With the increased popularity that Smartphones and tablets are gaining in most parts of the world, users are now seeing a slow but steady convergence of desktop and mobile computing. This basically means that users can get to enjoy software that they use on their desktop on their smart phones, and vice versa. With nearly half a million exciting apps in the Google Play Store, users can expect to utilize some mobile apps on their desktops.
Whereas it is quite easy to run Android apps on a Mac OS X desktop, it isn’t easy to run iOS apps on the same device. This is quite ironical considering the fact that iOS and Mac OS X come from the same developer. Nevertheless, iOS apps can be run on a Mac even though it isn’t easy. This leaves Android users in such a good position to run their favorite mobile phone apps on their Mac computers.
Options to Run Android on Mac OS X
There are various options that you can take when it comes to running Android on Mac OS X. They include: -
Run Android 4 ICS in VirtualBox
Getting the Android OS working on your Mac with VirtualBox is probably the easiest way in which you can run Android on your Mac. Use of VirtualBox is widely considered as one of the best free virtualization solutions as far as running Android apps on a Mac is concerned. What you are supposed to do is to download the VirtualBox as well as a preconfigured image of the Android operating system. Both the VirtualBox and the preconfigured image of the Android OS are free to download. You should then uncompress the file, locate the “Android-v4.vbox” and open it to start booting Android in VirtualBox. You can finally select “Android Startup from/dev/sda in the VirtualBox boot menu, and that’s it.
Android SDK Emulator
The Android Software Development Kit (SDK) can be downloaded free of charge from the Android website. It comes with an Android emulator, which is actually targeted at Android app developers. Instead of using it for testing out apps that are self-developed, the Android SDK emulator can be used to run Android apps on a Mac computer. Once the SDK Core has been successfully downloaded, you should uncompress the file and open the Android file located at the “Android-sdk-macosx-> tools. You should ensure that all files from the latest Android firmware are checked, and then click on ‘install”. Once the packages have finished installing, you should then choose ‘Manage AVDs from the Tools drop-down menu, then create a new Android Virtual Device using the firmware that you had downloaded earlier. With the Android Virtual Device select, you can finally hit the start button to boot up your emulated Android.
BlueStacks App Player
Instead of running the Android OS, the BlueStacks app player provides a framework that runs the Android applications directly on your Mac computer. This solution has been available for Windows for quite some time now. The application was only recently made available on Mac OS X. Only a couple of apps have been made available for BlueStacks, but more developers are expected to be added in the near future. To utilize this application, you should download and install BlueStacks. You should then enable Google Play on the BlueStacks app player. This will require you to have a Google Account. If you don’t own a Google account, you should set up one. It is also possible to create a Google account from within BlueStacks. After setting up a Google Account, you should Click Sync, which will link BlueStacks to your android syncing. You can then install and run your favorite apps.
At the time of the launch of the original launch, the selection of apps was very limited. There were very few apps that were made available, i.e. Pulse and Fruit Ninja. After the release of Beta, BlueStacks started offering access to over 750,000 android apps on the Mac. The company has previously partnered with app developer such as Handygames, Pulse and HalfBrick and it will maintain that partnership. It can also run any other off-the-shelf Android applications as well. This will ensure that android users will continue enjoy their favorite mobiles on their Mac computers.