Last week, computer processor developer AMD announced its launch of AMD AppZone, a portion of its website from which Windows users may download Android applications for use on their PCs powered by AMD processing units. AppZone, which works in conjunction with Android emulation program BlueStacks, allows Windows 7 and future Windows 8 users to install a variety of Android apps, including games, photo and video tools, and productivity tools. The Windows 8 version is even supposed to function on touchscreen devices, like the upcoming Surface from Microsoft.
Though still in beta, BlueStacks offers compatibility with a large number of existing Android apps. The program even has a feature called Cloud Connect, a cloud-based service that enables Android and PC devices to become extensions of one another by syncing apps between the two platforms for a seamless user experience. Users can download the accompanying Android app on the Play Store for free.
Perhaps one of the most exciting prospects of the effort is the potential for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to preload BlueStacks onto future devices, affording users the opportunity to experience Android applications straight from the box without necessarily purchasing an Android device.
Despite having an Intel-based PC, I downloaded and installed the free BlueStacks software to see what it looks like and how it works. If you would like to try it yourself, download the installation file, follow the simple installation prompts, and wait for it to finish.
I launched the program and immediately it opens a menu featuring square icons that lead to a variety of different app categories: Kids, Tools, News, Games, and even alternate App Stores, like Amazon. The interface defaults to the “My Apps” section, which lists applications that apparently come preinstalled. Of course, the App Search and Help “apps” are installed already; otherwise, you have default access to Facebook and Twitter.
I went to the Games section straight away. No Cut the Rope that I could see, so I installed Temple Run, another mobile gaming favorite. I launched the game and, probably because of my brand of processor, it could not display the game very well, and when it did, it lagged and stuttered.
I installed BlueStacks though just to gather some first impressions, and in doing so I can say that the interface, and probably a lot of the functionality, is geared toward tablet interfaces more so than traditional PCs. Windows 8 tablets will benefit greatly from BlueStacks, especially if it comes preloaded, because the platform has very few apps to offer at this point, even with a release slated for the end of October.
But if you have an AMD-powered PC and want to see what the world of Android applications has to offer, download it and see for yourself!
Latest posts by Matthew Serre (see all)
- How to Root the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Install a Custom ROM - July 16, 2013
- Impressions on the Samsung Galaxy S4 (After the Honeymoon) - July 3, 2013
- Google I/O 2013 Android Roundup - May 24, 2013