I have no problem admitting that I see absolutely no practical use in running Android on a desktop PC. Still, I have to give credit where credit is due – WindowsAndroid is just downright neat. In a nutshell, it's a not-so-creatively-named project from a company called Socketeq that aims to run Android natively within Windows. That means without emulation.

So, how is this possible? With hard work, determination, and a small bit of fairy dust – that's how. Seriously, though, it runs Android as a native application within Windows by using the Windows kernel instead of Linux. It all sounds quite technical, so I'll spare you the hairy details. Here's a look at the project in action:

At the current time, WindowsAndroid is still based on Android 4.0.3, but work is being done to port newer versions. It allows for the full Android experience, including full support for GApps (which have to be flashed separately). It also supports a wide range of screen resolutions, and will give you the appropriate interface accordingly. For example, if you're running it in a window smaller than 1280x800, it will default to the phone interface; bump it up past that, and you'll get tablet-optimized Android.

Since it's Android 4.0+, it can take advantage of various input devices, like a mouse and keyboard for example. That's good, because most people don't have a touch-enabled monitor. And the experience just wouldn't be very good without a way to interact with it.

Alright, enough babble-talk – how can you give it a go yourself? We actually snagged the 66MB file and made a couple of mirrors for your downloading pleasure, which you can find at Android File Host and Mega. Of course, don't forget to grab a copy of GApps while you're at it – because it's not really Android without Google stuff.

For more information on the work being done on WindowsAndroid, take a look at this PDF or head over to Socketeq's website.

[via Reddit]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • oesjmr

    This sounds pretty neat...hopefully better than BlueStacks. I may give it a try.

  • http://www.steveedson.co.uk Steve Edson

    The first practical use I can think of, is that it could replace the awfully slow Android emulator when debugging apps

    • http://www.ellianth.com Ellianth

      Yeah, that came to mind the second I read the first point in this article.

    • xsirxx

      Thats what I am wondering about... Wonder if there is an app or something that we can run under root that will let us push apps to it on a build...

    • DieBagger

      Bluestacks works really well for this too... ;)

      • xoj_21

        bluestack is not updated... this runs every app

        • http://kapitanluffy.blogspot.com/ kapitanluffy

          for real? this gave me another reason to use windowsandroid. though i cant seem to find the download link a while ago.

          • http://twitter.com/xoj_21 José Alberto Gálvez

            bluestack last time i used it was on gingerbread

    • ssj4Gogeta

      The emulator is actually decently fast (but not as smooth as running directly on hardware) once you enable GPU and virtualization acceleration. You need an x86 image for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yu.biswash Biswash Yub

    Just guessing: I think this can be ported to wp8!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gaetan Gaëtan Gueraud

    Guys you killed the website :)

  • Bariman43

    Probably wishful thinking, but I'd love to play ShadowGun with mouse and keyboard controls. I'm not even sure it support mouse and keyboard, but I can try.

    • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

      Whats stopping you from doing that with your phone?

      • Bariman43

        Phone controls are horrid. I can't play with them. I need physical feedback, real touch, actual buttons. On a phone, the friction present while dragging the screen to look around impairs my performance, makes the game harder, and stunts my enjoyment of the game. Game controls should be out of the way, on the sidelines. I should be able to look, fire, and reload without having to look at the controls.

        • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

          I think what Jared meant was what's stopping you from trying a keyboard and mouse on your phone/tablet? Android has USB host support for input devices like that. You might need a USB-OTG cable, but you can do it.

          • Bariman43

            I don't have either an OTG cable or a bluetooth device so that's what's stopping me.

          • vitriolix

            an OTA cable is, what, $8 ?

          • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

            Less. $4 on Newegg, and you can get them even cheaper other places. I bought 6 for like $10 at some point.

          • Bariman43

            Still, I would need two OTA cables to connect my mouse and keyboard at the same time.

  • Guest

    Seriously, WInDroid, how hard was that??

