AMD to offer virtual Android enviroment on Windows desktop via Bluestacks

Nearly three years ago, the software company BlueStacks announced plans to offer Windows PCs a way to run Android and its many apps via their software program. Since then, AMD has announced it has put some of its money into BlueStacks and the software has been pre-loaded on many AMD-based Windows PCs to allow Android apps to run on those devices.

This week, as part of its CES 2014 announcements, AMD revealed that it has expanded its collaboration with BlueStacks so that the Windows desktop can run a "completely virtualized Android environment." AMD claims that includes running a full Android user interface with all of its settings, configuration and customization controls.

Android apps will  be able to run in a window or full screen on the Windows desktop with the new BlueStacks software, according to AMD. It added:

As native software running under Windows on the PC, BlueStacks takes full advantage of AMD APUs, beginning with the 4th generation AMD APU codename “Kaveri” power savings options, OpenGL driver, and every other advantage the AMD APU-based system can offer. There are no extra development challenges in terms of drivers--BlueStacks is built and optimized to run within Windows on AMD APUs.

This announcement follows Intel's reveal of its Dual OS plans to allow Windows and Android to run on the same PC with the same processor. ASUS also announced the Transformer Book Duet notebook-tablet this week that is also designed to run both operating systems.

Image via AMD

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31 Comments

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this is nice specially on a surface pro or similar tablet. not only do you get all the beneifts of windows and windows store app, but you can close any app gap by just running the droid ware in the rare occasions you want.

I still wouldn't use android apps on a desktop though as they are not properly designed for it.

Everyone interested in development should check Genymotion.
Their solution is built with Oracle VirtualBox and (as to 1 month ago) was far superior to that of Bluestacks. It includes hardware acceleration for graphics and also the ability to choose custom android version and other stuff.

Other users should check that also as there pros/cons to each solution.

One thing that I find Bluestacks is better in is that you can have an app shortcut in Windows and the whole Bluestacks software acts like it is run for this app solely.

I have both Genymotion AND BlueStacks installed - you need not choose one OR the other. The pros to Genymotion are that you can mirror popular tablets and smartphones - complete with hardware acceleration. The con is (this is true of BlueStacks as well) no KitKat-based operation/emulation - yet. Genymotion IS one version above BlueStacks (JellyBean vs. Ice Cream Sandwich) - which is good to know for the picky. However, Genymotion also supports ICS-based images (and has many in their image library); my biggest use for Genymotion is comparing smartphone images to each other.

the convinience of ios/wp/android apps is the use them on portable devices like phones and tablets, why would anyone want to have them on a desktop?

i once tried bluestacks hoping to run real racing 3 and play it with the arrow keys, but it didnt run

This looks interesting, been using BlueStacks for a while. As a developer I'd find this useful as being able to test Android apps and custom ROM's on a full Android environment on my development rig rather than an emulator is a fresh change, because the emulator is slow and buggy as hell. I hope they do allow installation and test of custom ROM's as well as rooting....

Tested Bluestacks a couple times with terrible results. It sucked up most of the resources on a i7 with 16GB RAM. Interesting idea but it still should be in Alpha status.

Hopefully Bluestacks will be out of beta by than. it is still a bit buggy And please be able to root it and vanilla android. Also make it portable. thaaaanks

I like the idea of complete separation from windows but very much like the idea of being able to run whatever app as well. Hard to understand how any unbiased thinking person would object to increasing choice and usefulness...

The difference is that on most computers Bluestacks EMULATES ARM but AMD's newer APUs actually have a full hardware ARM implementation and so the announcement here isn't you can run Android apps on Windows... like you said you could already do that. The announcement here is that Bluestacks and AMD have worked together so that Bluestacks will run Android apps natively on the ARM hardware in AMD APUs instead of emulating it.

Ah, at least you can run apps in their own window if you want. Who wants to look at a VM window and have all their apps constrained to it? Awkward! Hopefully they can integrate notifications and other stuff into the Windows UI.

No desire to run Android on my desktops personally, but prefer this option.. no jumping back and forth, one desktop for everything. If grandma is complaining that the start screen is "jarring", constantly switching between two separate operating systems will probably blow her mind. Much more convenient this way.

I'm not sure which side of the fence you are on... This is two desktops with jumping back and forth and you will have to configure them separately. I would prefer developers get to work on Windows 8 apps as they would be much easier to switch to then a completely different OS.

The other option is that new Intel design where you're running two separate OS's and jumping between the two, not one in the other. It's on the front page somewhere. Not a fan of Android emulation in general but at least this one is both on one desktop.

Oh, I see what you mean. I agree that comparatively it is better, however it shouldn't be needed at all as Windows 8 has it's own app store and the performance would likely be better when not emulated.

Wouldn't want that on my desktop. Then again AMD seems to be surrendering the desktop CPU market in favor of those crappy APUs so its not really an issue.

Lord Method Man almost said,
Wouldn't want that on my desktop. Then again AMD seems to be surrendering the desktop CPU market in favor of APUs so its not really an issue.

So is Intel. Last I heard AMD has not announced their plans for the other processor line or stopped R&D though.

Have you tried hardware running an AMD APU? Like Intel's Celeron and Pentium lines, they aren't for high-end/hard-core users or niche-ware; they are for everyday folks running everyday software (from Office to most games - they even support Hyper-V). Dismissing AMD's APUs is arrogant and silly - fortunately, that attitude is not present at Intel, which isn't taking the threat of AMD APUs lying down - and it shouldn't.

PGHammer said,
they aren't for high-end/hard-core users

I think with Kaveri and Mantle they'll start to challenge that assertion. Admittedly they aren't going to be that far in overnight, but things are looking great.