Best Emulators for iPhone and Android for Mac
Apple has a really strict policy regarding who all are allowed to publish apps on the App Store. It is well known. The license costs enough to deter lazier app developers from uploading drab and insipid applications on the platform, and spoil the iPhone experience. But that does leave it with some collateral damage; there is a shortage of apps to entertain oneself with since not everyone can afford paying the license cost year after year. And so, we find Mac users struggling to find good ways to entertain themselves.
Apple requires its app developers to pay Apple a cut when someone buys their app. They do not allow direct communication between the developer and the customer, nor do they allow paid upgrades for apps. The worst is that Apple is probably not oblivious to this criticism, but it has never relaxed its norms and rules.
What really discourages developers is that Apple requires apps to operate in the Sandbox paradigm. Sandbox is Apple’s app development software and what you need to know about it is that it essentially demands that your app work independently of others. As any Android user will testify, it is really unnecessary; interlinking apps and using them in the same context for solving the same problem is actually pretty convenient, intuitive and helpful. Not to mention, it makes things quicker too.
Whatever might be the case, since there is such a dearth of apps people enjoy on their Androids and iPhones, we thought it’d be a nice idea to share about some nice Android and iOS emulators you can use on Macs. Using emulators with Windows can paralyze your system. However, with their OS’s superior design and efficiency, Macs are better poised to keep their sanity with an emulator.
The best iPhone emulators to use on Mac PCs.
iPadian fits all the three criteria we discussed about earlier. It is lighter in size than most other options available, at least in terms of the size it takes up while running. It looks ravishing. Almost like the real deal. And third, it is downloadable, which helps you use the software with or without the internet, like a normal iPad would. iPadian is easy to install from the internet.
The only trouble it seems to cause people is with the side installations it can come with. Maybe it was a paid promotion or something, but I ended up installing Chromium inadvertently on my Windows PC. Maybe if I had read through the screens and not pressed “OK, OK, OK”, I wouldn’t have faced this problem. It wasn’t the best experience, but I managed to salvage my PC. One thing to watch out for in iPadian is the detailing in the design.
It might reduce your PC’s performance, but most Macs I’ve seen take it like champs and the emulator really gels well. Once you have iPadian, your PC is basically an iPad with a keyboard attached to it. Go crazy using as many iOS apps as you like. Price: Free
This one’s not exactly free, but that does not deter fans of MobiOne Studio from buying the application. There are a lot of great apps and games you can use on your Mac using this emulator. It is primarily a designing application, however. It is meant to create apps and websites to suit them with various OS such as Android and iOS. But it can run games for you as well. In fact, this same software contains emulators for both iOS and Android.
If you’re in for learning how to make your own apps and games or design and optimize your own websites, MobiOne can really help you. It is based on HTML5 models, and has open source Cordova framework you can employ. But even as the development is very “what you see is what you get”, it does take time for one to familiarize themselves with the whole interface.
Basically, it does take some time to understand what happens when you touch each button. Although, hardly anyone would need it if they are using it just to play Android or iPhone games on Macs. If you like it, you can buy it for $99.95. It has a 15 day free trial period though.
Price: $99.95, 15 day free trial
The best Android emulators to use on Mac PCs
Andy needs no introduction to anyone who’s ever looked for an Android emulator. The forums are constantly abuzz with new features, or just appreciation for the software and its looks. Andyroid looks snazzy, has the best wallpapers and the interface is identical with Android OS you find in the latest smartphones.
Andy is small in size when you download it. But the app does grow in size once you install it and run apps and games on it. This is why most Windows PCs in the lower memory grades fail after installing the software. Macs are more resilient, however, thanks to their superior infrastructure and better OS build.
You should be able to run the emulator just fine. You can download the app’s setup file, run it and enjoy your emulated Android OS. Andy requires your PC to have 10 GBs of free disk space and 3GBs of RAM, neither of which should be a problem. You need to sign in with a gmail account like with any Android smartphone to access things like the Play Store. Installation takes about 5 minutes, since the small file hardly takes a second to complete downloading.
BlueStacks is an offline Android emulator as well, but it has several points of difference with Andy. As mentioned in a story by DownloadWab, Bluestacks began as a very basic Android emulator. It quickly captured the market with its simple, no-nonsense interface with just the right amount of pomp. It played your Android games on the PC just as easily as it played movie streaming apps.
All you had to do was login with your gmail account to download the app from the Play Store, and you could get the app installed and running in no time. Only, the bulky “LayerCake” technology made it hard for most PCs to match up to the demands of the emulator. The modern Bluestacks standing at version 3 is more up-to-date and open source, based on Virtual Box.
Bluestacks now comes available as two apps, one devoted more to gaming and the other to running apps from Android on devices it is downloaded on. The software is also being marketed extensively as a gaming solution, enabling players to chat between games, switch between multiple games and incentives downloads by using a system of in-game rewards.
Bluestacks requires Direct X 9.0 or higher, and 2GB space in RAM and 4GB in free disk space.
ManyMo too is an online emulator, and it has been the favorite of many since it came out in 2012. Just like Genymotion, you need only login to the website to access Android OS in your preferred resolution. ManyMo, however, is generally preferred by people who want to build and test apps rather than those who want to play Subway Surfer over it. You need only upload your apk file to the website after having logged in, and you will be able to run it just like on a real Android.
ManyMo is unique because it offers the most number of resolutions, and they are refined and accurate too. You need to pay to use the service, but it offers you a free trial too so you know your money is worth it. That said, it definitely is expensive, and might not be a good deal if you’re only looking to watch a movie twice a month through a free streaming app. It is reported to be more developer friendly, though that will not always hold. Overall, ManyMo is costly but does the trick and works wonders for developers who don’t want to clog their Macs with downloadable emulators.
Price: most expensive of the lot.
There’s really no dearth of emulators for Macs. They are easy to install and use, and they get the job accomplished pretty easily. Macs have a unique advantage over PCs in using emulators, in that they don’t end up hanging or stalling. But if they do, you can always clean some memory or get in touch with the company.
I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments below.