200 million registered users and several million logins daily. Such are the statistics that cement Kik Messenger’s popularity, but it’s not just for mobile devices; we’ll show you how to download Kik, free, for your Macbook or iMac!
If you’ve been using mobile messaging services in the past several years, it’s been almost impossible to escape any knowledge of Kik. Popular primarily amongst youth but used by all age groups, this app has been maintaining its place near the head of the pack. It offers numerous unique features and remains at the innovative forefront of new technologies and services being developed for online chat applications. While you won’t find all of the same features that you might in Kik’s competitors (the app is still lacking video calling, for example), you’ll most certainly find designs and tools to enhance your chat experiences that are unique to Kik. No other mobile messenger features a full web browser optimized for chatting, and though you’ll find emoji keyboards in many chat apps, you won’t find one as hip or fun as the GIF Keyboard that’s available to all Kik users.
Still, in spite of Kik’s fantastic features, it’s had one very limiting drawback that has existed since its inception: it only runs natively on smartphone operating systems. Not even Android or iPad tablets have their own native version of the Kik app. This has left computer users and tablet users out in the cold, but since those users aren’t the type to sit around and do nothing about that, we have a solution!
We’ve written about accessing Kik on alternative platforms before, but today, we’ll focus on getting this rockstar messaging service working on your Macbook or iMac. It’s not a particularly difficult process, but it does require a little bit of expertise, so read on!
The key to getting Kik working on platforms that don’t support it is emulation. Specifically, we’ll be working with Android emulation, since emulating any other mobile operating system presents far more challenges than are worth tackling. Emulation works like this: your emulating software will occupy a portion of your computers resources, and use those resources to trick your computer into acting like it’s something else–in this case, an entirely legitimate copy of the Android OS. Similarly, we’ll be working with an entirely legitimate copy of Kik, so don’t worry about piracy, privacy, or illegal use of any apps or software. Emulating Kik carries little-to-no risk and is remarkably simple.
We’ll tackle this in two necessary parts. First, we’ll take a look at a few of the best Mac-friendly emulators, illuminating the qualities and drawbacks of each. Then, we’ll go over the process that will get Kik working in your new Android emulator.
Android on a Mac
Apart from cats and dogs living together, no idea has spawned such mass hysteria as cross-applying the Mac operating system with Android. This may be a slight exaggeration, but the fact remains that most Mac users wouldn’t think to do this in the first place. The truth of the matter is that it works like a charm.
Below are a few of my go-to emulators, presented in a way as to serve the needs of every type of user that might want to get Kik Messenger running on their Mac computer.
Though it’s not the most popular emulator on the market, Andyroid remains one of my very favorites. Its minimal design, simple setup process, and clean presentation of features have always been appealing to me. On top of that, the developers behind it support their software with a degree of professional urgency and commitment that’s reflected in how often Andyroid is updated to match the newest release of Google’s operating system. It’s also a good option if you plan on using more Android apps than just Kik Messenger. Using Bluetooth connectivity, you can tether your mobile device to your computer and use it as a controller for Andyroid. Even if Kik is the only app you plan on using, I still give Andyroid a high recommendation.
Nevermind the fact that Bluestacks looks like a preview for the next hot gaming console. Gamer-centric marketing aside, it’s probably the most popular Android emulator available, and the recent addition of Twitch streaming support is only going to boost the number of people regularly using it. Like Andyroid, Bluestacks is free to download and use, featuring a streamlined installation process that will have your emulator up-and-running swiftly. However, it is ad-supported, and the only way to remove the third-party advertising software is to sign up for a very meager monthly subscription. That caveat aside, there’s a reason that so many people love Bluestacks; it’s fast, it’s efficient, and it does Android so well, that it almost looks Google-developed.
While Genymotion is primarily aimed towards Android developers, that fact alone makes it a reliable emulator package. Additionally, the individual use version of the software is free to download and use, so don’t worry too much when you see the cost of the optional developer and business toolkits. They’re not necessary to run Kik Messenger or any other Android app that you might care to take for a drive. While I don’t have as much experience with Genymotion as I do with the previous two entries on this list, numerous testimony has assured me that it’s a solid emulator that will accomplish your tasks without any trouble.
Considering how “on-the-go” many Mac users tend to be, I’ve found that I can’t omit Manymo from my list of recommended emulators. Its primary feature–the fact that you don’t even have to download and install it–makes it exceptionally liberating for users that are frequently switching between computers, and also those who place a lot of value on their computers available storage memory. Since Manymo is entirely browser-based, it’s about as lightweight as lightweight can get, and also allows you to emulate at various resolutions attributed to popular Android device screen sizes. There’s one big drawback, however: the free version will only allow you ten limited-duration uses of the app per month. If you’re willing to pay a subscription fee, you can amplify this usage by quite a bit, but if we’re focused on free options, you may find Manymo’s restrictions somewhat confining.
No matter which emulator you choose (even if it’s not from the list above), installation should be a cinch. These are lightweight programs that are meant to be unintrusive. After all, the point of emulating is to gain access to apps; the purpose of the emulator is to facilitate that access!
Getting Kik on Your Mac
Once you’ve installed your emulator, booting it up should present you with a window that looks remarkably like an Android home screen. For all intents and purposes, it is! It will be complete with all of the standard tools and features that you’d find on an Android device, including that all-important Google Play store. As long as Kik Messenger is still your goal, that app store is where we’re going to head first.
Once you’ve opened the Google Play store, simply search for Kik Messenger. You may end up fighting with some awkward resolution issues (remember, Kik only runs natively on smartphones), but you should have no difficulty locating the app, downloading it, and then opening it within your new emulation software. As I said before, both your version of the Android OS and Kik Messenger are entirely legitimate. Therefore, your usual Kik login information will give you fast access to the same contacts that you’re used to when using Kik on your smartphone.
If this is your first time using Kik, I highly recommend setting up your profile from a device that’s meant for Kik, if only to simplify the process and reduce the chance of any hiccups that occur when running the app. The popular messaging service will allow you to do so while in your Mac, however. In fact, you’ll be able to access every one of Kik’s features, from browser to GIF Keyboard.
“That’s it?” you might be wondering. I did promise an easy setup process, and an easy setup process is what I’ve hopefully delivered. Conveniently, since you’re accessing Kik through the Google Play store, you’ll be entirely able to update the app as its newest and best features are released. Additionally, every Android emulator that I’ve listed above is relatively good about staying on top of the newest Android OS releases. If you wanted a streamlined experience on your Mac, you’ve got it!
Currently, there are no known plans to bring Kik Messenger over to other platforms, so emulation is as good as it gets! Additionally, the only operating system that’s worthwhile to emulate is Android OS. While it may seem like you’re being limited on choice, the fact of the matter is that this narrow playing field actually helps you to get Kik set up and working that much faster. Having a working version of Kik on your Macbook or iMac–one that’s free to download and use–can hugely expand your versatility and daily chat experience. Tell us about your own experiences in the comments below!