Emulate Android On Your Desktop Using Windroy

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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.

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winroy1   Emulate Android On Your Desktop Using Windroy

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.

winroy2   Emulate Android On Your Desktop Using Windroy

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.

windroy3   Emulate Android On Your Desktop Using 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.

windroy4   Emulate Android On Your Desktop Using 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   Emulate Android On Your Desktop Using Windroy

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.

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31 Comments -

harindu

It’s really confusing that these emulators such as bluestack and this never gets ported to Linux.

hamed

why can’t windroy access the internet

hamed

I’ve try browsing with windroy,but its not connecting.is there any solution

Bilal A

“surfaceflinger.exe has stopped working” as i run windory on windows8 x64 pc, what the hell is this??

Terobau

Same here…

Vinu

thats because your opengl drivers are not working in windows 8.Update your display drivers.

Jerry

Pls,it says surfaceflinger.exe has stopped workin,pls wt do i do?

szecs

Error :( Win 8.1 x86
Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/miqQmlU.jpg

anonymous

I’m getting the same error!

Ed

I would love to see Android emulation on Linux with full hardware acceleration.

Anyone know of options?

If not, has anyone tried AndroVM in virtual box? How is the hardware acceleration on 720p/1080p videos? Can it handle most ARM compiled apk files?

Crayon

Try Genymotion, it’s AndroVM evolution. It runs smooth on my PC even if I can’t make a lot of apps run but I think the problem can be solved (at last for some of them)

Genymotion runs on Linux, Windows and Mac.

Ed

Thanks. Will look into it.

thu ya

how to install app in that windroy.? c:\ ? please

jose

When I go to any of the sites where this program can be downloaded, it downloads a .exe file called “Express Installer.” Is it safe to download and install this program, and what does it have to do with Windroy”

Quiller

Does it work with XP?

ANDREW

avast stopped setup said it was a trojan horse

Peter Hood

I always scan files before running them, and various security packages that I use came to the same conclusion. One of them was Avast, which reports “Threat: Win32:Agent-ARNY [Trj].

When I followed other links to read the data, I noticed some of them are in Chinese. I also noticed the Google warning; they are unable to scan and thus verify the threat. It would be very, very unwise to keep this software.

Remember, whatever anyone says the PRC contains all sorts of threats, some official, some buccaneers, some pirates.

Mathsy

I am sorry to inform you but Avast is dead, like most of the other Anti-viruses.
Google said that warning because the file is too big for it to scan.
If you really want to check if something contains a virus or no, get BitDefender.

The app is working perfectly and is totally virus free. The real virus is Avast.

BKA

All these seem to be very buggy or some kind of Malware.

Android Drawer Team

Hi,

Thanks for sharing our site (http://www.androiddrawer.com).

“Make sure you’re careful when deciding which of these APK repositories to trust, however.”
– You can definitely trust androiddrawer.com, we provide MD5 Hash, for each and every app. That’s the only way to be sure that the .apk file hasn’t been modified.

Cheers!

Vasim

When i run windroy on windows xp than write Gettickcount64 not locakt

James

i’m trying to run an app and it tells me drmserver.exe has stopped running… eh?

mukesh

did you get any solution for this problem please comment below

mukesh

same drm error in mine too

Rahul Raj

I cannot connect to internet in windroy! is there any option available?

Div

This is really getting on my nerves now.
What’s the way out for the problem?

http://puu.sh/5PnzT.png http://puu.sh/5PnAC.png

gourav

how to connect a internet connection

john

it wount work on windows 8.1 says could not get extention string arb

confused

instagram wont work on windroy

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 :)

Bhavin

i have a below error after that nothing happen ….

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

any sollutation