Want to run your favorite Android applications on your Windows or Mac desktop? BlueStacks has an app for that.
BlueStacks Android app player is the first production software that allows you to use your favorite Android mobile apps fast and full screen on Windows or Mac/Apple PCs and tablets. It is also available free for download at its website: http://bluestacks.com/download.html. You can download apps like Angry Birds Space, Temple Run, Evernote or Documents to Go directly into BlueStacks, or sync the apps from your phone using the BlueStacks Cloud Connect Android app.
BlueStacks does this not by using a virtual machine (VM) as such but by running an emulation of the Android Davlik (also a VM) on top of Windows. The real key to BlueStacks’ success was its “ability to run graphics-intensive Android apps using its patent-pending technology called ‘Layercake’ … allowing Android apps to run on x86-based and Mac PCs, including apps written for the ARM processor.
The most well-known modern emulator is Wine. This popular open-source program, along with its commercial brother, CrossOver, enables Linux, Mac OS X, and other Unix users to run Windows applications. It does this by bridging the gap between the Windows program’s application programming interface (API) calls and the underlying operating system.
Like Wine, BlueStacks doesn’t emulate the actual hardware of a device. Instead, it emulates just enough of Android Davlik to server as a bridge between the application and Windows’ APIs. Besides leveraging the Windows device’s processor, be it x86 or ARM, BlueStacks can access the system’s graphics hardware to accelerate the program’s graphics processing. LayerCake also duplicates Android device’s accelerometer tilting in applications and games that utilize it with the mouse or arrow keys. Pinch-to-zoom is also supported on mouse trackpads.
While BlueStacks’ tech has plenty of appeal for everyday users, there’s a lot of appeal for developers, too, because they don’t have to port or modify apps to run them on a new operating system — meaning that those who’ve already developed apps for Android don’t have to go through the typical heavy lifting.
PC-giant ASUS has signed a deal with BlueStacks to include its Android app player on the company’s next generation PCs, including the models running Windows 8.
Since Microsoft plans to make it difficult to dual-boot or root any other operating system on Windows 8 systems and to make it impossible to add or switch operating systems on Windows RT (Windows 8 on ARM) tablets and phones, BlueStacks likely will be the only way to run Android applications on Windows 8 PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
Bluestacks Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BlueStacksInc
*credits to Bluestacks, TechCrunch and ZDNet