The Android-x86 emulator, while powerful and fast, leaves something to be desired when it comes to actually installing apps. Since the Google Play store is only available for licensed products, it is inaccessible from the default installation of Android-x86. Fortunately, there are a few other methods you can use to install apps on your Android emulator.
Use the built-in AndAppStore (AKA Soc.io Mall)Android-x86 ships with the AndAppStore, now known as Soc.io Mall, for downloading apps. Unfortunately, the Soc.io Mall feels about as legit as a $5 Rolex. It hosts such gems as Hungry Birds and Droid Words Free. For those of you looking for ways to play their real games on their emulator, you'll have to use another option.
Download the APK files directly from the InternetIf you know the location of the .APK file you're trying to install, you can download it directly from the Internet. However, you'll have to make a small tweak to the system first.
- From the Android home screen, press the menu key on your keyboard (usually between ALT and CTRL) to bring up the main menu.
- Click settings.
- Click applications.
- Check the box labeled Unknown Sources to allow apps to be downloaded from anywhere.
- Press ESC to go back or Windows Key to go to the home screen.
- Download the .apk file directly from the Internet
Use ADB to push apps to your Android-x86 emulator (Windows Only)
- If you don't already have ADB on your system, download this package and unzip the contents to C:\ADB.
- Ensure Android-x86 is using a Bridged or Host-Only network connection. Do not use a NAT connection like we selected when getting Android-x86 to connect to the Internet.
- From within Android-x86, hit ALT + F1 to bring up the command line.
- Type netcfg and press enter. Record the IP address likely listed next to eth0.
- Hit ALT + F7 to return to the Android GUI.
- On your PC (not your virtual machine), press Windows Key + R to open the Run... dialog.
- Type cmd in the dialog box and hit enter to bring up a command prompt.
- Navigate to your ADB directory by typing cd \ADB and hitting enter.
- Type adb kill-server and hit enter.
- Type adb connect [IP address you recorded]:5555
- Place your desired .apk file in C:\ADB
- Type adb install [the exact name of your .apk] and hit enter
- You should see the .apk file install and then see it available in your app menu from within Android-x86
You can also try pushing the most recent Google Play APK download and see if the Android Market will load, but in all honesty it's highly unlikely to work when launched in an emulator.