For anyone who wants to run Android apps on their Windows PC, things just got easy. Thanks to the BlueStacks App Player, one can easily and quickly run Android apps in Windows, without downloading SDK platforms and running the notoriously sluggish emulator.
BlueStacks, which is currently in early beta, uses native Windows libraries instead of emulating hardware for the Android kernel-mode routines, enabling native hardware support for a much faster, more responsive experience than is typically seen running the QEMU-based Android emulator. BlueStacks implements the Android user-mode, thus providing a standard Android look and feel within apps.
BlueStacks current beta allows users a couple of ways to get apps. A few
third-party app markets are inlcuded, such as the Amazon app store, but there is no support for the Google Play market. Additionally, BlueStacks provides an Android app called “Cloud Connect” which can be installed on an Android device and used to sync applications from the device to the PC. While these options are ok, 3rd party markets alone can be a bit limited and, frankly, syncing with the Cloud Connect app is too much work. After a bit of tinkering, we discovered a simple work-around to easily sideload any app.
Let’s get it running…
- Download BlueStacks App Player beta installer from www.bluestacks.com (direct link: http://cdn.bluestacks.com/bstk-download-success-2.htm)
- Run the setup executable. After accepting the use agreement, the setup utility will download and install the BlueStacks App Player
- Run BlueStacks and make sure its working
Download/copy the .apk (Android application package) file(s) for your apps onto your pc by whatever means – direct download, copy from phone via USB, etc.
- Open a file explorer and navigate to the directory where BlueStacks is installed (the default is c:\Program Files\BlueStacks )
- Open another file explorer window and navigate to the directory that contains the .apk file(s)
- Drag each .apk file onto the icon for HD-ApkHandler.exe. HD-APkHandler will open and display a dialog of installation progress.
- Open BlueStacks and click the icon for your app to run it.
Keep in mind that BlueStacks is currently in an early beta stage. As such, dont’ be surprised if you run into bugs, glitches, performance problems, etc. Luckily, the developers seem quite interested in engaging the community and making this software awesome. Feedback and bug reports can be submitted at https://getsatisfaction.com/bstk