[Athen] BlueStacks - running Android apps on Mac and Windows

Shelley Haven ShelleyHaven at techpotential.net
Wed Jan 9 12:41:53 PST 2013

Thought this might be of interest to some of you...

BlueStacks recently released the beta version of the BlueStacks App Player for Macs (the Windows beta was released last March). It allows you to purchase, install, and run Android apps on your computer. While the alpha version only offered a couple of dozen apps, the new beta version gives you access to all 750,000+ apps in the Android App Store.


While this may not be a substitute for owning an actual Android device, it works great for learning "what's out there" in the world of Android. For example, I downloaded and am playing around with Bookshare's Go Read app on my MacBook, which looks and works differently from Read2Go on iOS devices. Just for old-time's sake, I even downloaded Graffiti for Android, an Android port of the handwriting recognition input used on the old Palm OS devices. (I used to be pretty good at that!) Coupled with a graphics tablet on my laptop, it works just fine as a replacement for the standard Android keyboard.

The BlueStacks App Player presents as a Samsung Galaxy S2 (GT-I9100) when searching for apps on, say, Google Play. That means Google Play thinks that you have a Galaxy S2 tablet synched to your computer, and thus grants you permission to download an app -- important, as only approved devices can download Android apps. (Of course, you still have have to purchase the app!)

BlueStacks is even being licensed by various computer manufacturers. For example, Lenovo just announced they will include the BlueStacks App Player on all their Idea notebooks:

Anyway, have fun with this -- I certainly am!

- Shelley

Shelley Haven ATP, RET
Assistive Technology Consultant
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