Don’t want to wait for Windows 11? Here’s how to run Android apps on PC or laptop

Microsoft has unveiled Windows 11 and one of the biggest changes coming to Windows is its ability to run Android apps. The new OS will be available by the end of this year. But, if you don’t want to wait that long to test this feature, then you can use Microsoft’s “Your Phone” app to run Android apps on your PC. However, for that, you need a Samsung Galaxy phone and your PC should be running the Windows 10 October 2019 update or later versions. Alternatively, you can also use emulators for using Android apps on a laptop. Keep reading to know more.

How to run Android apps on PC or laptop without an emulator

Step 1: First, you need to install Microsoft’s You Phone app on your smartphone and PC.

Step 2: Open the app on your PC and click on Android (or iPhone) and click again on the Continue button.

Step 3: If the mentioned app is installed on your device, then you can tick the box and press on “Open QR Code” button and generate the code.

Step 4: Now, open the Your Phone Companion app on your smartphone and open Link to Windows from the Quick Settings menu. Once you tap on the icon, turn it on.

Step 5: Click on the “Link your phone and PC” box. The next screen will ask whether a QR code is showing on your PC. You then need to scan the QR code by tapping on Continue. You are all set then. Your smartphone and PC will then get connected. (Keep your phone’s screen if you want to use apps on PC)

What I liked about the “Your Phone” app

This app is good enough for checking your smartphone notifications. You don’t need to transfer your photos through Bluetooth. You can simply download the photos available on your phone via this app. However, there is no option to select all the photos at once. Do note that the “Your Phone” app is available for all the smartphones, so you can use all the other features. But the app feature is only visible to Samsung phone users. You can check your smartphone’s messages, notifications, photos and even make calls. This app is for Windows, so iPhone users can try third-party tools like LonelyScreen.

Why Android emulators are a better choice?

If you are using Android emulators, then you don’t need your smartphone to cast the screen on your PC. You can simply install as many Android apps as you want and use them on your laptop. Casting the screen also reduces the phone’s battery up to a certain extent.

Microsoft’s “Your Phone” app doesn’t allow you to view apps like Facebook or Instagram on full screen, which is not the case with Android emulators. Though, you can use the web version of the apps.

The issue with the Your Phone app is not all Android apps will run seamlessly and some of the apps like Netflix block the ability to cast to other screens. The video streaming app displayed a black screen and just played the audio.

If you want to play Android games on PC, then it is better to use emulators as they offer great gaming controls and customisable keyboard mapping features. Both Bluestacks and Gamelopp lets you take a screenshot, record your gameplay, and offer pretty good keyboard mapping options, which isn’t the case with the Your Phone app.

Some of the games didn’t respond to the keyboard or mouse. This happened when I played games like Genshin Impact and Tennis 3D. It should be noted that the PC version of Genshin Impact is available, and I was playing it to test Microsoft’s Your Phone app.

Most of the apps (such as Genshin Impact, YouTube and Spotify) were playing audio from my Samsung smartphone instead of my laptop. But, I was able to type on Google Play Store using the keyboard.

Also, every time you open the app after dismissing it, it takes some time to connect to your smartphone. You may get a “Something Happened” or “Connection Failed” notifications. With Android emulators, you don’t have to deal with such issues. The controls and features are much better and the connection is seamless.

How to run Android apps on PC or laptop with an emulator

It is very easy to use Android apps and games on a PC using an emulator. You can visit the official website of Bluestacks or Gameloop and download them. After installing them on your laptop, just go to Play Store and download the Android app you desire to use on your PC.

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