If you love your Android apps so much up until the point of wanting to run them on your Windows PC, I’ll be the first to admit it — I do too. I love hacking the life out of my Android smartphone. I also love hacking the life out of my Windows PC. And when I see the possibility of both of them coming together, I know that it’s the beginning of something special. It’s the beginning of true convergence of two entirely different platforms.
The hope: to run Android apps on Windows
I’ve always felt that the computer and mobile are two similar yet distinct entities. I still love reading my email only on my computer. But I also love reading the news only on Pulse Reader on my Android smartphone. Both experiences are unique to the device on which they are carried out. Clearly, the smart developers at Bluestacks think so as well, since they’ve come up with a way to run Android apps on Windows (Mac support is expected soon).
Run Android apps on Windows through Bluestacks
The download isn’t light, and after a few minutes of waiting for 117 MB to download, you can get down and dirty with the Bluestacks App Player for Android. The default player comes in with 10 Android apps pre-installed, with the ability to install 16 more. There’s also going to be a Pro (maybe paid) version, that’ll allow unlimited app installs.
Caution: This is software in the alpha stage. TheDailyBuggle is not responsible for any possible (though unlikely) damage that might arise.
Once your download is complete, you’ll be asked to play a handy first-run video, which will tell you about the basics of Bluestacks.
Starting Bluestacks is actually quite easy as it integrates very well with the Windows Gadgets Platform. Just right-click on your desktop, click on Gadgets, and add the Bluestacks gadget to get a look at it.
Double clicking on this gadget will display an elegant launcher, from where you can run Android apps installed on your Bluestacks player. More apps can be downloaded from the Internet (although right now there seems to be something wrong with that), or pushed to your computer from your phone using the Bluestacks Cloud Connect app from the Android Market. New apps can also be installed manually by right-clicking on an APK file (Android apps), and opening it with HD-Apk-Handler, located inside the Bluestacks installation directory.
As a demonstration of Bluestacks in action, I decided to run a couple of the pre-installed apps. I didn’t walk away disappointed as Bluestacks really handled both of them equally well. Pulse Reader just blew my mind away in its full screen glory and Drag Racing also worked perfectly on Bluestacks. Furthermore, the interface handles exactly as you’d expect it to on a real Android, supporting swiping across screens and also the action of getting a context menu by long pressing with the mouse on any interface element.
Although Bluestacks is still in alpha, I’m really floored by how easy it is to run Android Apps on Windows. It’s an app that I am keeping an eye on for the future. If the initial demo is anything to go by, this app would be worth its money in gold if it makes it into mainstream computing.
Have you tried Bluestacks? How did it fare for you?