How to run Android apps on your computer

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Let’s say that you only got 10 minutes left on your lunch break at your office and you would like to play Clans or Subway Surfers, but the problem us that you don’t have you tablet with you.

Or let’s say that your on you home computer, why would you have to get up and find your phone, so that you can send someone a SnapChat?

As long as you have the the BlueStacks App Player (bluestacks.com) installed on either you PC or Mac, then both of these scenarios can be avoided.

The BlueStacks App Player is quite simply a free program that will allow you to run Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”) and supported apps on your computer, just as if you were accessing them on either you smartphone or tablet.

The operating system itself doesn’t know that it is being run on your personal computer. App compatibility is “north of 95%,” according to BlueStacks marketing exec John Gargiulo at the San Jose, Calif.-based start-up.

“App Player employs complex virtualization technology that took 10 engineers two years to build — and we are always improving,” says Gargiulo. “We are the only product in the world that can run virtually any mobile app on PC or Mac.”

So now The Simpsons: Tapped Out becomes The Simpsons: Clicked Out, if you will.

“Most people use App Player for gaming, though we hear about people using it for messaging as well,” Gargiulo acknowledges/

Gargiulo says that the App Player is quite popular and say that the app play has tens of millions of downloads.  BlueStacks says an App Player update to Android 4.4 (“KitKat”) is “imminent.”

Since Android is a freely available and an “open” operating system, it is completely free and users can legally download and install it. App Player will take up only 100 megabytes of storage on your hard drive or SSD once installed, and does not include the apps you may download. The other system specs are equally as modest, but it does required a newer graphics card driver for a 2-year-old laptop (which can be found and installed quickly).

When App Player is first launched you can choose if you want to access the the BlueStacks App Store, that includes games from partners like Glu, TinyCo, Halfbrick Studios and others. You can also access Google Play, Amazon Appstore or any other stores, provided that you login with your account information  as you would on a phone or tablet.

You can also select if you would like to have app notifications enabled (pushed to your computer) and also if you would like to subscribe to Spotlight, which will provide you with  one free app daily.

Be aware, however, some games will work better than other games. A slow-paced game such as EA Mobile’s The Simpsons: Tapped Out or Kabam’s Heroes of Camelot have worked better then some “twitchy” titles such as Gears Studios’ Flappy Bird  or even  Glu’s Frontline Commando, for example. (Yes, while the cult hit Flappy Bird was taken down by its developer, you can still play it for free through App Player’s built-in app store.) The problem with some of the fast games is the lag, that could result in choppy performance. Plus some games will simply work better using your fingertip than it would with a mouse and keyboard (though many PCs today offer touch-screens, too).

With some games, the App Player window will automatically flip from horizontal orientation to vertical, so the game will fit the way you’re supposed to play it (e.g., Flappy Bird).

On App Player being free, Gargiulo says “as a start-up, we believe that once we scale the product we will be able to find ways to monetize (it).” “Right now we are just focused on building the best product, and one that people will recommend to their friends and help continue to grow.”

BlueStacks is also readying another product  that us called GamePop, a $129 Android-powered gaming console made for televisions. Gargiulo says that it will be able to run all 500+ apps from its mobile gaming partners, and with many more announcements to come at the upcoming Game Developers Conference.

 

 

Source: USA Today