    • ProductFRED

      Droid is a Verizon/George Lucas trademark. It's best to avoid infringement whenever possible. Something this big would have definitely gotten a big company's attention. Look at what happened to the guy who owned and ran HTCRUU.com.

  • Alan Hill

    Seriously, WinDroid, how hard was that??

    • Derek B

      WinDroid is already used in a few app names.

  • http://www.ericschuetz.com/ Eric Schuetz

    How does one put the Google Apps into this? I don't wanna screw this up.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      I would assume you do it the same way as on custom ROMs like CyanogenMod. Which is via a custom recovery like ClockworkMod.

    • http://damhamaza.com damhamaza

      unzip gaps, copy file under system folder, and paste it under windowsandroid_root/system

      • James Powell

        I did that but I'm getting a lot of FC's on google prcesses and I can't get the market to do anything

        • http://damhamaza.com damhamaza

          yup, nothing much in the google play...no FC so far...

      • philnolan3d

        I tried this and I don't see any difference at all.

      • dansus


  • mechapathy

    "How many cats is too many?"

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    Finally a real use for those capacitive touch computers that carry Windows 8.

  • wolfkabal

    "I have no problem admitting that I see absolutely no practical use in running Android on a desktop PC"

    Lets see, development testing, non-development testing (IT), gaming, user testing (for those without actual android).. Seriously Cameron, wtf?!?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I don't know if I'd trust non-development testing of an Android app to a system that is not designed to run Android apps and is at best very alpha.

      Same goes for regular development testing. I'd still test on real devices.

      User testing - oh, hell no, I'll stay away from that - who knows how many bugs they'll report are related to the test system itself?

      Gaming - maybe, but personally I don't see much appeal to play mobile games on it. I guess there is some, to someone out there, but I want to play Android games on my mobile, with a touch screen. There are probably exceptions to this, but I don't know of any personally.

      One thing I would absolutely LOVE to see ported to PC is Android's voice to text. If I could use that to type instead of the shitty Dragon Naturally Speaking, I would die from ecstasy. Give me that, Google.

      • David Spivey

        It's already here. Use Google Chrome as your browser, then go to http://ctrlq.org/dictation/

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Yeah, but that's only limited to Chrome, and only to fields that explicitly enabled it (which is pretty much none). I'm talking a straight up keyboard for Windows that lets you type normally but also recognizes voice if enabled. Something that can truly rival Dragon on PC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vadim-Marchenko/1456635588 Vadim Marchenko

    It still looks like Android in emulator. Thus practical use is limited. Ones it become native enough to have separate window for each android application and be able to use host system navigation, etc... It will be very useful.

    A lot of Android applications are better then for instance Windows versions. Android Mail application a lot better then Outlook, etc....

    Personally I think after Win8 TOTAL FAIL first Linux distribution that will run Android applications natively will rule the world...

    • wolfkabal

      I don't think it's intended to be some sort of WINE implementation of Android for Windows. It's exactly what it says it is, Android running IN Windows.

    • Bariman43

      The day Linux "rules the world" is the day I stop using computers. Open and free =/= a good OS.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vadim-Marchenko/1456635588 Vadim Marchenko

        I ones has same attitude about Linux. And started to use it just to have more arguments how bad that is. And now it is my default OS at home. I feel so limited when I have to use Windows at work...

        • Bariman43

          An OS is meant to run all of your shit. Linux doesn't run half of my shit. Therefore it has no use to me. Insinuating that an OS like Linux is going to rule the world is so wrong that it makes me sick to the core. The only iteration of Linux I can even remotely stomach is Android. My PC is not meant to be a modular power machine, it's supposed to be a system where I play games, write music, record video and commentary, and browse the internet. Every time I've tried Linux I've had more and more problems with doing just those 5 basic things. Sorry that I didn't have such an enlightening experience like you did, but I am NOT using Linux again, ESPECIALLY not when it "rules the world".

