How to Run Android Apps on Your Mac

This guide will take you every step of the way through the process of setting up and installing Android Apps on your Mac.

Android Apps running on a Mac

There are a few ways to do this. I’ve tried a lot (all?) of them, and in my opinion, this is the most ideal. It’s one of the ‘fastest’ (you can actually play games), it doesn’t crash as often as most, it has remarkably good keyboard and mouse integration (sometimes you forget you’re ‘supposed’ to be tapping the screen) and you can install most Apps. Instagram works, WhatsApp works, Plants vs. Zombies 1 & 2 work – so far I’ve only found one game that didn’t work. It’s entirely free too, which is a major bonus.

  1. Let’s just jump right in! Head over to BlueStacks and download the app player. The file is quite large so it may take a couple of minutes for the download to complete. When it has, double-click the .dmg file to open it and then double-click the BlueStacks icon to begin the installation.
  2. Click the large Continue button to agree to the Terms and Services.
  3. Enter your password when prompted.
  4. Sit back and wait for a few moments :)
  5. Click Allow to enable Location Services for your new “Android installation”.
  6. You may be prompted to ‘Improve location accuracy’ – if you are, click Agree (this can always be disabled later if you feel the need).
  7. Again, you may be prompted to turn on GPS for apps yet another time – click Yes
  8. Now you’ll need to complete a couple of steps to finish the installation. The first is to enable the AppStore. Click Continue to begin.
  9. Click Existing (assuming you have a gmail/Google account).
  10. Enter your gmail address and password in the spaces provided and then click the ‘right arrow’ button (see screenshot below) to continue.
  11. You will probably want to enable the BACKUP & RESTORE feature – even if you don’t use it. You will probably want to disable the COMMUNICATION option – do so by removing the check mark. When you’re ready, click the ‘right arrow’.
  12. Now it’s time to enable AppSync. Click Continue
  13. Once again you’ll need to sign in to your Google account. Enter your gmail address in the space provided, and then click the Next button.
  14. Now enter your Google password and click Continue.
  15. Almost done – you’ll now be signed in to your new BlueStacks Android App. NOTE: if this step seems to ‘stall’ for longer than a minute, use the back button built into the BlueStacks App.
  16. The initial screen will be the Google Play Store. From here, you can start installing Apps –

  17. click to enlarge

  18. Plants Vs. Zombies on my laptop has the potential to stop all work from happening.
  19. Plants vs. Zombies for Android on a Mac
    click to enlarge

  20. And it’s entirely playable.
  21. Android Apps running on a Mac
    click to enlarge

  22. Some games even have built in notifications to let you know how the controls will function on your Mac. Instead of swiping and tapping, most often you’ll be using the arrow keys, the spacebar etc.
  23. Other Apps and games will only run in ‘vertical’ mode – there isn’t much you can do about this.

  24. click to enlarge

  25. WhatsApp worked perfectly – I tied my account to my Google Voice phone number and I was able to chat with all my friends.
  26. WhatsApp for Android running on a Mac
    click to enlarge

  27. Quite a few of the native Android features are still present in the BlueStacks App – including the ‘shelf’.
  28. The “main” BlueStacks App screen is a bit dull and boring, but provides all the functionality needed to get the job done.

  29. click to enlarge

  30. Try ‘clicking’ around (and hold down the button to ‘click and drag’) to discover features and settings. There isn’t a slew of info, but the FAQ section over at BlueStacks may help you resolve any issues you have.

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