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How to Use Android Apps on Mac – Emulators

Well, the gap between desktop and mobile is actually closing all the time. However, while this means we are getting more and more desktop-class apps on our devices, getting mobile apps on our desktops is as hard as ever. Unless you guys use a Chromebook. But what if you use a Mac actually? It is possible to run Android apps on macOS as well. You guys will need some third-party software, and you will have to be willing in order to spend a few moments setting it up. When you do it, you guys will even have access to the Google Play Store. In this article, we are going to talk about How to Use Android Apps on Mac – Emulators. Let’s begin!

How to Use Android Apps on Mac – Emulators



  • BlueStacks is really easy to set up
  • It does not involve long installation processes
  • Performance is optimized for apps


  • Not much suitable for games or development

android apps on mac

Bluestacks is actually the most mainstream of all Android emulators. There are many reasons for that. For starters, it’s compatible along with Windows and Mac. It was also one of the first that worked really well that still gets regular updates as well. The emulator basically targets mobile gamers. There is a stigma along with Bluestacks as it can feel a little bloated at times. Bluestacks 4 (launched in 2018) aimed in order to fix that with mixed results.

It also includes key-mapping and settings for most of the games installed. That should help make things much easier too. It’s is actually one of the heaviest emulators on the list. But, it also has the most features for better or for worse as well. Bluestacks also made the MSI App Player too, another excellent emulator that some belief works better than vanilla Bluestacks. You guys can also try either one, they are both by Bluestacks.

We actually think BlueStacks is the best option for those who need to use Android apps on Mac. It works really fine whenever it comes to running apps such as WhatsApp and Instagram. However, the gaming performance is okay, we believe there are better options as well.

Download – Bluestacks



  • Offers more control over the virtual Android device
  • You guys can run the latest version of Android
  • It offers a fully-fledged Android OS experience


  • Installation is somewhat complex
  • Lacks performance optimization or customization options
  • Chances of bugs

android apps on mac

Well, at the core, Android is also a Linux-based operating system. As it happens, you guys can install Android on Mac using a tool such as VirtualBox. In order to do this, you guys have to create a virtual machine and install Android in it. Compared to the other options that we’ve listed, this VirtualBox method offers better control over the Android device and the apps you want to install.

When you install that, VirtualBox provides you a pure Android experience. This is because we are installing the basic Android Operating System on the virtual machine actually. But, you should not expect an optimized environment to run apps or games. Well, chances are, there are some bugs too. On the bright side, you guys can also deploy Android v8 Oreo in the virtual machine.

Running Android on Mac via the VirtualBox is best when you need better control over the process. As a virtual machine, you guys can customize performance too. But, in the long run, you will have to compromise the overall performance and gaming controls as well.

Download – VirtualBox

Nox | android apps on mac


  • Easy to set up and get started
  • Optimized performance for games and apps
  • Advanced features such as keyboard mapping and location manipulation


  • Not suitable for development
  • Runs on Android KitKat
  • Ships with some bloatware

android apps on mac


Nox is another Android emulator for PC for gamers actually. That includes the usual stuff like key-mapping along with your keyboard, actual controller support, and even the ability to key-map gesture controls. For instance, you can assign the function in order to swipe right to an arrow key. And you can use that in a game without even actual hardware controller support. It is a lot of fun and seems to work rather well most of the time actually. It’s also entirely free and in active development as well. Well, the demo video below is rather old and it definitely ran better than that on my laptop.

Nox Player Mac is the best option if you guys are into high-end Android games. Even if you have a mid-end MacBook Air, it should offer the best performance as well. Also, thanks to the macro and mapping feature too. We’d also recommend the tool in order to run WhatsApp and all.

Download – Nox

Genymotion | android apps on mac


  • Awesome features for developers
  • Multiple Android configurations
  • Better Control over Running Apps


  • Performance Optimization could be better


This Android emulator is mostly for the developers. It also lets you test your apps on a variety of devices without owning them as well. You can configure the emulator for a variety of devices with many versions of Android in order to help suit your needs. For instance, you guys can run a Nexus One with Android 4.2 or a Nexus 6 along with Android 6.0. You guys can easily switch between virtual devices at will. It Is not actually great for consumer uses, but, Genymotion does offer their services for free for personal use as well. It’s actually most useful feature is its availability on both of your desktop computer and the cloud as well. Those without powerful computers can make Genymotion’s servers do all of the work for them.

Genymotion is the best solution for Android developers who want to run their Android apps on a number of virtual devices. It syncs so well with your coding process and customization needs. Thanks to the plug-in, you guys can integrate this program along with Android Studio as well.

Download – Genymotion



  • Easy to Install and Manage
  • Best optimization for apps
  • Offers a standard Android experience


  • Runs on KitKat
  • It is lagging a bit when other apps are running

Last but not the least, Andy is actually another way to run Android apps on Mac. But, if we compare to all of the emulators we have listed above, Andy offers a smoother workflow actually. The best part is that you guys are getting a 100% full Android experience whenever you startup. You get built-in apps such as Gmail, ES File Explorer, and a lot more than that. It’s running on Android v4.0 KitKat, though actually.

Because Andy comes along with Play Store access, you guys can easily download and install apps. There are some other necessary features as well. For instance, you guys can run the Android emulator in vertical and landscape modes as well. Also, there’s Key Mapping and Location manipulation. These features are awesome whenever you want a more optimized way in order to run Android apps actually.

Andy has one of the easiest installers that we have seen. It is actually an online installer, that would download files over an Internet connection as well. It needs to be noted that Andy downloads almost 500MB of files, the largest on the list. When you do the install, Andy will then show you the standard Android interface. You can use the mouse and keyboard to manage the virtual Android tablet actually.

Andy also offers the perfect level of optimization and also a standard Android experience too. We’d recommend this tool if you guys need a real-like virtual Android device on your Mac. Of course, there are some performance lags however, you can avoid it through avoiding multitasking actually.

Download – Andy


Alright, That was all Folks! I hope you guys like this “android apps on mac” article and also find it helpful to you. Give us your feedback on it. Also if you guys have further queries and issues related to this article. Then let us know in the comments section below. We will get back to you shortly.

Have a Great Day!

Also See: Best Web Browser for Android TV – You Can Use

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Windy Moore

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