BlueStacks yesterday launched the beta version of its Android App Player for PCs, a software tool that allows users to run Android applications on a Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 PC.
The beta release is built off of BlueStacks’ patent-pending LayerCake technology, which enables apps written for ARM-based processors to run on x86-based desktop and notebook PCs. The company also said LayerCake allows for hardware graphics acceleration, meaning even graphics-heavy applications originally built for high-end tablets will now be compatible with PCs.
BlueStacks, a Silicon Valley-based startup founded by former McAfee CTO Rosen Sharma in 2009, eyed a market early-on for its App Player software.
"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 Sharma, who is also CEO of the company.
The alpha version of BlueStacks’ App Player was available last year from October to December, and was used by more than a million users in more than 100 countries, the company said. During those three months, over 4.5 million apps were downloaded to PCs.
BlueStacks said developers behind top apps including Fruit Ninja, SliceIt!, Barnes & Noble's Nook, Townsmen, Evernote, Defender and StumbleUpon have already signed on to have their apps pre-loaded onto the beta version. Markus Kassulke, CEO of app developer HandyGames, said in a statement that BlueStack’s App Player not only affords developers exposure to new audiences, but requires little to no work on their part.
"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," Kassulke said. "The best part is, we don't have to do any work. Our apps run without any modifications or porting."
The beta version of BlueStack’s Android App Player is now available for download on the company’s website.