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vadim-Marchenko/1456635588 Vadim Marchenko

            More people use OS more developers creating software for OS, more shit of yours will be available on Linux. Thus the fact that your shit is not yet available on Linux is not showing that OS is bad. Same thing was with MacOS. More it is popular more shit available for it.

            You can try searching for same shit on Linux, use wine to run your shit natively (MS Office is faster on Linux with Wine then on the same PC on Windows). Or step aside and look what is going to happened.

            In any case having competition is good. I think Both major mobile systems OSX and Android only became better thanks to competition. So even if you will decide to stay with Window$ as a user you will only benefit from having strong completion from Linux camp. Micro$oft will have to review their pricing, innovation, support, attitude...

          • Bariman43

            I've tried installing WINE, and the installation process alone gave me a fucking headache. Competition is good, yes, but fanboys running around claiming "Linux will rule the world" is actually really fucking irritating to no end, I hope you realize this. Yeah Micro$oft is a bunch of greedy fuckwits but at least their OS does what I tell it to.

    • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

      It's better than the slow emulator

  • Praveen

    Doesnt work on JB phones?

    • Derek B

      It's for a computer not phones or tablets.

      • HopelesslyFaithful

        ding ding ding we got a winner here

    • fixxmyhead


    • squiddy20

      You obviously can't read...

  • Derek B

    You can side-load apps by placing the APK files in
    the SocketeQwindowsandroid_rootdataapp directory and then restarting the
    program — but I found that loading some apps in that directory caused
    WindowsAndroid to crash on startup.

    You can also sort of install the Google Play Store by downloading the
    latest gApps package for Android 4.0, unzipping it, and copying the
    contents to the appropriate folders
    in SocketeQwindowsandroid_rootsystem. But the vast majority of Android
    apps in the Play Store will show up as incompatible with your device —
    and I had trouble getting any apps that are compatible to install properly.

    • wolfkabal

      Simply edit the build.prop to a known device to get apps to list as compatible.

      • Derek B

        Have you tried this, I been editing it but can't seem to make any progress as far as it working with the Play Store

        • wolfkabal

          Depends on the error you might be getting. This will simply resolve the filtering issue. But if you're getting the 491 error, that's something completely different (lack of a few key DRM modules from that version of Google Apps) - you'll need to recompile from AOKP to fix it. Though I've heard there are other work-arounds. I went through it all back when BlueStacks first came out.

    • Guest

      What is the size of the file ? Because it downloads really slowly and I don't have the end size but N/A

  • Niko Dominguez

    What if you could run this on a Surface pro? Inception, anyone?

    • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

      That sounds interesting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742224220 Dan Marshall

      I'll be running it on my touch-enabled vaio, hopefully it works!

  • HopelesslyFaithful

    BTW i have a great practical application for this....stay tuned

  • saimin

    I use BlueStacks. It is sometimes nice for running Android apps and games that don't have PC equivalents.

    • DrewNusser

      I like BlueStacks, but the performance is really bad for any graphical games. I'm excited to give WindowsAndroid a shot, but I'm still pretty skeptical.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AshutosDon1997 Ashutos Don Jain

    it says error :

    OpenGL Version 1.1.0 is too low , 2.0 is expected

    • http://twitter.com/eamar1 Amar Bhattarai

      Hey did you solved it ? I am also getting the same problem

      • http://www.facebook.com/AshutosDon1997 Ashutos Don Jain


    • http://twitter.com/rpragara Rozar Prawiranegara

      I got the same problem. can someone please help?

      • Lucas McDermott

        Can any1 help the four of us whom are getting the same OpenGL error? Thank you in advance

    • Lucas McDermott

      Getting that also.. I was very excited about this; did you hear of a resolution or find out how OpenGL can be updated? HP G60 laptop here

    • HelpfulOne!

      Update your graphics drivers. I have ATI Radeon 4570 and updated to latest Catalyst Control updates, with the latest OpenGL.

      • HelpfulOne!

        Also, do research on if your graphics card even supports openGL. Some cards have the correct drivers but arent openGL enabled by default. Additional updates/installations may be required.

