Run Android apps on Windows
| by Francis D'sa
Most Android-based smartphone users would agree that they would prefer testing an app before downloading it to their phone. The reason behind this is usually to avoid unnecessary space hogging apps. Some users might also wish to play some of the cool mobile games available for the Android platform on their PC i.e. on a larger display. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how can your favorite Android apps on your Windows-based PC using a simple and free software called BlueStacks.
BlueStacks is an app player for Windows, which can play Android apps faster than it can run on a phone and that too, on a full-screen. The app includes 10 pre-loaded apps and one can add up to 26 more apps of their choice. Favorite apps can be pushed directly from the phone onto the PC using an Android app via internet route. Download and install the software for Windows from the URL ‘www.bluestacks.com’. The software is nothing, but a simple virtual Android operating system, which simulates an Android phone or UI. It uses the desktop PC’s resources such as the processor, the internet connection, mouse, keyboard and the audio card. The installed folder located on the PC contains the necessary files for its use, namely the kernel, data, system, boot and storage (the SD card). The BlueStacks Android (Gingerbread) virtual machine creates a hardware environment with a limited amount of storage (around 363 MB) for installing apps and 262 MB of SD card storage space.
Once BlueStacks is installed, the application will be running the Android operating system in the background and you will see an icon in the system tray area and a widget will be running on your screen. A single click on the widget will reveal the Android system apps installed in it. Click on the apps and enjoy them on a large screen. Additional apps can be installed from the BlueStacks website by signing in using your Facebook account details. To get to this page, all you need to do is click on the BlueStacks widget, scroll to and click on the app icon/shortcut ‘Get more apps’. A website will open up where you can login using your Facebook details. Once logged in, simply click on the ‘Subscribe’ button for the available apps (in the Featured Apps section) and they shall automatically get installed on your system via the internet. The ‘Could Connect’ link on the same page will highlight a special 9-pin numerical code which needs to be entered on your Android phone running the BlueStacks Cloud Connect app (download it from the Android Market for free). Once done, you can push apps from your phone to your PC by simply selecting multiple apps and syncing it. That’s it! You can now enjoy all your favorite apps from your phone on your Windows desktop PC.
Note: There are a few (or many) apps that will not function on BlueStacks, due to reasons such as incompatible hardware (for example there is no wireless network available here and apps that need the wireless network will not function). Also a few apps cannot be installed under the free license of BlueStacks. The BlueStacks Pro version will be out soon and you can do a lot more on it. The free version has a maximum limit of 26 installable apps, while the pro version will have the possibility of installing unlimited apps.