BlueStacks has been around for a while. We first saw it in an early alpha, that while usable, wasn't ready for prime time. After lots of toiling and hard work (I assume), we finally saw BlueStacks enter beta, and boy, was this ever a different program.
So what exactly does BlueStacks let you do? It lets you run Android applications right on your PC, just as though you were using an Android phone or tablet. It manages to pull this off using some sort of black voodoo neckbeard magic "Layercake" technology the guys have developed, and man oh man, do I like it.
Getting BlueStacks going is simply a breeze. Once you've got it all installed, you simply open it up and there's a list of preinstalled apps. You have access to a couple of different app stores to download other apps you might want, and to top it all off, you can install apk's directly into BlueStacks, right off of your computer's hard drive.
(There's also an app syncing tool that lets you sync apps from your phone to your computer's client, which skirts the whole apk issue, but just know that it's there if you need it.)
When you've finally got an app loaded up in BlueStacks, there's always a bit of experimenting to see what button or mouse click controls what. For something like Angry Birds Space, it's all pretty straightforward; use your mouse like you'd use your finger.
For something more complex (and visually demanding) like Shadowgun, you've just got to mess around. For the most part, mouse clicks transfer pretty well, and more often than not, arrow keys will move your character. The few times I ran Shadowgun, it was either kind of stuttery or buttery smooth, so your mileage can definitely vary.
Overall, BlueStacks is pretty darn cool, especially if you've ever wanted to get the Android experience on your computer. Its uses might seem a bit novel right now, but as prices for games in the mobile space continue to come in lower than their desktop counterparts, BlueStacks looks like it could offer some market disruption.
You can download the BlueStacks Windows component from the BlueStacks website at no cost. We've got video after the break.