How To To Run Android Apps On Mac OS X

android mac   How To To Run Android Apps On Mac OS XWith cellphones and tablets gaining in processing power, we are seeing a slow but steady convergence of mobile and desktop computing. Usually, this means you get to enjoy software similar to desktop applications on your mobile, but the reverse is possible as well – using mobile software on your home computer. With close to half a million applications in the Google Play store, there are bound to be a number of apps to complement your desktop computing experience.

Chris previously covered 3 Ways to Run Android Apps on Windows. This time around, we’ll show you how to run Android applications on your trusty Mac. And before you ask — no, the irony of running Android on an Apple operating system is not lost on me, but it is great fun!

Run Android 4 ICS In VirtualBox

The easiest way to run Android apps on your Mac is to get the Android operating system working on your Mac with VirtualBox. Lachlan has written a MakeUseOf Guide on VirtualBox, and it’s widely considered one of the best free virtualization solutions.

android virtualbox mac   How To To Run Android Apps On Mac OS X

First, download VirtualBox and a preconfigured image of the Android OS. You can download a VirtualBox image for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) from VMLite here. Both are free to download. Uncompress the file, look for Android-v4.vbox and open it to start booting Android in VirtualBox.

Finally, select Android Startup from /dev/sda in the VirtualBox boot menu. That’s all there is to it!

Android SDK – Emulator

The Android SDK (software development kit) is free to download from the Android website, and it comes with an Android emulator, pictured below. The emulator is actually targeted at Android app developers, but instead of testing out self-developed apps, you can use it to run Android apps on your computer.

android sdk manager   How To To Run Android Apps On Mac OS X

After downloading the SDK core, uncompress the file and open the android file located at android-sdk-macosx -> tools. Make sure all files from the latest Android firmware are checked, and press install.

avd mac   How To To Run Android Apps On Mac OS X

Once those packages have finished installing, select Manage AVDs… from the Tools drop-down menu, and create a new Android Virtual Device using the firmware you downloaded earlier.

android emulator mac   How To To Run Android Apps On Mac OS X

Finally, with your Android Virtual Device selected, hit the Start button to boot up your emulated Android. Although Google gave the Android emulator a performance boost, it’s still not the fastest kid on the block, so you should give it a minute or two to get started.

BlueStacks App Player

This is the solution I’m personally most excited about, because instead of running the Android operating system (and the apps on top of that), it actually provides a framework to run the Android applications directly on your computer.

bluestacks app player   How To To Run Android Apps On Mac OS X

The BlueStacks App Player has been available for Windows for some time, and even got a partnership with ASUS for its efforts. The application only recently appeared on Mac OS X, and is still in alpha version. Only a handful of apps are available for BlueStacks at the moment, with more developers to be added in the months to come. All in all, you should consider it a working prototype, rather than a full-fledged solution.

How do you see yourself using Android on your Mac?

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20 Comments -

Tom Sobieski

I would want to do this because?

Sylwia

Because an app might not have a desktop version, not even web version, and sometimes it is easier to use keyboard to enter a lot of data.

gpvprasad

Please also tell me how you created the virtual box image.

Simon Slangen

I didn’t create the virtualbox image myself, but used a prebuilt one. I actually linked to it in the article, but here it is again for reference. :-)

Choon Khai

I wondered if there’s iPhone version? Windows one maybe? I only used iPhone 3G so far, and some apps painfully hard to use because it uses a lot of memory which my iPhone can’t accommodate.

Simon Slangen

I don’t think there’s any decent way to do this on iOS right now, but Chris Hoffman did write similar article for Windows. Hope that helps.

Choon Khai

Thanks! It helps :)

Sohel Zaman

Absolutely helpful..!! It’s some material that i’ve been searching for a while to play my favorite apps in mac. Thanks for posting this.

Simon Slangen

Glad to help! Which particular solution did you end up choosing?

titus

tell me 1 step to another step on how to configure this service

Simon Slangen

I guess you’re in luck; there’s actually very little configuration required!

VirtualBox:
– Download and install VirtualBox.
– Download and extract the Android VirtualBox image from this page.
– Open the extracted ‘Android-v4.vbox’ in VirtualBox.
– In VirtualBox, press ‘Start’.

The necessary configuration of the Android SDK should be already covered in the article, but feel free to ask for help if you’re stuck anywhere.

BlueStacks can just be installed, and used out of the box.

Hope that helps you along. If not, let me know. :-)

jamesbirtwistle

I can’t think of an app I would need to do this for but cool nonetheless

Colter Joles

this just made me decide it would be okay to get a Mac for college. i need to do my rooting and hacking still!!!

Steven Kim

Keep em coming!!

rahul

can u tell me how can i run android app which i develop from eclipse on virtual box from my pc hard drive?

Rahul Kapoor

can u tell me how can i run android app from my pc hard drive on virtual box,as i have to test them before publishing them,i will be grateful if u’d give a detail explainition?

Rich

Simon, this is a great tutorial. I wasn’t clear on one thing though. Are these 2 types of solutions independent of each other? (Virtualbox vs AndroidSDK?) So if I want to download Android Apps I’d go with OPtion 2 only right?

Nicolas

Great tutorial… i was able do test both ways (Virtualbox and SDK) and they run…
But i tried do add some new apps from the play.google-store and created a google-account but was not able to download new apps… how can i add other apps?

Mark

Thanks- interesting.
By using this method, do you have access to the Imac hardware/functions so that you can use an Android app to send a file via Bluetooth?

Pramod

Cannot locate Manage AVD as per the instructions, stuck up completely
There is no Manage AVDs in drop down of tools anywhere.
After downloading the SDK core, uncompress the file and open the “android“ file located at android-sdk-macosx -> tools. Make sure all files from the latest Android firmware are checked, and press install. – should have been more precise..
Could you assist? It has finished installing Android 4.2 on my mac, but now can’t find Manage AVD!!!!!