There are a lot of reasons why you might want to use an Android emulator on your Mac. You might want to run Android apps on your Mac, or maybe you’re a developer and are looking for an Android emulator to debug your apps on. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for Android emulators on a Mac, chances are the one you’ve used (and probably hated), is the one that comes bundled with Android Studio. Ok, so you can use HAXM to make it a little bit faster, but it is still really slow. So, what do you do when you want to run Android apps on a Mac? Well, read on to learn about some Android emulators that work well on Mac, and are way faster than the default Android emulator.
Best Android Emlulators for Mac
Bluestacks is one Android emulator that almost every one has heard of. It is an easy to install emulator. You just download the emulator on your Mac, and install it. That’s it. There’s no other set up required. Bluestacks automatically uses the network that your Mac is connected to, and it comes with the Play Store built-in, so you can directly start downloading apps. Also, if you have the APK file for an app, you can simply double click on it, in your Mac, and it automatically installs in Bluestacks. So, you don’t even need to worry about transferring the APK file from your Mac to your emulator.
Apart from all that, Bluestacks allows users to live stream to Twitch, making it easier for gamers to live stream their games to their Twitch followers. It also supports standard, non game apps. So, you can install your favorite chat clients on Bluestacks and chat directly from your Mac, without having to deal with picking up your phone, every time a notification pops-up. The emulator also supports multi-tasking, just the way that Android supports it, so you can get a true Android-like experience on the emulator.
Download Bluestacks (free)
Droid4X is an emulator that is aimed at gamers, in particular. The emulator loaded up really fast on my 2014 MacBook Air, and was working very well. It offers excellent performance, and is perfect if you want to play your Android games on a bigger screen. It can run ARM applications, and is compatible with 99% of available Android apps. The emulator also supports multi-touch, so you can play games that require multiple touches, as well. The Droid4X makes the perfect emulator for long, heavy gaming sessions, and due to its fast loading times, you don’t even have to wait too long to start playing your favorite Android games on your Mac. The emulator is free of cost, and I would definitely recommend that you try it.
Genymotion is a wonderful Android emulator for Mac. It is basically aimed at developers, and it offers features that will appeal the most to people who want to develop apps for Android devices. Genymotion will allow you to emulate 40 different types of Android devices, and gives you access to all versions of Android. Also, for developers, it allows unlimited app installations. The emulator integrates with macOS, and can use your laptop webcam as the Android emulator’s camera, so you don’t need to set all that up.
Most of the emulator’s features are built with developers in mind, which is why the emulator boasts of features such as compatibility with Eclipse, Android Studio, and Android SDK tools. It also allows you to change the battery level of the emulator, so you can test your app’s response to various levels of battery.
The emulator supports multi-touch, and sensors like accelerometer, and gyroscope. It also supports unlimited screencasts, which will allow you to record smooth video of the emulator (along with audio, if you want).
Download Genymotion (starting at $136/year)
Manymo is an Android emulator that works directly inside your browser. So, you don’t really need to install any application to use the emulator. However, this does have the drawback that the emulator works rather slow. This means that you can’t really use the online Android emulator for playing games, or anything. However, if you’re a developer and you just want to check if your app looks fine on screens of multiple sizes, then Manymo is a decent option for you. You are required to create an account on the website in order to use their emulators, however, the free account works well enough.
You can launch the emulators with your app installed, or you can instead use a simple terminal command to make the emulator appear to your development environment as a local emulator. It’s not the best, but it might just do the trick for you.
Note: I did not include Andy in this list of emulators, because it caused a ton of issues on my MacBook Air. It even caused a Kernel Panic, and I promptly removed it from my Mac after that. That’s why I am not going to recommend it to anyone. However, if you really want another Android emulator, you can check it out but you’ve been warned.
Run Android Apps on Mac with these Android Emulators
You can use these Android emulators to run Android apps on macOS. Each of these emulators have all the basic set of features that you’d expect from an emulator, and they all have some special features, as well. Bluestacks usually works for everyone, but Droid4X is possibly the fastest loading Android emulator I have used. As always, if you have any issues with these emulators on your Mac, do let us know. Also, if you know of another good emulator that we may have missed out on, feel free to let us know in the comments section down below.