Emulate Android On Your Desktop Using Windroy

Ads by Google

Do you wish you could run your favorite Android apps from the comfort of your Windows computer?

As a PC enthusiast and desktop user, nothing is more frustrating than sitting down with my smartphone and finding an app that I really enjoy. Chances are, that app doesn’t offer any native desktop version. An app like Kik comes to mind. Kik is a great messaging service for your smartphone, but there’s no native way to use Kik from a laptop or desktop. You have to use an emulator.

You’ve probably heard of BlueStacks before, and if you haven’t then you’re missing out on the most popular Android emulator for PC. Using BlueStacks, you can completely emulate Android in a window on your Windows computer. Ever used VirtualBox, a tool for running virtual machines? It’s extremely similar, but tailored only to the Android platform.

An issue that has really eaten away at me is that I cannot get BlueStacks to install properly on my Windows 8 desktop. Therefore, I’ve had to look for a few BlueStacks alternatives. Windroy is one of the nicest that I’ve come to find.

Download Windroy

I’ve only given Windroy a spin on my Windows 8 machine, but I’ve read all around the internet that it seems to also be working just fine on Windows Vista and 7. The current download is being hosted through Google Docs and is just over 80 MB in size.

Winroy

Ads by Google

Upon launching Windroy, you’ll first see that it pops out a window that looks very similar to the Windows Command Prompt. This window acts as a log for what is going on in your emulator (which will pop out in another window). Any errors and other important events are reported here, and you’ll need to keep this window open.

Winroy

The first difference you’ll notice is that, unlike any other emulator that you’ve probably tried (such as BlueStacks or YouWave), Windroy launches in a fullscreen mode. The first thing you should see is a typical Android lock screen, as displayed above. Again, this isn’t very typical. You won’t see it with many other emulators, but Windroy really emulates the entire Android experience.

Windroy

From this point on, Windroy functions quite similarly to the other emulators. Why use it over others? For example, you may notice significant differences in speed or better compatibility with certain apps. I’d always recommend BlueStacks as the first Android emulator to turn to, simply because of its long track record as being a solid emulator and its consistent updates, but Windroy is an excellent second option if you’re unable to run the application or you encounter issues.

Here are some of the key features that Windroy boasts:

  • Runs smoothly on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8
  • Comes with Windows applications such as Flash integrated
  • Support for any UI resolution
  • Can run in windowed of full-screen mode
  • Supports IO devices like the mouse or keyboard

Introducing Windroy to the MakeUseOf audience as an alternative to BlueStacks means I won’t be giving a full rundown on what’s possible with an Android emulator, but I’d definitely like to shed light on a few tricks that you can use to make the emulator work in ways to help you get comfortable with it. It functions differently from competing emulators.

Using Windowed Mode

As aforementioned, Windroy takes up the full screen when you first launch it. If you’d like to restrict it to a window, so that you can focus other windows in your taskbar when not busy in Windroy, that’s completely possible. You’ll just need to set an environment variable.

To do so, you’ll need to right-click My Computer, go into your Properties, click on “Advanced system settings“, then the “Environment variables…” button.

Windroy

You’ll need to set up a variable called “WINDROY_RESOLUTION” and assign a resolution as the value, similar to what you see in the screenshot above. Apply the changes, completely restart Windroy, and you should not be seeing the application in a window.

Installing Apps

If you’ve used another emulator like YouWave, you’ll notice that there are built-in methods of getting to the Google Play store within the emulator. Not on Windroy though. With Windroy, manually installing APKs is how you’ll have to handle getting your favorite apps installed. As explained in the linked article, this will require that you allow apps to be installed from unknown sources.

AndroidDrawer

One of my favorite repositories where you can find APKs is AndroidDrawer. Most popular apps can be found here, and you’ll simply need to download the APK and choose to open and install it after it’s been completed. The process is extremely simple and is basically the same as what you know to do through Google Play, just through another third-party website. Make sure you’re careful when deciding which of these APK repositories to trust, however.

Conclusion

Windroy won’t leave you awed and extremely impressed if you’re used to emulating Android through BlueStacks. BlueStacks has been reported to show more compatibility with a wider range of applications, specifically those from the Kindle’s app store. Many also vouch that BlueStacks offers a higher frame rate and is the best emulator for playing Android games, if that’s what you’re after. Windroy does do its job quite well though, and that’s all that is important. It’s a great second chance if other emulators have given you poor luck.

Let me know what you think of Windroy and how it stacks up against other Android emulators in the comments below.

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Best Android Apps
Best Android Apps
141 Members
Windows Hacks & Customization
Windows Hacks & Customization
95 Members
Android Rooting and ROMs
Android Rooting and ROMs
92 Members
Windows_10
Windows_10
87 Members
Android OS Tips
Android OS Tips
79 Members
Windows Troubleshooting
Windows Troubleshooting
58 Members
Best Windows Software
Best Windows Software
57 Members
Best Android Games
Best Android Games
49 Members
Best Android Phones
Best Android Phones
48 Members
Best Android Tablets
Best Android Tablets
29 Members
Ads by Google
Comments (34)
  • harshit kumar

    I have downloaded my apk files from somewhere else and now I m trying to open it on windroy with process net says to the system then app and copy the file….from this process I get the photo of the apk but it doesn’t run why??¿¿¿ plz help quickly…

  • justin

    hey my windroy isn’t running apps properly it flashes
    on screen and i can’t play anything help me find a fix please

  • Bhavin

    i have a below error after that nothing happen ….

    ***** BAD COMMAND 29190 received from binder driver

    any sollutation

  • Caroline W

    Thanks for the mention of YouWave because Windroy sounds a little complex for me, plus judging by the comments it seems to have installation issues. I tried BlueStacks but it is incompatible with Bit Defender – turned on or off. So I went for YouWave and am really impressed! I’m testing it first before I buy it ($19.95) – it’s not perfect but so far it’s okay. I’ve wanted my apps on my Laptop for a long time, therefore thank you for the direction :)

  • confused

    instagram wont work on windroy

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.