Table of Contents
1. Blue Stack
BlueStacks is one of the most popular Android emulators for Windows and perhaps the best Android emulator for macOS. This emulator is built primarily for mobile gamers and claims to provide a “PC-like” gaming experience for mobile apps.
BlueStacks has full keyboard and mouse support and comes with a set of recommended preset controls that are fully customizable. If you create custom controls, you can use BlueStacks to export these settings to easily share them with your fellow gamers.
When you run BlueStacks for the first time, you need to do some initial configuration, exactly like booting a new Android smartphone or tablet.
As part of this process, you will be prompted to sign in to your Google Account. This allows you to download mobile games through the Google Play Store.
After entering this information, you will see the familiar Android home screen with Google Play already installed.
2. ARChon Runtime for Chrome
ARChon Runtime for Chrome is a unique project that allows you to run Android applications within the Chrome web browser.
This project can use ARC (App Runtime for Chrome) to run Android applications on Chrome OS. This means Android developers don’t have to completely rebuild their apps for Chrome OS.
The ARChon runtime for Chrome is technically a runtime and not an emulator, but it allows you to run Android apps on macOS. However, it should be noted that this is an experimental project. Depending on the Android application you are trying to run, you may get unexpected results.
When launching ARChon , it may be helpful to download the application from one of the subreddits of the Chrome APK . These subreddits are dedicated to finding and sharing apps compatible with this particular runtime.
This is not a simple download and use solution like Android Studio or BlueStacks. But if you like tinkering with technology, you’ll enjoy exploring the ARChon runtime.
If you’re looking to test the latest Android projects, it’s worth a look at Genymotion. This Android virtual machine is aimed at software developers, so it has everything you need to test your apps on a variety of emulated Android smartphones and tablets.
You can run Genymotion as a local app or in the cloud. If you choose to run Genymotion on your desktop, you can download it from the Genymotion website. Genymotion Desktop is available with several paid licenses, but is free for personal use.
Genymotion also provides a cloud-based virtual emulator service. Genymotion Cloud allows you to create multiple virtual machines and run them in parallel for mass testing.
This can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to test your app, but depending on your plan, you may be charged for each virtual device you create.
4. Android Studio
Unlike other emulators on this list, Android Studio is made by Google. This integrated development environment (IDE) is aimed at Android developers and has everything you need to design and build your own Android applications.
Android Studio allows you to create an Android Virtual Device (AVD) with the necessary hardware and software configuration to test your app.
You can then run this AVD on the emulator in Android Studio and see how the app handles this unique configuration.
Rinse and repeat to test your project on dozens or hundreds of emulated Android devices.
With many features, Android Studio is not the best choice for users who want to run a few mobile games on their Mac. However, if you are an app developer, Android Studio is an essential tool and is considered the official development of Android.
If you’re using Android Studio, it’s worth noting that Android emulators are notorious for being slow.
Features like Instant Run have reduced the time it takes to deploy apps in Android Studio, but you can do some research on how to speed up the Android emulator.
5. KO Player
KO Player is a relatively new entrant to emulator games and is one of the newest Android emulators on the list. They market themselves as mid-market emulators that can comfortably run apps and multiple games.
Although it mainly focuses on games, it is a full Android emulator, so you can run almost any app from the Play Store as long as it is compatible with your Android version.
The company’s website does not mention which version of Android it is running but does list a few popular apps and games that are compatible with KO Player (WhatsApp, Clash of Clans, etc.
It also comes with features like gameplay recording, keyboard gameplay support, and comes pre-installed with the Google Play Store. It is said that about 99% of play store apps are compatible with KO players.
The best thing here is that KO Player is a free download and you can get it directly from the official website. As with all free offers, you may encounter some minor issues during use. However, app developers are very keen to provide a fresh and polished experience through bug fixes.
Believe it or not, you can actually use VirtualBox to create an Android emulator for Mac.
Download VirtualBox to your Mac machine and then set it to the required ISO image from Android-x86.org. You can create efficient emulators to play almost any game or app within your Mac.
As an added bonus, VirtualBox gives you a lot of control over how many resources and hardware it uses. This allows the entire system to run smoothly while still running the Android operating system emulator in the background.
VirtualBox is free to use. However, it is recommended that your computer have at least 8 GB of RAM to run this.
The above is some of the best Android emulators for Mac, but not all are right for you.
If you want to play some Android games on your Mac, you probably don’t want to pay for Genymotion Cloud. To test your application on multiple emulated devices, you need an emulator that is aimed at developers, such as Android Studio.