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New BlueStacks beta finally supports Android version beyond Nougat
- A new BlueStacks 5 beta supports games requiring Android 8 or 9.
- That includes some prominent titles like Genshin Impact and Alchemy Stars.
- BlueStacks is a free download for Windows and Mac.
BlueStacks, a major Android gaming emulator for Windows and Mac, is now compatible with a wider range of games thanks to an “advanced beta” of BlueStacks 5 supporting Android 8 Oreo and Android 9 Pie.
The current stable version of BlueStacks is limited to Android 7 Nougat, which can be problematic given that some game developers exploit newer Android features. The latest beta enables support for titles like Genshin Impact, Alchemy Stars, and NFS Heat Studio.
Both the stable and beta versions of BlueStacks 5 are free downloads. In fact, both can be used simultaneously in multi-instance mode, providing a fallback in case some older apps don’t run as well as they should.
The emulator is also free to use, although developers and publishers do pay for more prominent placement.
The longevity of BlueStacks and other emulators could be threatened by Windows 11, due by the end of 2021. That OS will offer native support for Android apps, albeit through the Amazon Appstore, which doesn’t have as complete a selection as the Google Play Store. Developers may be more inclined to support Amazon if it means reaching the massive Windows userbase.