For the lot of you who are wondering how to install Android on PC, fret not. In today’s guide, we’ve compiled the simplest methods available to get the job done, enabling you to experience Google’s mobile platform right on your computer. For starters, we’ve shortlisted two techniques which emulate the entire platform. So if your device is in line to get the ICS update or you’re new to the OS and want to explore how it looks like and functions, you’ve stumbled into the right place.
1. The official way:
To install Android on PC using this method, we’re going to run you through the official emulator provided by Google. The Android SDK is basically designed for developers to port and test their applications to be fully compatible with the platform. However, that shouldn’t stop you from using it for educational purposes or even a bit of fun. Before we proceed, make sure your system meets all the requirements. The SDK is compatible with Windows XP (32-bit), Vista (32- and 64-bit) and Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit) editions as well as Mac and Linux systems. You’ll also need the latest version of the JDK (Java Development Kit). So let’s begin.
Getting the necessary files:
– Like we’ve already said, the JDK is required to run the emulator. So head over to the Oracle website and download Java Platform, Standard Edition or Java SE in short.
– Once that is complete, install the application.
– Now, head over to developer.android.com website. The SDK tab should be accessible just besides the Home menu. On the left panel under ‘Android SDK Starter Package’ click ‘Download.’
– Doing so will take you to the download page for the SDK. Now based on the OS you computer is running, select the right package. In case of Windows, we recommend the executable file over the zipped one. However, if you don’t wish to install the SDK on your system, the compressed file allows you to extract and store the software anywhere on your HDD.
Setting up the emulator:
– Now that you’ve got the Android SDK and Java installed, we can begin with the emulator process. From start menu or the location where you’ve installed the software, run the Android SDK Manager application.
– This tool brings up a host of packages comprising of various utilities and different versions of the platform. For today’s guide, we’re sticking with Android 4.0.3. However, you can feel free to select any edition you desire like Honeycomb or Gingerbread.
– Under the ‘Tools’ folder you should see two files. Check both of them along with the SDK Platform and the ARM EABI v7A System Image from the ‘Android 4.0.3’ folder.
– Now, make sure you have 4 files selected and nothing more. Refer to the above image if you’re experiencing difficulties. Hit on the ‘Install packages’ button to proceed. The next page will confirm the files and ask you to accept the license terms, click the ‘Accept All’ check box and ‘Install’ to start the download.
– All you’ve got to do is sit back, relax and let the download finish. On completion, the packages will get installed automatically. So close the SDK manager and now run the AVD Manager from the Start Menu or the saved directory.
– In this step we’re going to create a new AVD. Hit the ‘New’ button from the right panel to begin.
– A fresh window will appear. First fill in any name, then select the target file which in our case, is Android 4.0.3 – API Level 15. Now you need to input an SD card storage value, and we’re going with 2GB. Next, feed in the desired resolution or select one from the built-in drop-down menu. Hit ‘Create AVD’ to continue.
– In the manager’s main window, the newly created AVD will show up. Select it and hit ‘Start’ from the right panel. This will launch the emulator which might take a while to load.
2. The unofficial way:
So you now know the official way; but there’s another method to install Android on PC that’s faster and even simpler. And unlike the SDK emulator from Google, this one can be installed straight onto your HDD, used as a live CD or even emulated through a Virtual Machine. For this method we’re just going to need 2 files, one is the VirtualBox software from Oracle and the android-x86 IOS file. The image can be acquired from the download page of the android-x86.org website. When in the download section, scroll down to Android-x86-4.0-RC1. Now, select the android-x86-4.0-RC1-eeepc.iso file (this one seems to work well, but you can feel free to try out other images on your own risk) and save the file to your desired location. Once the download is complete, head over to the Oracle website and download as well as install the VirtualBox software.
Setting up the Virtual Machine:
– This method is simple and pretty much straight forward, so you shouldn’t face any problem. To install Android on PC, begin with launching the VM software. Selecting ‘New’ from the upper panel brings up another window. Click ‘Next’ to proceed.
– From the next page, fill in the desired name and under Operating System select Linux, while the Version needs to be set to other Linux.
– Now you’ll need to create a virtual disk using the following steps:
i. Select VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) in the first page and hit ‘Next.’
ii. Allot the desired storage capacity through the text box on the left or use the slider. And on the last page hit ‘Create.’
– Before we run the emulator, there’s one last thing we need to do – mount the image. But first, open the settings menu, navigate to System and tick ‘Enable absolute pointing device’ from the check box.
– Head to the Storage tab and under IDE Controller you’ll find 2 selections, one with the name we gave the VM, and Empty.
– Select the latter storage and hit on the ‘setup virtual drive button’ from the Attributes menu.
– The main part’s over and it’s time to run the emulator. To do so, simply click ‘Start,’ accept all prompts and select ‘Live CD’ when the option appears.
Conclusion: So was our guide on how to install Android on PC easy or what? Well, it may seem tricky here and there, but if you follow each step carefully, you shouldn’t bump into anything too tough to deal with. Apart from the two aforesaid methods, you could even use the BlueStacks emulator for Windows which allows you to run almost any Android application straight from your PC. So do let us know how if things worked out well by leaving a comment or two below.