It’s been a while since we last tested BlueStacks October 2011 in fact, arriving as an alpha with limited features. Essentially it allowed Windows 7-based PCs and tablets to run Android apps within the Windows environment without having to install the Android SDK or modify the original software. And thanks to an Android app called Cloud Connect, the user could sync selected installed apps to the desktop client.
Now five months later, BlueStacks is finally in beta and in great shape overall, sporting an entirely new interface and updated features. Previously users could only install Android apps provided by the software, and a handful of free apps offered on Android Market (now Google Play).
BlueStack’s main user interface works like a miniature closed OS, featuring app icons on one row, a search engine field in the next row, and then a row of functions lining the bottom including a Home button, a back button, a menu button, and a settings button. Along the right side is a column of suggested apps, both free and paid from the various markets.
The beta comes packed with pre-installed apps like Crackle, Evernote, Google Sky Map, Pandora, Pulse, Talking Tom 2 Free and a few others. To install additional apps, simply seek out the desired game or tool in the search box which will present a list of results.
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