Google probably hasn’t ported its Android for PC yet but if things are looking good on their way, it’s not impossible for the company to unleash the desktop version of green robot. Still, if you’re deadly curious to see how the OS will perform on a system that is completely different from its origin, there is something you can do. Well, actually, there are several ways to do it; one of the most popular ways is through installing the ISO file from Android x86 project, which is an unofficial development to port Android mobile operating system to devices working on Intel and AMD x86 processors.
The initial project is meant to host different patches for x86 support from open source community, but later on it is further developed to be compatible for PC, laptop or netbook usage. Other than the .ISO file of Android x86, you will need VirtualBox, which is a virtualization program. Basically, it is a desktop app through which you can install any other operating system, including Android without ruining your native OS. The steps are listed below:
1. Download the .ISO file here, and choose which version that is compatible for your device (in this steps, the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, 23 February 2013.
2. Download the VirtualBox first here and install it to your desktop.
3. Open the VirtualBox to see a dialog box, and then select ‘New’. Name it as anything you want (Android, for example) and select:
Version: Linux 6.2
4. Click ‘Next’ and enter memory size to allocate the VM. It is up to you, but for Android 4.2 JellyBean the requirement is 512MB minimum.
5. Click Next again and create a virtual hard drive. Select VDI and choose between ‘fixed’ or ‘dynamically allocated’ as you prefer. The minimum requirement memory size is 1GB.
6. Select Virtual device and click Settings to show another dialog box. Modify it as follows:
Storage >> Storage Tree >> Empty
Attributes section: select the .ISO file you have downloaded, with Live CD/DVD box checked.
7. Once done, start the VM and the wizard will come out to complete the setup.
8. Select Install Android-x86 to hard disk.
9. Select Create partition and click OK
10. Create a new primary bootable partition by selecting New option and press Enter. Choose Primary and press Enter, then press Enter again to make it take up all the size of virtual disk you created.
11. Highlight and select Bootable option, then select Write (located at the bottom right). Once finished, click Quit and you will be brought back to the Choose Partition screen.
12. You will find sda1 Linux on the top, which is the partition you created, so select it and press Enter to install. Select the ext3 file system and confirm it.
13. Select Yes when asked to install the GRUB bootloader, and click Yes as well to install the /system directory as read-write.
14. After it is done, remove live ISO from VirtualBox (click Device >> CD/DVD devices >> Remove disk from virtual device) and reboot the VM (or leave it as it will automatically reboot).
If it is successful, you will boot into Android 4.2.2 – and just like the OS in any mobile devices, you should go through the setup process. In case you cannot locate your mouse cursor, click Machine tab >> Disable Mouse Integration, then click inside the VM to see the cursor.
Installing Android x86 on your PC will present you a live Android interface, including apps like Gmail, Maps, even Play Store.
Virtual machines do not use Wi-Fi but will be able to connect to your local internet connection. Some apps can really be working on your PC despite not having touchscreen capability, but for some that supports multi-touch they will not be compatible.
This is not the only way to get Android working on your PC, since you can opt for OVA files developed by AndroVM to run in VirtualBox, use a LiveCD (this will not perform Android on top on your native OS and need rebooting your computer), or just go for BlueStacks if your intention is only playing Android games on PC/laptop. You can also use Android Commander if you want. All in all, trying the program from Android x86 will give you the big picture of how using the overall Android for PC.