Mobile messaging is one of the most important applications of the smartphone era. There are lots of big players in the mobile market today but we’re going to talk about Kik for computer, an app that makes itself stand out by offering rich features making it unique from the usual messaging apps. Kik was founded on 2009 by a group of University of Waterloo students who wanted focus communication on mobile.
Currently, there are 275 million people who signed up for Kik across 230 countries. What makes it unique is that it is the only messaging app with a built-in browser. Through this, KIK users are able to search and share cool contents with their friends without having to leave and download a new app.
Also, users stay anonymous because the app doesn’t require your mobile number and utilizes usernames instead. Upon registration, it will only ask very minimal info about you. Your full name, email address and birthday. Users cannot be traced even by the company itself through this provided information. We can say that it is a good app if you wanted to stay anonymous.
With these functionalities, one could only wish about the app’s availability on PC platforms. Fret not, by the end of this tutorial, you should be able to use and enjoy these functionalities that Kik has to offer through your computer.
I’m going to provide two ways to install Kik so you can choose what works better for you. We’ll tackle the BlueStacks and ARC Welder installation methods.
Get Kik for Your Computer
Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.- Edsger Dijkstra
KIK is available for the most popular mobile platforms, which are Android, iOs and Windows Mobile. To be able to run KIK on our computer, we would need an Android Emulator. If you are not familiar about what an emulator is, here is a brief explanation. An emulator is a hardware or software that enables one computer system (called the host) to act or behave like another computer system (called the guest). It typically enables the host system to run software or use peripheral devices designed for the guest system.
There are plenty of popular Android emulators for PC today but BlueStacks is the most popular and the most stable app around. It provides a one-click installation for windows, an easy to navigate user interface and does not require third party virtualization like VirtualBox. It generally targets the less tech savvy users who just want to use their android app on a PC. To download BlueStacks, you can go here to start. The installer file has a size of 259 MB so it should take a while.
After downloading the .exe file, we’re now ready for the setup! Click on the file to run. It should extract itself after that. Windows will give you a prompt asking if you want to proceed with the installation. Click ‘Yes’ to continue.
You should see something like this:
Click ‘Next’ and it will ask for BlueStacks Data Location:
Application installers normally set these things up for you by default so you can press ‘Next’ to proceed.
Lastly, click Install.
This process has 4 steps to go through. This may take a while because it is being set up for the first use. You don’t need to do anything, just sit and wait for it to finish.
Once the installation is complete, you should be able to see something like the screenshot above. Click finish to start the program.
Hooray! We have successfully installed BlueStacks. But that’s just the beginning. Our aim is to install and enjoy Kik’s features on our computer.
To begin, search for Kik and select the most accurate result. Upon clicking on the result, it will bring us to the setup page.
Since this is our first time running and installing an app via BlueStacks, we would need to set some things up. Don’t worry, it’s a only a one-time setup so we no longer have to deal with it every time we want to use our app. The setup has three stages as you can see above.
For the first step, we need to add our Google Account. Just like on a normal Android device, we are required to have one for us to use the Play Store. You can add an existing or register for a new one.
As for me, I’m going to use my existing Google account.
After adding your account, sign in, and read and agree with Google Play’s Terms of Service and click OK to continue.
After signing in, we can now proceed to the second process. Select your account from the pop- up and you’re good to go.
Now we only have a thing left to enable, which is the app sync. This allows syncing your app data to your account making it available across your devices.
You need to log in your Google account (again) through the page that it will direct you and that’s it. After the successful login, it will bring us to the one time set up page. Click “Let’s go!”
Clicking on that button will redirect us to the Play Store. Read and accept Google Play Terms of Service to proceed. Remember searching for the Kik app from the beginning? Since we have done that step already, BlueStacks will bring us directly to the app installation page.
Isn’t that awesome? We’re now running Play Store on our computer just like how it runs on an Android device. Click the install button, accept the given information about the app’s permission access and let the download finish.
Once it’s done, click open and voila! We have successfully installed Kik, an application designed for mobile phones on our computer.
During the introduction, I mentioned that there two ways available to install Kik in our computer. We are done with the BlueStacks method, now I will show you how to do it via ARC Welder.
ARC Welder Install
ARC or App Runtime for Chrome allows you to run your favorite Android apps via Chrome OS or the Chrome Browser. It is a tool that allows developers to test and publish their apps on Chrome OS. It is still on beta so we can notice some bugs here and there and not every app is supported. Results may vary based on your device and platform. This is basically saying that this method may work or may not work at all for you. But hey, at least I gave you choices.
This method is a bit trickier and may require some external resources but I’ve got that covered. This is for those who are looking for a light alternative. ARC Welder is a developer tool and a chrome extension meaning it doesn’t require you to install another program.
Unlike BlueStacks, ARC doesn’t install itself on your computer as a new program but rather adds itself to Chrome. Imagine the space you can save by doing this method. To start, you can go here through your Chrome Browser and click the “Add to Chrome” button on the upper right side.
A confirmation dialog will then pop-up after clicking the “Add to Chrome” button. Click the “add app” button to proceed.
You may notice this when the download starts.
Once the download is done, open a new tab on Chrome and look for “Apps” on the upper left side of your browser. I’ve provided a screenshot below to give you an idea what to look for.
Clicking this will reveal all the apps installed. On the last part, we can see that ARC Welder has been added successfully to Chrome. Click on it to start.
As you can see, it comes with a warning saying “You are using ARC Welder on a non-Chrome OS device. Platform specific bugs exist. If you experience issues, you may wish to try your app on a Chrome OS device.” That’s the problem with this method, your app may run or may not run at all.
Since this is the first time we are using ARC Welder, it will prompt a question asking where to save our app data. It selects “My Documents” by default so let’s leave it that way and click OK.
This is how ARC Welder looks when everything has been set up. The only thing you will find on the ARC Welder is the “Add your APK” button. We would need an APK file of the app that we are trying to run, which is Kik. But first, what is an APK? An APK, or Android Application Package file is the file format used for installing apps into the Android operating system. It is analogous with Windows’ .exe file format.
Unlike BlueStacks, ARC Welder doesn’t have a built-in app searcher. To download our Kik apk file, you can go to APKPure, my trusted website for downloading APKs. APKPure has a large database of apk files that are always up to date.
Search for Kik, click on the first result and it will open on a new tab.
The page will open with the app details and “Download APK” button. Click on that button to proceed. The APK file is less than 40 MB.
Now that we have our APK file, we can go back to ARC Welder. Click on “Add your APK” button and locate the app’s APK file.
Once it’s added, you may notice some configuration settings that we can adjust. You can choose between Landscape and Portrait for the orientation. Tablet, Phone, Maximized or Full Screen are the available options for the Form Factor and Reconfigure or Disabled for the Resize setting. It’s best to leave everything the way they are right now and click Test.
And we’re done. Like what I said before, this method may or may not work at all and results may vary based from device and platform. I had it working on my PC running Fedora 21 but when I tried it on a computer with a Windows 7 operating system, it opened and then crashed.
I personally advice to go for the ARC Welder method first and if it fails, you can proceed to try the BlueStacks method. Who knows, it may run properly on your device. The BlueStacks method is reliable and often works most of the time but still, performance may vary depending on your device.
We focused primarily on BlueStacks and ARC Welder, but there are many other emulators out there, such as:
So that’s it. Upon following these simple installation guides, you should now be able to enjoy the features Kik has to offer on your computer. Good luck!