There are already lots of Android emulators for PC that offer a decent enough experience to use them with confidence. MEmu is a free Chinese Android emulator for Windows with a level of compatibility, customization, and organization that’s way better than alternatives like BlueStacks or Andy.
After a quick installation you’ll be taken to the emulated Android operating system, where you can associate your Google account and customize everything just as if it were a physical device. Some things come installed by default, such as the ES Explorer file manager and an integrated application downloads service. In fact, the installation process for all programs follows the same norms as for installing files in APK format, meaning the entire Uptodown catalogue is compatible with the emulator.
To the right you’ll see a menu for the emulator that gives you access to all its extra functions, as well as a special settings menu from which you can customize the emulator’s internal architecture, native resolution, and the number of emulated nuclei it will use. You can also select the device’s orientation ‘by hand,’ do screenshots, or emulate the gyroscope based on keyboard shortcuts.
To install any app you just have to click the APK icon on the right menu and search for it on your local drive (having already downloaded the APK from Uptodown or any other source, obviously), and double-click. In a few seconds you’ll see the shortcut to the app on your virtual desktop and can run it with no problems.
The control system is very flexible, letting you exclusively use the mouse to simulate touch movements on the screen; you can also turn to the keyboard. By default the cursors and some action keys will be enabled, so any game compatible with an external gamepad can be directly controlled like that. If not, from the included wizard (also accessible from the icon with the keyboard on the right menu) you can map any action on the screen to different control methods, selecting a particular point or area and assigning it a specific key, just like if you’d tapped that spot.
In terms of its compatibility, we’ve tried a good handful of games and they all work, including 3D games with a heavy polygonal graphics. Its fluidity is in many cases better than on a physical device, with the added benefit of being able to associate your accounts and sync them on the apps when possible.
Although the emulator seems to be exclusively aimed at videogames it’s totally possible to use any other kind of app on it as well. In fact, IM tools or any other app that requires typing can be used perfectly well on Memu, as it will automatically detect your physical keyboard as a virtual one, and can insert text anyway without configuring anything. Truly a delight.