator is a bit complex. But once you get the hang of it, you will be able to use the emulator with ease. The gaming speed is nothing but impressive. However, the choice of games is quite limited. Therefore, it is needless to say that you will be able to enjoy the games that you can play to the fullest.

Developers will also love this emulator because it is quite powerful and consistent. All in all, it is one of the best android emulators that you will find in the market.

7. Ko Player:

The name of this emulator itself is proof that it was developed while keeping gamers in mind. You will fall in love with the performance of this emulator. The games will run in a smooth and consistent manner without slowing down or without any lag. You can also download the relevant app from Google Play Store and further enjoy playing Android games on your laptop or desktop.

One of the most amazing features of this emulator is that all peripheral features are supported by it. From the mouse to the keyboard and even the microphone and speaker, you can configure everything and use it as if you are truly using an Android phone.

If you play games and also stream them, you can use the screen recording feature to record the screen and then share them and watch them. You will be able to run all games when playing games on this Android emulator. The easy-to-access key feature allows the users to adjust the screen resolution and volume etc.

And it is not only easy to use but is free and open-source as well. The download and installation of the emulator are also quite simple and convenient. Since it is compatible with most leading operating systems, therefore you will be able to install and run it easily.

Conclusion

If you want to be able to run Android programs and games on your laptop or computer, or you are a developer who needs a device to check the app that you have made or the interface that you have designed, an Android Emulator will be your best friend.

Most emulators are open source and can easily be found online. They boost performance and make things quite simple, convenient, and easy.

There are plenty of emulators in the market. But to help you pick the best one from the lot, we tested the most renowned ones and compiled a list of the top emulators that come highly recommended based on their performance, ease of use, utility, and availability.

FAQ’s

Is Android Emulator Safe?
Many people seem to be concerned about their safety and privacy when using an android emulator. In reality, using an Android emulator is a hundred percent safe. You can use it and also store data on it without worrying that it might get stolen or manipulated.
How long does an Android Emulator take to start?
On average, an Android emulator may take around 2-3 minutes to start. Emulators are heavy programs that are why they take some time. But the time can also vary depending on the device which is running the emulator and the Android emulator that is being used.
How can I make my emulator run faster?
You can upgrade your laptop. A laptop or a desktop with faster RAM will run the emulator a lot quickly. If you are in a rush, you can also use the instant run feature to launch the emulator instantly. Using the emulator in a virtual machine also boosts its performance and speed.
Are Emulators Illegal?
No. Emulators are not illegal. Rather they are legal and safe to use. This is why most of them are open source and can easily be found online. However, if you use an emulator to do something illegal, that would be a different scenario. But it doesn’t mean that using the emulator is illegal.

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