By typing on a sales report for the boss, you decide to take a well-deserved break from work.
Will this be some laughs on TikTok? Sending Snaps to Friends via Snapchat? Playing “Clash with Clans” or “Crash Bandicoot: On the Run”?
The problem is that these are all mobile apps, and your smartphone is lying on the charging mat. Oh, and the kids are watching videos on your iPad.
Why shouldn’t you be able to access these on the laptop or desktop you’re already using?
In fact, you can run Android apps designed for smartphones — on your Windows PC or Mac — on your own.
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There are really two different ways to pull this off, and they’re free as well.
Here are two great solutions for running millions of Android apps on your computer:
How to Run Android Apps on Your Computer with Bluestacks
The best solution is to install BlueStacks 5 for Windows PC (or BlueStacks 4 for Mac), which lets you run Android on your personal computer.
The San Jose, California-based company claims to have supported more than 2 million Android games and apps on its emulators, thanks to the software’s complex virtualization technology, developed over the years by 10 engineers.
Since Android is an open operating system, BlueStacks is completely free and legal for users to download and install. It only takes up 2GB of storage once installed, not including any apps you may download.
Other system specs are similarly modest, such as requiring at least 4GB of RAM (system memory), although 8GB or more is recommended. Bluestacks 5 may also require the new graphics card driver to be downloaded on the older computer. but that’s about it.
To download apps and games from the Google Play Store within BlueStacks, simply log in with your Google ID (Gmail address and password) and get to it.
It may take a bit of experimentation to see how certain games should be best played on a PC or Mac. For example, if you’re used to controlling racing games by tilting your Android phone, you can opt for a keyboard or gamepad instead.
Apps that take advantage of your smartphone’s camera, such as Instagram, will of course require a computer with a webcam.
With support for the Google Play store, BlueStacks 5 includes a Control Editor (for creating and customizing unique control options for your favorite games) and Game Center (which lets you browse games by genres, popularity, and other variables). ) is included.
How to Run Android Apps on Your Computer Using Your Phone
Another way to access Android apps and games on a Windows PC is to launch the Your Phone app, which is already built into Windows 10 (and on many Samsung Galaxy smartphones, there’s a preinstalled link for the Windows app, which may also work). could).
It’s a bit more of a headache to set up and its performance isn’t as good as BlueStacks, but it lets PC users wirelessly access apps on smartphones near you—as long as both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network. Get connected
If you start from your PC, in the search box on the taskbar, type the word “your phone” and then click or tap to launch the app.
If you’re on your Android phone, select it from the list of phone models. You’ll be asked to sign in to your Microsoft account, and then to install or open the Companion app on your Android device. To do this, open a web browser on your Android device and then enter the link that is displayed on your PC.
Next, sign in to the companion app with the same Microsoft account you’ve signed into on your PC. On your PC, select the “Pair with QR Code” button. Now use your Android app on the screen to scan the QR code that will be displayed on your PC to link the device.
You can now access your Android phone wirelessly from your PC, and even pin Android apps to your Windows taskbar, and launch them individually.
While the Your Phone app does indeed work for accessing Android apps on Windows PCs, be aware that gamers may find the performance a bit sluggish.
Follow Mark on Twitter for his “Take Tip of the Day” post: @marc_saltzman. Email him or subscribe to his Take It Out podcast at https://marcsaltzman.com/podcasts.