You can install and run Google Play apps on a PC through the free BlueStacks Android emulation program. BlueStacks emulates Android OS on a computer and works with the Google Play store to give computer users full access to Android apps without using an Android device. BlueStacks has some app limitations -- it's an emulation program, so every app is not guaranteed to work. Also, the traditional keyboard and mouse interface may also limit usability in apps.
Download and run the BlueStacks installer (see Resources).
Click "Continue" on the installer pop-up window.
Check the "App store access" and "App notifications" boxes, and then click "Install." BlueStacks will automatically handle the file directory part of the installation process.
Launch the BlueStacks program through the Start Screen icon or the desktop shortcut. BlueStacks may also auto-launch after you install it.
Click the magnifying glass icon on the top of the BlueStacks screen.
Type in the name of the app you're looking for, and click "Find" to search the Google Play store. You can also view the Google Play store through a Web browser to browse apps.
Click "Install" next to the app to install it to the computer.
If prompted, click "Continue" to enable the AppStore. Follow the on-screen instructions to log in to your Google account or create a new one.
Follow the on-screen instructions to sync the BlueStacks program with any phones or tablets tied to your account. Do not highlight any of the devices if you don't want to sync.
Click the Google Play icon to download the App from the Google Play store. Click "Accept" to agree to the terms of service if prompted.
Click "Download" on the app listing display, and then select "Accept and Download" to initiate the installation process.
Press the "Esc" key multiple times until you return to the BlueStacks home screen, click the "My Apps" option and select the app from the installed apps list.
You do not need to own an Android device or tie an Android device to your Google Account to use BlueStacks. The BlueStacks program can run on both Windows and Mac devices, including touchscreen PCs. The traditional computer interface devices like the keyboard and mouse are compatible with BlueStacks; however, the user experience may vary within apps, as they are designed to be used with a touch-screen. You can control apps with a mouse pointer -- the left-click button works like touching the screen where the arrow is pointing. You can drag and drop content by holding the mouse button and moving the cursor.
BlueStacks is a legal program; however, some apps may have terms and restrictions that limit their use through the program. BlueStacks can't register apps or accounts to a device because the program doesn't have Android device ID. Unless you are using a touchscreen device, apps that are designed to use multi-point touch to operate may be unwieldy or impossible to use through BlueStacks with a keyboard and mouse.