Many of you might have dreamt of using Android and Windows alongside each other on your system. Android may be the most popular mobile operating system in the world, but it hasn’t been able to crawl its way in the computer world yet.
Well, don’t give up on your dream so easily. The fact is – it may not have been made for desktop users, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we cannot install it on your system. There are several ways by which you can get Android on your desktop.
One of the popular ways is – Bluestack, a software which can run Android apps on your Windows computer without requiring the physical installation of the OS. The other methods include installing Remix OS, Installing Android-x86, and using Android Emulators. So, without further ado let’s get right into it.
As we know Android is open source project, that means it is available for anyone to modify. So, Android-x86 is made out for experiencing Android for anyone who owns a computer. As of today, their latest build is available based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat. You can install it on your PC just like Windows or Linux.
It can especially be helpful in case you have a very old computer sitting in your home. As we know, old machines can’t keep up performance level with today’s OS and Software. But, Android-x86 can run very smoothly on old machines putting them to good use.
There is the downside of this, using the operating system which is made for touch-based devices can feel bit awkward. But, if you have touchscreen device or laptop then you should have no problem at all. You can read our guide on – how to run Android-x86 on your computer for detailed information.
As these project is still in beta phase and isn’t stable, we will recommend not installing it. If you still wanna try it out, you can install it on VMware, you can find the Android-x86 image here.
How to Install Android-x86 on VMware
You can download VMware from here. Open VMware and select Create a New Virtual Machine, select Typical and hit Next. Browse and select your ISO image which you have downloaded earlier and hit Next, type the name you would like to give to your virtual machine and press Next. Assign disk size of your choice (min 16 GB recommended) and select Split virtual disk into multiple files and hit Next.
Now, click on Customize Hardware and assign memory size, we would recommend min 2 GB but you can go all the way up to 4 GB (never assign more than half of your computer’s memory). You can also assign a number of processors and cores per processor (we would recommend 2 cores). Now, go to display and check Accelerate 3D graphics, close the prompt window and click Finish.
Now, your virtual machine will boot up, you can choose to run Android without installation or you could choose to install it (which should be placed at the bottom). I assume you are wishing to install, select the bottom option. Next, choose to Create/Modify Partition (here mouse will not work, use arrow keys to move and enter key to select). Select No for GPT partition. Now do these operations in exact order as I have mentioned, select New→ Primary→ Leave Size as Default→ Press Enter→ Bootable→ Write→ Type Yes→ Press Enter→ Quit.
Now you will see the new partition appeared at the top, select it and choose Ext4 and select Yes to format it completely. Select Yes to install GRUB bootloader and NO for EFI. Select Yes when it asks to install /system directory as read-write. After that, the installation will start, after finishing you can boot into your Android ecosystem.
Using Remix OS
You may not have heard of Remix OS because they might not be so popular, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t created anything awesome. They have been able to do the one thing which Android-x86 cannot be able to do, that is – true multitasking. The user interface is totally tweaked for desktop users and provides a window for apps, taskbar, action center, and key mapping tool which can maps touch events on the screen to a specific key (it is particularly helpful for playing games).
Here’s the video explaining key mapping tool in action.
As of writing this article their latest Remix OS creation was based on Android M (Marshmallow). There are several ways you can install Remix OS – USB Drive, Dual Boot with Windows, and VMware. You can find and download Remix OS here.
How to Install Remix OS
Installing Remix OS on PC is pretty easy but time-consuming process. You can use any of three ways explained below to install Remix OS.
Installing Remix OS on USB is super simple, all you need is a USB drive (preferably USB 3.0) with at least 8 GB size and installation package (Which you have downloaded earlier). Once downloaded, unzip the package and start “Remix OS PC installation tool” which is included in the package. Select your ISO image, installation type and drive, hit OK, that’s it.
When you reboot your computer and boot through USB Drive, it will ask you to select between Resident Mode and Guest Mode. Resident mode saves data between multiple sessions and guest mode does not.
You may think dual booting the system is a very complicated process (as we do with Windows and Linux), but in this case, it is very simple. Just like the USB installation, we have to start “PC installation tool” and select ISO image. Instead of USB, select Your Hard Disk and choose in which drive you to want to install it with its size and hit Ok. Here’s the video which explains installing Remix OS along with Windows.
The procedure for installing Remix OS on VMware is very similar to installing Android-x86. So, here I am only going to explain the things which are different. When creating a new virtual machine, when you reach assigning disk size, select Store virtual disk as a single file. While customizing hardware select number of processors to 2. After finishing the virtual machine creation, power on the virtual machine. It will ask you to select between Resident mode – in which machine state and data persist between multiple sessions and guest mode – which does not save any data or state. Now, you will boot into Remix OS and the boot animation will appear, it may take longer than expected to boot up. After booting up you can complete the setup process and enjoy using Android on your PC.
Using Android Virtual Device
If you are a developer and wish to test your Android apps in a real environment, then this option is for you. Google Android Virtual Device Manager which is a part of Android studio can simulate an entire Android operating system within confines of your window.
But, using this option as a primary source to run Android for everyday use might not be a very good idea as it is pretty sluggish and slow in terms of performance. Since it is only created for keeping app developers and testers in mind, it is pretty inconvenient for people to like us to use.
This method does not physically install any operating system on your computer but it runs Android apps within a window of your computer. If you don’t want to dual boot your system or doesn’t want to install any OS, then BlueStacks is the best way to run Android apps on your Windows computer.
It also includes Google Play Service, which means you can easily install any apps from Play Store without any side loading. The performance is also seamless, it can run Android apps with surprisingly well speed. But, there is a downside of this. If you have a system with low specs then BlueStacks might take a good hit on your PC’s performance and startup speed.
But other than this thing, unlike many of its competitors, it is a really great option with good performance and seamless experience.
So, which of these methods are you going to use to install Android on your computer? Have any questions? Let us know in the comment section down below.