With the exception of the Apple’s App Store, PCs have yet to get on board with the vibrant app ecosystems that power popular smartphones and tablets.
Today it finally became possible (and easy) to get Android apps on your PC thanks to a nifty platform from BlueStacks.
It may not sound appealing at first, about the poor selection of apps and games on PCs, the BlueStacks approach makes perfect sense.
Suddenly, you have access to thousands of apps that have never been able to run on a PC before.
And it opens up the possibility of seeing Android apps on any device with a screen, not just smartphones and tablets.
Here’s how it works:
BlueStacks works in conjunction with your Android phone to push your apps to the cloud and then download them to your PC later. (Sorry, Windows only for now.)
The apps run within BlueStacks on your PC, and can even be scaled up to full screen.
Even though Android apps require touch controls to work, we’re told by BlueStacks VP John Gargiulo that you can use about 85% of them just as easily with a keyboard and mouse. The obvious exceptions are apps that require smartphone-only functions like accelerometer and GPS.
BlueStacks is in Alpha right now, meaning some features will be limited until the full, paid version is ready.
The PC Is Just The Beginning
But Gargiulo tells us there are big plans ahead for bringing the Android ecosystem to the PC. Of note, the company is in talks with Opera to bring the Handster app store to BlueStacks. (Opera acquired Handster last month.)
If the deal goes through, developers will be able to have their apps available on both smartphones and PCs without having to deal with multiple app stores.
“Just submitting to an app store will make it work. Developers won’t have to do anything else,” Gargiulo says.
Handster isn’t the only app store in BlueStacks’ sights. Gargiulo says they’re talking with all the other big players in Android such as SlideME.
Even farther down the road there’s an opportunity to bring Android apps to other devices, not just Macs and PCs.
Conceivably, BlueStacks could make it possible to get Android everywhere, even those fancy Windows 8 tablets coming our way.
And that’s not just good for BlueStacks, that’s good for Google too. The more exposure Android gets, the faster it gain adoption and continue to stretch its lead over Apple’s iOS.
Check out this quick demo for an idea of how BlueStacks works: