Don’t want to wait for Windows 11? How to run Android apps on a PC or laptop


Microsoft introduced Windows 11 and one of the biggest changes for Windows is the ability to run Android apps. The new operating system will be available at the end of this year. However, if you don’t want to wait that long to test this feature, you can use Microsoft’s Your Phone app to run Android apps on your PC. However, for this you will need a Samsung Galaxy phone and your PC should be running the Windows 10 October 2019 update or later versions. Alternatively, you can also use emulators to run Android apps on a laptop. Read on to find out more.

How to run Android apps on PC or laptop without an emulator

Step 1: First, you need to install Microsoft’s You Phone app on your smartphone and PC.

Step 2: Open the app on your PC and click Android (or iPhone) and click the Next button again.

Step 3: If the mentioned app is installed on your device, you can check the box and click the “Open QR Code” button and generate the code.

Step 4: Now open the Your Phone Companion app on your smartphone and open Link to Windows from the “Quick Settings” menu. Once you tap the icon, turn it on.

Step 5: Click on the “Connect phone and PC” field. The next screen will ask if there is a QR code displayed on your PC. You then need to scan the QR code by tapping Next. Then you are done. Your smartphone and PC will then be connected. (Keep your phone’s screen if you want to use apps on PC)

What I liked about the “Your Phone” app

This app is good enough for checking your smartphone notifications. You don’t need to transfer your photos via Bluetooth. You can easily download the photos available on your phone through this app. However, there is no way to select all photos at once. Please note that the “Your Phone” app is available for all smartphones so that you can use all other functions. However, the app function is only visible to Samsung phone users. You can check your smartphone’s messages, notifications, photos, and even make calls. This app is for Windows so iPhone users can try third party tools like LonelyScreen.

Why are Android emulators a better choice?

If you use Android emulators, you don’t need your smartphone to cast the screen to your PC. You can simply install as many Android apps as you want and use them on your laptop. The casting of the screen also reduces the phone’s battery to some extent.

Microsoft’s Your Phone app doesn’t let you view apps like Facebook or Instagram in full screen mode, which Android emulators can’t. However, you can use the web version of the apps.

The problem with the Your Phone app is that not all Android apps run smoothly and some apps like Netflix block the ability to broadcast to other screens. The video streaming app showed a black screen and only played the audio.

If you want to play Android games on PC, it is better to use emulators as they have great game controls and customizable keyboard mapping features. Both Bluestacks and Gamelopp let you take a screenshot, record your gameplay, and have pretty good keyboard mapping options, which the Your Phone app doesn’t.

Some games did not respond to the keyboard or mouse. This happened when I was playing games like Genshin Impact and Tennis 3D. It should be noted that the PC version of Genshin Impact is available and I played it to try out Microsoft’s Your Phone app.

Most apps (like Genshin Impact, YouTube, and Spotify) played audio from my Samsung smartphone instead of my laptop. But I was able to type with the keyboard in the Google Play Store.

Also, every time you open the app after closing the app, it takes a while to connect to your smartphone. You may get “Something Happened” or “Connection Failed” notifications. With Android emulators, you don’t have to deal with such problems. The controls and features are much better and the connection is seamless.

How to run Android apps on a PC or laptop with an emulator

It’s very easy to use Android apps and games on a PC with an emulator. You can visit and download the official website of Bluestacks or Gameloop. After you’ve installed them on your laptop, just go to the Play Store and download the Android app that you want to use on your PC.

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About Katie Curtis

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