  • Adam92Wilkins

    Suddenly the windows pro tablet looks like it could be saved....

    • Alex

      Dumbest thing ive heard. Saved by android? It's full Windows, lol doesnt need android or applications from android, its like a laptop...

      • Adam92Wilkins

        its like a laptop with 4 hours of battery. and a lot of pc games aren't touch optimized. SO running android would give a chance to use the android apps like Minecraft which will NOT be getting a windows app.

  • bungadudu

    Kaspersky said Trojan.Win32.Agent2 detected in the exe. ???

    • Bariman43

      Why are you using Kaspersky?

  • http://www.facebook.com/AshutosDon1997 Ashutos Don Jain

    it says error :

    OpenGL Version 1.1.0 is too low , 2.0 Is expected

    • http://www.facebook.com/Metaltrt Mêtàl Trt

      same issue.. guys help ?

      • http://www.facebook.com/AshutosDon1997 Ashutos Don Jain

        Yes, you can get things like OpenGL 2.1 support for Mobile Intel 4 Series Express Chipset Family (Mobile Intel GM45 Express Chipset) working on Windows 8 simply by downgrading to the previous Windows 7 drivers!

        The in-box drivers for Windows 8 Driver for Mobile Intel 4 Series Express Chipset Family (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.1) are version, which only supports OpenGL 1.1 (checking with tools such as GLView). This means you can't play games like Minecraft or Angry Birds, even though you could play them under Windows 7.

        The solution is to roll back to the latest Windows 7 drivers, version

        To do this you need to modify the installation INF file to allow installation on Windows 8 and then use advanced reboot to allow Windows 8 to install the unsigned driver. See instructions at TachisAlopex: Windows 8 and Intel graphics driver to patch the INF file, but I just used General - Advanced startup in the Windows 8 settings to load the unsigned driver.

        Seeing as the Windows 7 drivers version 2555 work fine in Windows 8 with Open GL 2.1 support, I can't understand why the official version 2702 Windows 8 drivers removed it.

        • iboalali

          pretty technical :P

        • http://twitter.com/rpragara Rozar Prawiranegara

          It seems risky... someone got a bluescreen in the comments.
          I am using Dell with AMD-350 brazos. Do you think it is compatible?

        • Rachit Chirania

          but i am using windows 7 and having this problem in that .. What should i Do ??

  • Robert

    When launching tells me that dexopt.exe has stopped working any idea on what to do?

  • Cuvis

    Hmmm... I wonder if this could be used to run the Netflix app on my HTPC. Sadly, that may be the easiest way for me to integrate Netflix with XBMC.

  • sherry

    hey im nt getting the download link.please any body share it

  • http://twitter.com/lgasparjnr laszlo gaspar

    this will work so good on my mates HP Envy 23" touchscreen all in one pc. :)

  • HGamesTeamCato

    Oh wow Mega is fast. Thanks for putting it on there :)

  • discovery

    maybe i missed something here but... how do i reboot into recovery so that i can flash Gapps?

    • Bariman43

      Open the Gapps zip and extract the "system" folder into C:SocketeQwindowsandroid_root

  • discovery

    maybe i missed something here but...how do i reboot into recovery so that i can flash Gapps?

  • http://www.facebook.com/taylor.labrier Taylor LaBrier

    I downloaded and installed, but I don't have the navigation bar at the bottom, nor do I see a way to make the application full-screen. Am I missing something? Android is next to useless without the home, back, and recents buttons...

    • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

      same here, any idea?

  • habib

    does that mean that I can now play shadowgun:deadzone on my laptop?does anyone know if this will be possible.

    • Karthik Kumar

      Yes it is possible. That's what i downloaded it for :D But dextop.exe keeps crashing, so it's a no go for now.

  • Zak

    Well a few anti-virus deep scan detect 2 Trojan in there in Data0167 & Data0118. If someone can extract those out and check them out otherwise unless you can sandbox I would not run on machine.



