After we got wind that Bluestacks was going to be releasing a beta soon, we could only wait with bated breath at what exciting new enhancements would be dropped on us come unveiling time. Finally, that time has arrived, and let us tell you, Bluestacks has made good on their promise to up the ante in terms of Android emulation.
Using their new "Layercake" technology, Bluestacks allows any Android app to run without issue on x86-based PCs. Games like Angry Birds Space run flawlessly, and hardware acceleration is not enabled, but works like a charm.
While this might seem like purely a novel concept at first, there's some far-reaching implications as far as pricing structures go. Angry Birds Space is roughly $8 or so for the PC version, but you can get the Android version for free and run it in BlueStacks.
The Sims: 3 for Android is about a third of the price of its PC counterpart, and you can run the Android version in BlueStacks as well. It's hard to tell this early if Android apps can eat into a PC version's market share, but the potential is there.
BlueStacks beta-1 is an exponential improvement over the initial alpha that launched a while back, and we're glad to see such powerful features in its latest iteration. If you're interested in the nitty-gritty of it, we've got an official beta demo and press release after the break.
BlueStacks Brings 450,000 Android Apps to a Billion PCs
After 3-month alpha test attracts a million users and a Best of CES award, company releases beta-1 version of “App Player”
CAMPBELL, Calif. - March 26, 2012 – BlueStacks announced the availability of the beta-1 version of their App Player for PC today. The software supports Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, and enables Android apps to run in windowed or fullscreen mode on PC.
The beta-1 version incorporates the company’s patent-pending LayercakeTM technology. LayerCakeTM enables Android apps to run seamlessly on x86-based PCs. This includes apps written for the ARM processor like Angry Birds Space and Fruit Ninja, as well as apps that use hardware graphics acceleration. These latter capabilities were not part of last year’s alpha version. Apps designed for high-end tablets that use graphics-intensive engines such as Unity can also run on the new platform.
“LayerCake is a disruptive technology that enables PC manufacturers to bring the best of the Android ecosystem to their customers. It also leverages the advanced graphics capabilities of AMD APU and GPU platforms,” said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, Content, Applications and Solutions at AMD (NYSE: AMD). We are excited to work with BlueStacks to make the emerging Android mobile apps market part of the broader computing arena, especially given that the beta-1 version has been localized for 10 different countries.”
The alpha test of BlueStacks ran from October through December of last year, and included a more limited app selection. In those three months, it attracted over a million users in more than 100 countries such as the US, Korea, Brazil, Germany and China. Over 4.5 Million apps were opened. Especially popular were apps like Kakao Talk in Korea, Wordfeud in Germany and WhatsApp in the US. “You know, first there was Angry Birds on Chrome which was a big deal, then recently Steve Ballmer stood up at CES and announced that Cut the Rope had been ported to IE9 – with BlueStacks, it’s 450,000 apps coming to Windows at once,” said BlueStacks CEO, Rosen Sharma.
The developers behind top apps like Fruit Ninja, SliceIt!, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Townsmen, Evernote, Defender and StumbleUpon have partnered with BlueStacks to have their apps pre-loaded in the beta-1 version. “A Billion PCs is a huge potential market for any developer. There is the potential to make good money from the additional app discovery and usage,” said Markus Kassulke, CEO of popular developer HandyGames. “The best part is, we don’t have to do any work. Our apps run without any modifications or porting.”
BlueStacks is a software company that enables Android apps to run on PCs, Ultrabooks and tablets. BlueStacks is privately held and headquartered in Silicon Valley with global offices in India, Taiwan and Japan. The company launched in 2009 and is privately funded. Investors include Andreessen-Horowitz, Radar Partners, Ignition Partners, Helion Ventures and chipmaker AMD. The company has raised 14 million in funding so far. For more information visit BlueStacks.com, or join their over 200,000 Facebook fans at http://Facebook.com/bluestacksinc. Follow along on Twitter at @BlueStacksinc