While Android apps are not natively supported in macOS, running Android apps on Mac is not a difficult task.
Just downloading the apps won’t be enough. Before you can start running them on your Mac, you’ll need to choose and install an Android emulator. This is a piece of software that effectively simulates the Android operating system on your Mac, allowing you to run the apps.
Choosing an Android Emulator
When it comes to emulators, you have a few different choices. If you’re particularly tech-savvy or just interested in the variety available, you may want an option that gives you more control over how it runs. If you’re using your Mac to develop Android apps, you may need better development functionality.
Here’s how to set up our favorite general-purpose Android emulator, BlueStacks. BlueStacks is one of the oldest and easiest-to-use Android emulators for Mac that’s still being updated. It’s also easy to set up, which makes it great for just about anyone — regardless of their technical ability or familiarity with Mac or Android.
BlueStacks is also very well-documented, so if you run into any troubles with setup or a specific app, someone out there has probably tackled the problem you’re dealing with.
Installing and Running Apps with BlueStacks
To run BlueStacks, you will need macOS Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave or Catalina. You’ll also need 4 gigabytes of RAM and 4 gigabytes of free hardware space. If your Mac is particularly old, your graphics card may not be powerful enough to run Android apps.
Also, BlueStacks downloads Android app files by pulling them from the Google Play store. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to set one up before you can run apps with BlueStacks.
If your system meets all those requirements, then follow the steps below to install BlueStacks:
- First, navigate to the emulator’s download page, then double-click on the downloaded setup file with the .dmg extension.
- When the application opens, double-click on the BlueStacks logo to proceed.
- Click the “Install Now” button that appears at the bottom of the app window.
- If you get a “System Extension Blocked” popup, click on the “Open Security & Privacy” button.
- This should open a system privacy settings menu. At the bottom, click the “Allow” button.
After that, the installation should proceed by itself. If you’re having trouble following these steps, you can try following along with BlueStack’s video of the installation process.
Once BlueStacks is installed, running Android apps will be pretty simple. When BlueStacks is open, you’ll be able to navigate to the Google Play store from the main app page. From there, you can start downloading your apps. Once downloaded, you can launch these apps by clicking on their icons on the main page.
Running Android Apps with BlueStacks
Apple doesn’t make it easy to run Android apps on your Mac, but with the help of an Android emulator, you can get your favorite apps up and running.
You have a few different options when it comes to emulators. BlueStacks, one of the oldest and easiest-to-use Android emulators, is a good bet. Once it’s installed, running Android apps is as simple as downloading them from the Google Play store and clicking launch.
Image credit: BlueStacks.com