    • David Spivey

      You, sir, run some STUPID antivirus programs. You should seriously consider quitting internet access. No, actually, that's too harsh. Just stop posting this ludicrous junk on the internet without fact-checking. First, Trojan.Win32.Agent2.anything is a "dialer" intended to dial up porn sites. Most computers don't even HAVE a dial-up modem, much less a phone line attached to it. Therefore, this at least is a false positive. You really need to learn how to recognize these mistakes before blindly posting them on sites such as these.

    • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

      You need to get some better anti-virus software. What kind of software do you even use?

  • deltatux

    Seems like it doesn't like my computer at all. dexopt.exe keeps crashing....

    • Karthik Kumar

      Same here..

  • GraveUypo

    i just want to benchmark my desktop against my phone. i'm curious about how much of a slaughter it'll be.

  • philnolan3d

    What do you do with that gapps link?

  • http://twitter.com/dtourond Devon

    I can't see the reason for using it on a Destkop. However; I could definitely see use for it on a netbook, because I don't expect to do much with it, so I'd like to have a nice, lightweight OS such as Android.

  • Ivan Fernandez

    I can't believe no-one came up with the idea of using whatsapp with this. Yes, you'll need a different phone number (any prepaid SIM number will do) and you'll have to tell your friends that this is a whatsapp-only number but, hey, there you are, whatsapp on your desktop....

  • http://www.facebook.com/Ahmad.Fouad3 Ahmad Fouad


    The procedure entry point Gettickcount64 cou not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll.

  • NicholasMicallef

    Wow, I'm Getting some awesome battery life...

  • Daunte

    Help; I've downloaded and installed WindowsAndroid and it runs nicely on windows 7 64 bit, my problem is how to install the Google Apps ICS, has anyone installed or added it. For those waiting on a email here are a couple of mirror links;

    http://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=9390288116658471029 mirror for WindowsAndroid also additonal download for Google Apps ICS, http://goo.im/gapps/gapps-ics-20120429-signed.zip

  • nani

    i installed it on win8 and i got the probelm
    OpenGL Version 1.1.0 is too low , 2.0 Is expected

    so i installed it on windows 7 with the latest intel graphics drivers
    but the program starts and closes and in the cmd that is opened shows that some proces are killed and closes
    can u help me out
    i am using intel series 4 express chipset family ( driver

  • http://soft-gets.com/ Paritosh Pundir

    ohhhh this is awesome, n seems to be responsive than the Android emulator :)

  • http://twitter.com/DMoKs2011 Hass

    hey guys i downloaded this but when i launched it, it gets stuck on the android splash screen. Any ideas why?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003960414076 Alex Mackie

    Website down -.-

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-J-Castillo/1463940881 Andrew J Castillo

    Buggy! Some options that would make this TITS.

    1. Fit to screen

    2. Working Gapps including PLAY (DERP)

    3. Stability

    I love the Idea! Set up your widgets on homescreen and place it on a second monitor. Get live notifications, play music from a second screen. Basically like metro or WinSidebar on steroids

  • David Layfield

    "I have no problem admitting that I see absolutely no practical use in running Android on a desktop PC."

    You don't see the practicality of running Android only applications or games on PC?

    I see plenty of use in this, especially if one doesn't even own an Android device when this allows one to take advantage of their windows based PC and expand the available apps or games available to them to use.

  • Travis Tatum

    unfortunately my device is entirely incompatible with 99% of the apps on the market...

  • http://www.facebook.com/toantruong.ta Toàn Trương

    Help! windowsandroid boot it is up "Erro: current opengl version 1.1.0 is too low, 2.000000 expected" Click OK, then it closes. My CPU Core Dual2 T6570 - Nvidia GeForce G105M (1Gb) Windows 8 Pro 32bit.


    current opengl version 1.1.0 is too low 2.000000 expected


  • http://www.facebook.com/crazyfor.you.90 Crazyfor You

    it doesnt work
    wen click command prompt opens
    n close itself

  • aref


  • omer

    مشكووووووووووووووور يا ملك