Google’s OS for mobile devices, Android, is the most used OS in most smartphones and tablets around the world. Despite being Linux-based, this system is especially designed to be used in mobile devices, not in computers. Although Google has tried to stop Android from being run in other architectures that are compatible with it, there are some projects by developers that offer the possibility of installing Android on a computer.
One of the projects that intends to port Android to PC or laptop is Android-x86, but its slow development has prompted developers to create their own version based on the original project. Right now, we will show you how to install Android on your computer using one of these Android-X86 forks, which allows us to install the OS directly on the computer just like we do with Windows and Linux, or using an Android-X86 image and a virtual machine.
How to install Android on the computer with AndEx
For the first option, we are going to use AndEx, an OS based on the Android-x86 project that offers us the possibility of using Android on any computer. First of all, we should know that AndEx can be installed on a computer just like we do with Windows and Linux, so we can take the opportunity to install it on one of our hard drive’s partitions. However, we can do the same with a virtual machine.
The first thing to do is to download AndEx. However, unlike the free Android-x86 project, we need to buy a license for $9 to use AndEx. Once we buy the license, we will be able to download the ISO image, which we can save in a USB flash drive or even in a DVD if we want to. By doing this, we can boot our PC with the Android version offered by AndEx and install it.
Once AndEx is installed on our computer, we will see how the system gives us the entire Android experience on the computer. It will look like our computer’s screen has turned into a huge phone screen where we can use the Android OS just like we use Windows, Linux, macOS, etc.
One of AndEx’s features is that it comes with GAPPS, also known as Google apps, which means that we will have access to Google’s features and services, like the Play Store, without any problem. AndEx also comes with some pre-installed apps, so we do not have to waste time installing them. Some of them are Google Play Games, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Spotify, Firefox and File Manager.
How to install Android on the computer using an Android-x86 image
Another way to get Android’s user experience on our computer is through an image of the Android-x86 project. By doing this, we will be able to use Android on our PC, although we will have no choice but to use a virtual machine.
So, the first thing that we have to do is to download and install VirtualBox on our computer. After doing that, we can download the latest Android-x86 image through the project’s webpage. Now that we have VitualBox and the Android image, we can create our virtual machine.
We have to launch VirtualBox, click on New in order to create a virtual machine, name it, select a type (Linux) and select Other Linux as the version. After clicking on Next, we will have to select the amount of RAM to allocate (1 GB, for example), and then we will have to create a virtual hard drive to install Android. We have to choose the VDI type, check the Dynamically allocated option and select the size of the hard drive. It suggests 8 GB by default, which is more than enough.
Once we finalize the entire process of creating the virtual machine (it comes with a setup with which we can use Android seamlessly), we have to add the Android-x86 image to the system so it can be booted from it. To do this, we have to go to VirtualBox’s Settings > Storage, and then we have to select the unit where the ISO image is located.
Lastly, we only have to install Android by clicking on Start on VirtualBox’s main window. Select Installation on Android’s install menu and follow the steps.
We can also use Android emulators for Windows
If you do not want to really install Android, you can also use any of the Android emulators that allow us to run Android apps and games directly from Google. With this link, you can see a list of some of the best Android emulators to run apps and games on Windows.