BlueStacks reaches beta release; 450,000 Android Apps now on Windows

March 29, 2012
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With the availability of more and more high-end devices and blazing speed data connections, the growth of the “app culture” has been exponential. The ability to instantly download apps and have almost any information available, literally, at your fingertips is infinitely appealing.

Not to be stopped at providing fun, albeit time-wasting activities on your handset, apps have slowly begun migrating to PCs as well. We’ve already seen a few examples of this, with Angry Birds, one of the most popular app games around, already available on Chrome. Not to be outdone, Microsoft announced the availability of “Cut the Rope” on IE 9.

Although accelerating, the expansion of mobile apps to PCs is still far from catching up with the millions of apps available on our smartphones. If you can’t wait to have your favorite Android apps available on your PC, or if you would just¬†like to test an app before committing it to your phone, now, there is a solution for you.

Introducing the BlueStacks App Player.

BlueStacks gives you access to over 450,000 Android apps on any Windows PC running Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7. Currently in its beta testing phase, BlueStacks brings a host of features including:

  • Over 450,000 apps already available, with more being added everyday
  • The ability to use Android apps with Windows utilities and drivers. For example, you will be able to use your windows printer to print documents on your Android phone.
  • Allows apps written for ARM processors to run with no problems on Windows
  • Ability to sync apps between the Android device and the App player

I downloaded the BlueStacks App Player and tested a few of the apps. Once installation is complete, which doesn’t take more than five minutes,¬†a folder is created on the desktop with shortcuts to all installed Android apps.¬†The UI is smooth and apps generally load quickly. Because Android apps are made for touchscreen interfaces, apps on Windows would also work ideally with a touch screen interface. This provides a great opportunity for users with Windows tablets to get access to Android applications. Playing Fruit Ninja was a little difficult with a laptop touchpad, but still just as fun as the native version.

What really stands out is the ability to use this app for messenging. I downloaded and used Whatsapp messenger, and it was a pleasure to be able to type long messages with an actual keyboard, a process which can get quite tedious on my phone.

While there is no direct support for the Google Play Store yet, alternative app sources such as the Amazon App Store  are available, which is just as good.

The BlueStacks App player is still free in its beta stage, and there is no indication yet of what the eventual pricing will be. You can download and install the BlueStacks app player from here. If you do, let us know your experience with this player.

Below is a short introduction and demo video of the BlueStacks App Player.

What are your thoughts? Is the functionality provided by BlueStacks important to you? How much would you be willing to pay for this service?

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