Bluestacks Review – use Android apps and play Android games on your Windows PC

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by InsaneNutter, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    BlueStacks App Player is essentially an Android emulator for Windows, it runs Android in a virtual machine and allows apps to be downloaded from the internet, synced from your phone or installed by clicking on an APK (Androids equivalent of an .exe) from within Windows.

    When you first install the app you get the option of syncing it with your Android phone, this is not essential however it makes getting your existing app collection installed within Bluestacks as easy as eating pie.

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    If you setup synchronisation with your phone you will be given a pin to link Bluestacks on your PC with the Bluestacks app you can download for free on the Android market place.

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    When linked up the app you push any text message you receive on your phone to your desktop, from what I have seen its not possible to reply to them on your PC unfortunately.

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    A text message that was pushed to my PC – you will see it appear on your PC a couple of seconds after it has arrived on your phone.

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    The Bluestacks android app – in this you can basically see a list of everything installed on your phone. You can then select the app and sync it to your PC. This works for both paid and free apps, your phone doesn’t actually upload the apps APK, it appears to grant the virtual Android running on your PC permission to download it from the marketplace.

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    Something here that would have been nice is the ability to sync your data, for example sync my Angry Birds save to my PC, then sync it back to my phone when I have finished playing on the PC. Now that would have been impressive and very handy! I’m sure this could be implemented in the future.

    When you load Bluestacks you are presented with a very cut down version of Android, you can alter some settings such as keyboard layout and location, however that's about it. You get a desktop with will have shortcuts to all your installed apps, and a search bar to search for installed apps.

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    App compatibility:

    A lot of Android apps do work perfectly, I have tested a fair few and had no real problems. Even games work pretty well. The frame rate of the more demanding 3d game will not be great, however I did manage to load GTA 3 up with Bluestacks running at 1920x 1920 and drive around, the frame rate was not the best though.

    GTA 3 screens:

    Downloading data:

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    Menu:

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    Gameplay:

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    View Full Size Image

    As you can see the game looks pretty good up scaled on the pc (for a mobile phone port of an old game), however the frame rate is low and does not make playing it enjoyable.

    Doodle Jump:

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    Facebook:

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    Connectbot – an Android SSH client

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    AndFTP – an Android FTP client

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    The Bluestacks desktop after Fruit Ninja crashed.

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    Overall Android apps run quite well on a PC, you probably would not want to use the majority of them on your PC as there designed for a touch screen mobile device, however as mobile exclusive games work pretty well on Bluestacks I could see people using it to play some Android games on their PC.

    Angry Birds Space costs on the PC, however the Android version is free and plays perfectly in Bluestacks, a perfectly legal way to play it for free on your PC!

    Ofcourse there are mobile exclusive games that work great with a keyboard too, such as Dizzy - Prince of the Yolkfolk

    This is a classic game from the Amiga / other old computers that got a HD remake for mobile devices, I can tell you now it’s a lot more fun to play with a real keyboard rather than a touch screen.

    If you don’t have a tablet with a keyboard dock then this is the best way to play it.

    I have made a little video of me playing Dizzy in Bluestacks: (along with a random look at the Digiex Facebook page ;))

    [video=youtube;ycTRQ9iZA9A]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycTRQ9iZA9A[/video]

    Bluestacks works very well for a beta both with general applications and even some pretty good looking mobile games, I expect things will get even better as the app is developed more.

    Something I think that is good is the Bluestacks team do listen to your suggestions, the app by default has a dock at the top of your screen which couldn’t be removed in older versions.

    If you are using a dock application such as Objectdock you have a bit of a problem as you can see below

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    I sent them a suggestion informing them of this and got an email back saying it would be looked in to, about a month later I got another email saying they had added an option to hide the dock in the latest version! I thought this was pretty good of them to A) Listen to my feedback and B) actually email me to say the latest version had my requested feature in!

    Over all I think Bluestacks is a great application and has a lot of potential, it functions pretty well. My only real complaint would be about how the app its self looks, the “Suggested Apps” which is ALWAYS down the right hand side annoys me. It would be nice to have an option to hide this as I don’t personally find it useful at all.

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    Ill be interested in seeing how Bluestacks develops, I could see this been useful when Windows 8 is released and Windows based tablets go on sale. In theory you could have the best of both worlds then, Windows on a tablet and access to 1000’s of Android applications from an established market place.

    Links:

    Bluestacks Website
    Android Market
    Dizzy - Game featured in my video

    I have not really reviewed much before so if you have any suggestions, want to know more or think i have missed something feel free to say!
     
    omnirok likes this.
  2. mrmbawalan

    mrmbawalan New Member

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    I have two question though.. I have a problem with the App Temple Run, it's kinda LAG, what will I do to fix it? Sometimes I got lucky to run it smoothly but after 2-3runs the Temple Run lags.. I don't know what to do..

    also, How can I close the recent apps that I used? example: I used facebook then I press Home button then use another app.. How will I turn of facebook?

    Thanks!!

    PS- I'm using BlueStacks (beta-1)

    Need reply ASAP.. thanks!
     
  3. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    The apps will just be froze in the background, android will close the application if it needs to free up resources.
    As for it lagging after a few runs, it could be a bug in the game or even Bluestacks, the app is only a beta so its not 100% perfect.
     
  4. Jeramy LaVoye

    Jeramy LaVoye New Member

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    I just downloaded this a week or so ago, but im having a problem with it and the fact is I mostly downloaded this to play games like Destinia, but since on the phone it requires one to use two hands, left to move the character around, the right to attack (for example), now with this, I can do that but it involves using the mouse, BUT how can I do them both at the same time (sorta say) cause it will be to hard to click a bunch and run and then try to fight a fraction of a second later? So is there anyway to change the settings to where I can just used the ASDWZ or arrow keys to move about/fight? (hot keys)
     
  5. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    I dont think you will be able to do that unless you have a touch screen PC / Tablet running Windows.
     

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