You love kickin’ it with your friends on Kik. In fact, you like to kick, stretch, and kick. You’re FIFTY! Book ’em, Dan-o, five-oh. If you don’t get that reference, go back to school. Please. Or just watch this youtube video. When we’re not watching the incomparable Molly Shannon and the mid to late nineties, early aughts casts of SNL, we’re over here bringing you all-things-apps. Today, we’ll take you through the process of downloading, installing, and running Kik Messenger on your PC. You’re welcome.
We’ll explain what an emulator does and why you might want to consider using one, as well as introduce you to a few different options, and take you through a step-by-step process of downloading and running Kik on your PC. In the words of Vanilla Ice, “Let’s kick it.” (The nineties references are just flowing freely today, aren’t they?)
Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog.–Doug Larson
Kik on PC: What is an emulator?
An emulator is hardware or a software program that allows one computing system to run like another. One system is the host, the other the guest. They sit down to a candle-lit dinner and, through an emulator, the host can run software designed for the guest. So, your apps are generally designed to run only on mobile devices. An emulator would allow those apps to run on your personal computer. Your computer will emulate or mimic the environment in which the app can run. Is your head spinning yet? Yeah, mine, too. Let’s get a drink.
And we’re back. So, emulators emulate. Got it? Great. Moving on.
Why is that a thing that I want?
There are a couple reasons you might want to run an emulator.
Reason 1: Mobile data gets expensive. You love to have all your social media apps open and going. You got your Facebook and your Twitter and your Snapchat. Well, while they all may be free to download and use, if you’re not connected to Wi-fi, your phone is using up data. So your free messaging suddenly comes at a cost. If you’re at home or actually working from your computer, checking, chatting, snapping, tweeting and all the things we do on our phones will be much cheaper to do from your personal computer.
Reason 2: It’s convenient. Apple has done a really cool (if not slightly terrifying) thing of really streamlining our devices. But they are still separate and oftentimes disparate devices. And we believe the next really big innovation in computing will be allowing all devices to sync, communicate with each other, and maintain a functionality in a consistent platform, probably a virtual platform. But we’re still not there. Apple is probably closest with the Hand Off functionality that has been such an organizing principle for their recent OS X and iOS upgrades, but even then this Hand Off functionality usually only extends to those default iOS apps that you never have a desire to use, and which you’ve probably sorted into a special group called “Crapple.” So, Apple’s not there and Android and Windows certainly are not any closer. So, what we can do now is use an emulator and enjoy the things we want when we want them on whatever device we choose. Once again, if you’re at home watching Youtube videos or working (or both), using Kik on your PC will not only be cheaper but much more convenient than stopping the video, grabbing your phone, reading a message and resuming the video. All while typing an article. What? It can be done. Emulators create a “one stop shop,” if you will.
Reason 3: (Yes, we know “a couple” means two. This one is a bonus). A few perks of running apps on your PC: bigger screen, higher resolutions, faster processing power, (potentially) faster internet, and the flexibility (read: power) of deciding your own device. Plus, if you’re reading this, odds are you’re the sort who likes to be very choosy about your devices. Perhaps you’ve invested a lot in your computer, or you were just very careful when you selected it. That’s me. And if you’re like me, it’s occasionally infuriating that I’ve gone to the trouble of selecting a BAMF computer and then find that I’m forced to use my phone for most of my go-to activities.
Sold yet? We’re not trying to sell you anything. Just opening your mind to the possibilities. A whole new world. For you. And me. YOU CANNOT STOP THE 90S POWER!
So, you’re ready to emulate. Which emulator should you use??? There are several options coming from Team Android, the top five being: Bluestacks, Andyroid, Youwave, Genymotion and Jar of Beans. (Yes, that last one is real, even though the name sounds silly. But think about it: I guess the name is no sillier than the candy-based OS names Android uses… or the cat-themed ones that Apple used to pick for OS X). We will focus on Bluestacks and Andyroid because we like them best but def check out the others to see what best fits your needs.
A note on Apple: we just don’t have enough experience with them to recommend an iPhone / iPad emulator, but they are out there; they do exist. A few we’ve read about but can’t vouch for on the simple basis that we’ve not tried them out yet: iPadian and Air iPhone Emulator are for PC download, like the above-mentioned Android emulators. Part of the reason it’s hard to find a reliable iOS emulator is that Apple keeps a much tighter lock on its source codes and development tools than Android does, so the number of coding hands that have managed to take a crack at building an iOS emulator is much smaller than those who can boast the same for Android.
The two Android emulators we will talk about below are cool for Mac and PC. Please leave info on iOS and Windows emulators in the comments below so we can check them out and report back.
In the interest of the alphabet, let’s talk about Andyroid first. Here are the requirements your computer should have to use this emulator:
- You need to have Windows 7 or 8 or x64; if you’re using a Mac, you should have the newest operating system or you’ll more than likely run into bugs — it might work on older OS X, but it’s gonna crash more often.
- You’ll need at least 3GB of RAM to run the software if you don’t want it to freeze. I’m assuming you don’t want it to freeze. I don’t know, maybe you want to convert your computer into a George Foreman grill, cooking off the processor heat.
- You need to have more than 20GB of hard drive space.
- Your video graphics card needs to be up to date, complete with an updated driver and OpenGL ES 2.0 capable video card. If your computer is new(ish), you’ll be fine and need not worry about this.
Follow these steps to download Andyroid and run Kik:
1. You need a Google Play account. If you don’t have one, head over to play.google.com and sign up for an account. Google Play is the Android app store, so you need this account for the emulator to recognize the “Android” device.
2. Now you can go to Andyroid.net and download Andyroid. Click the button at the top of the screen. The site will know whether you’re on a Mac or PC and will download the right operating system accordingly.
3. Next, after it’s done downloading, install the file by double clicking on it. It will take you on a step-by-step journey. Follow the steps.
4. Before you can continue, you’ll have to verify your Google account. DON’T SKIP THIS STEP! It ensures you can download and install Kik on Andyroid. This will also enable you to sync your other Android devices, if you have them.
5. If you it didn’t already sync Kik, double click the Google Play icon at the bottom.
6. Search for Kik Messenger in the search box and click on it to install. (Note: “device” = your pc)
7. Open the Kik app and sign in or sign up. (Note: when you sign in, you will be logged out on your other devices and lose your messages).
You can sign up for Kik right there from your PC if you didn’t already have an account. All you need to supply is an email, your name, a username and a password.
A couple of cons about this method is you have to logout of Kik on your mobile and you’ll lose all your history. Might be worth it to have two accounts. The other is your computer’s camera may not always work.
Bluestacks is another great (and popular) Android emulator. And Kik actually recommends Bluestacks on it’s website for running Kik. The process is similar to install Bluestacks and they have this really handy-dandy video on their website that is less than five minutes and takes you thru the whole schpiel. Bluestacks is very easy to use and streamlined in design. Pretty much everything that holds true for Andyroid, holds true for Bluestacks as far as what you can do and installation and all that. Which reminds us…
What you can do once you have Kik running on an emulator:
- Send all the messages! I mean, that’s what Kik is for, it’s a messenger. So message everyone ever! From your computer! Hopefully, you’re using free Wi-fi.
- Group chats! With up to 50 friends. And you can make that group public or private.
- Send photos (but maybe not sometimes). You can also send videos, GIFs, and memes.
As we said above, if you have any experience with some reliable emulators we didn’t mention, feel free to speak them up in the comments. And leave a comment as well if you have any questions about anything we’ve covered.