Q: I tried to download and open an iOS app into my Windows 8.1 laptop. When this happened, my laptop produced a message saying “No eligible devices for app install.” Does this mean Windows can’t read iOS? If not, then what is a good workaround for this so I can open an Apple app on my Windows PC? I’ve heard programs like iPadian and BlueStacks may work but are they trustworthy?
—Bob Snow, Stuart
A: Windows and iOS are two different operating systems entirely.
iOS is the operating system used on mobile Apple devices, like iPhones and iPads, and Windows is the operating system that runs on Windows-based PCs and laptops.
When programs are developed, they are made to run on one specific operating system per version, not on ALL operating systems at once. So if you download an app made for iOS and try to open it on a Windows computer, it will not open because that app has not been made to run in Windows.
If you want to use an iOS app on a Windows machine, you either need to find a version of that app that’s been made specifically to work in Windows, or you can install and run an iOS emulator on your Windows machine and open the app through that. The former is preferred, however, as the latter can produce inconsistent results.
Emulators are applications that create self-contained simulations of operating systems within entirely different operating systems. They are primarily used by developers to test the stability of programs in various computing environments, and as such they let you open programs made for different operating systems on non-compatible machines.
iPadian (https://www.ipadian.net/) is such a program. This emulator is a standalone app that creates a self-contained iPad environment on your PC.
BlueStacks (https://www.bluestacks.com/) is another emulator, though this one simulates the Android environment on a PC as opposed to iOS.
For your situation, iPadian would be a great option.
To use it, first download iPadian from the site above, then download the iOS app you want to use to your PC’s desktop from the App Store, and finally launch iPadian and open the app through iPadian to start using it.
While working with emulators, please know that these are approximations of alternative operating systems and not full replacements of them. While they allow you to open some programs (not all) made for other operating systems , they typically do not offer much in terms of operating system functionality beyond basic use.
That means the iOS app you want to use in iPadian may not have the same capabilities in the emulator as it would in its native operating environment and it may crash if you performs tasks that the emulator is not prepared to handle.
Similarly, access to other operating system capabilities, such as surfing the web or opening files on your hard drive, as well as basic overall support, may also be limited or restricted in the emulator.
Having said that, emulators do tend to be safe to install and use, though as with most free downloads it may also try to put unwanted third-party programs or bloatware on your system during installation.
Proceed slowly and cautiously during install, and make sure to reject items you don’t need as you go. Keep in mind that if it seems sketchy or too good to be true, then chances are is it and you should do your best to avoid it.
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