We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of Windows’ newest operating system, Windows 10. Many users who have been clamoring for years still wonder why we don’t have a native Snapchat client for the newest PC operating system! The trick of the thing is, we do…but it’s not officially supported.
If you’re even remotely involved in the wide world of social media, you’ll know about Snapchat. You may not know how it works, what it does, or why people love it, but you have to realize that millions of people do love it, and use it every day to document and share moments from their lives. Though it certainly draws from other media-based social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat has grown to be its own, unique entity, that offers an appealing draw for users who like their apps to move at the same speed as their lives.
The most noteworthy feature is the “self-destructing” nature of the content that’s shared on Snapchat. Much like the moments in our lives that we document with our smartphone cameras, our uploads to Snapchat don’t last long after they’ve been viewed by one of our contacts. Whether it’s seconds or minutes, we have one opportunity to view that post before it’s gone forever, never to be seen by your eyes again. Of course, third-party apps and the recently added “Review” feature do mitigate a bit of my melodrama, but the overall function of Snapchat hasn’t changed.
In addition to being a way to share flashy, fun media that’s representative of our human experiences, the app is also a fully functioning messaging service. This function of Snapchat has only grown stronger, too, with the addition of video calling to its already impressive inventory of tools. Social media messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp are now facing genuine competition from Snapchat and its army of users.
However, Snapchat’s smooth ride to success hasn’t been without a few hiccups, and many of those bumps in the road have to do with Snapchat’s availability (or lack thereof) on platforms other than iOS and Android. For PC and Mac users, this remains a constant frustration that has yet to receive any form of officially supported solution. It’s also one of the major limitations that are keeping Snapchat from remaining on an even-keel with competitive apps that function across both smartphone and computer operating systems. Thankfully, crafty users and solid programming have provided a roundabout solution that’s going to help to solve this problem.
The answer lies in emulation, and it’s a far more accessible solution than you might have thought. Rather than searching for a third-party version of the Snapchat app that’s been modified to work on your Windows 10 PC, we’re going to use a different route. Emulators work like this: they use a lightweight amount of your computer’s memory and resources in order to recreate a different type of operating system environment. After doing so, this “emulated environment” can do virtually anything that the type of operating system it’s recreated can. For Snapchat, we’re going to be emulating the Android OS, and it’s only going to require a little bit of extra work on your part.
Finding a Good Emulator
Here at Appamatix, we deal with emulators on a fairly regular basis. If you’ve read some of our other articles, you’ve likely come across our personal recommendations for the best emulators on the market for certain applications. After all, PC users wanting to take advantage of Android applications without the necessity of an Android device is not a particularly new trend. The best emulators available have been in constant development and update for years, and this has given them the sort of reliable edge that we’ll be looking for when trying to emulate Snapchat.
- Andyroid remains my go-to emulator for both Windows PCs and Macs, and I’m pleased to say that it works great on Windows 10, too. It’s lightweight, fully functional, and is frequently updated to reflect the most recent release of Google’s Android OS, meaning you’ll never be left in the dust when it comes to keeping your apps up-to-date. The best part? Andyroid is free to download and free to use!
- Most guides will recommend Bluestacks when you’re doing any sort of Android emulation, and for good reason. It’s one of the best emulators on the market, and probably carries the flashiest advertising out of all of them. The recent addition of Twitch streaming support is only set to build Bluestacks’ popularity; since it’s already marketed heavily towards gamers, Twitch streaming is only going to give the software more spotlight. Like Andyroid, it’s free to download and free to use. However, if you want to escape the third-party advertising support, you’ll need to pay a slim monthly fee.
- Manymo is the best option for users that aren’t able to download and install software on a whim. It holds this lofty throne because it doesn’t require any installation at all; instead, Manymo is entirely browser-based. On top of this, it allows you to emulate several of the most popular resolutions used by actual Android devices, thereby minimizing any graphical glitches or odd errors that come from emulating at resolutions not supported by Snapchat. The only caveat is its price. While there is a free version, it will only allow you 10 uses per month. For a monthly subscription fee, you can greatly amplify this, but many users are turned off at the idea of cost.
Regardless of which emulator you use, download and installation (or online signup, in Manymo’s case) are as simple as software can get. Follow the above links to the respective websites, and download the version of the app that’s compatible with your Windows operating system.
There are a few other steps that you may want to take before you start emulating in Windows 10. Because this is a relatively new operating system, it’s important to make sure that your drivers and operating system updates are relatively recent. Many hardware manufacturers and software developers are still figuring out the best ways to optimize their products on this new version of Windows, and this is no different for emulator developers.
- First off, run Windows Update often, if you weren’t already. Though most users have already set up an auto-update schedule in Windows (or, it was set up for them automatically) it’s still possible that your computer isn’t getting critical updates that it needs.
- Secondly, update your graphics driver. The type of driver you’ll be looking for will depend upon your specific computer’s graphics solution, but since many emulators take advantage of graphics acceleration, an outdated driver could result in unexpected crashes.
Once your emulator has been sourced and installed, the rest of the process is going to be relatively simple. (I promised, didn’t I?)
Booting up your brand new emulator, you’ll probably notice that the window looks astonishingly similar to an Android device’s home screen. For all intents and purposes, that’s how we can continue to think of it. Though your emulator is by no means a Google product, you will be running a legitimate version of the Android OS. Coincidentally, your version of Snapchat will be just as official, so there’s no need to worry about the risks that often accompany the use of third-party software.
First, however, we need to get Snapchat installed! Within your emulator, find your way to the Google Play app store. Searching within the app store for “Snapchat” is going to take you straight to the application itself. Just as you would on an Android device, download and install it.
After the app installation is complete (it should be automatic as expected), you’re good to go! You’re free to log in and use all of Snapchat’s noteworthy features. Here are just a few additional tips that might help you to have a smoother experience on Windows 10:
- If you don’t have a Snapchat profile yet, you’re going to need to make one on your mobile device. Your login information will be tied to your mobile phone number, which you’ll need to set up before you’re able to log in. Thus, consider Snapchat for Windows 10 as something of a “backup application.” Your best experience is still going to happen on a platform that has native support for the app.
- Keep your emulator up-to-date! Just as you would with any other driver on your computer, check for emulator updates every so often. The developers behind Andyroid, Bluestacks, and Manymo are exceptionally active, and the quality and relevance of their software reflect this.
Though we’re probably still quite a distance from having an official Windows 10 version of Snapchat, the emulated version of this popular social media app will work in a pinch if you’re seeking that experience. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about legality, risk, or faulty third-party applications as long as you’ve followed our guide! With the few extra steps required to get your hands on a top-notch emulator, you can have Kik up and running on Windows 10 with little trouble at all!