Image credit: Appinati

In software development, there’s no substitute for the real thing. As such, developers would usually need various devices when testing apps and software on a platform. Sometimes you would even need to test apps on different architectures.

But a startup from India wants to enable users to run Android apps from anywhere — even without a smartphone or tablet. AppSurfer has a basic concept: run any Android app from your web browser.

The concept is similar to BlueStacks, which we earlier featured. However, BlueStacks requires downloadable software for the Mac or PC to act as a smartphone emulator. Appsurfer will not require  software download, which makes running Android apps more portable (well, certainly less portable than running them on your phone).

This concept is not entirely new, since Amazon offers a trial service for apps on the Amazon AppStore. You can get a limited trial functionality from your web browser before deciding to purchase or download an app. But there are limitations, such as geographic limitations and the fact that you can only try apps from within the AppStore.

In contrast, AppSurfer wants users to be able to run apps from anywhere, and this is done by embedding the app onto a blog, website or social networking service. AppSurfer will then direct users to Google Play for when they want to download on their devices.

AppSurfer is currently in private beta since March 2012, although interested publishers can already sign up to be part of the program. For end-users, are you interested in running your Android apps from the web?

J. Angelo Racoma
J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise platforms, and is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team that offers digital content and marketing services.