Bluestacks, Android app player

Bluestacks is an Android app player for Windows, enabling your apps to break free from your phone onto your desktop. As anyone who has ever tried to use the Android device emulator will know being able to run apps on your PC has been until now very slow and pretty much unusable. Bluestacks changes that by giving you the same level of performance on the desktop as you would expect on an embedded handheld device.

I installed Bluestacks as soon as it was released, and so far I have been pretty impressed. Currently Bluestacks will only install on a Windows 7 PC however Bluestacks reports that support for older operating systems are coming soon. If you install the Bluestacks Cloud Connect service the Blustacks infrastructure will automatically synchronise the apps installed on your phone to your PC. At the moment not all apps are support, such as premium apps such as the ever popular Angry Birds. For these premium apps you will need the currently unreleased Bluestacks Pro.

Bluestacks also comes with the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) which is used by Android developers to debug, test and configure Android apps and the Android device. This is pretty useful, though it was quite a shock the first time as I hadn’t noticed that the Eclipse debugger had connected to Bluestacks instead of my Android device, which resulted in me trying to work out what was wrong with my development handset. If you want to debug Android apps using Bluestacks you can really easily bring up the Bluestacks Android handset using the following command, which is now a shortcut on my desktop.

"C:Program Files (x86)BlueStacksHD-Frontend.exe" Android

Doing a bit of testing and using the API Demos which comes with the Android Development Kit showed that there are some problems still with Bluestacks such as some APIs not all the working, and some minor points like the mouse scroll wheel scroll is back to front. The Bluestacks team have made a very good job of their on-line community, being very quick to respond to users suggestions and bug reports.

Other than that Bluestacks is pretty awesome, I’ve not yet really put it through its paces but I’ll certainly be looking forward to Bluestacks Pro to come out. Just hope that the price is right.

You can download Bluestacks from bluestacks.com

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