Editorial

Android apps on a Windows PC is an OEM gimmick, waste of time

A trend at CES 2014 was for OEMs to start bundling Android with their Windows PCs. It kind of makes sense, I think, as it will expand the value of a traditional PC but really, who is the target market here and what are the actual benefits?

What we saw at CES was AMD, Intel and many of the OEMs that build Windows laptops and desktops, trying to bundle Android into their machines to some capacity. It could either be a dual boot situation like what ASUS showed off or allowing Android apps to run inside of Windows using a virtualized environment but…why?

It’s easy to understand why OEMs are looking at alternative ways to boost sales because the PC market is contracting. In fact, in 2013, sales contracted by 10% over 2012 which is the biggest contraction in the market since firms started tracking PC sales.

It would be easy to point the finger at Microsoft and say they aren’t doing enough to spur on the sales of PCs with Windows 8.1 but the fact is, consumers are buying PC replacements, such as tablets and smartphones, which is what is undercutting PC sales.

The idea of running Android apps on a Windows machine is somewhat logical as Android now has a massive footprint in the mobile segment. What doesn’t seem to make much sense is that mobile Android apps are designed for mobile devices not PCs with a mouse and keyboard or even a touchscreen laptop as the resolution in the displays are dramatically different. And if you are going to argue that Android tablet apps would be more relevant, can you name a killer Android tablet app that doesn't have an alternative in the Windows store or heck, any application that will run on Windows? 

If you want to draw a parallel as to why OEMs are looking to add Android to PCs to spice things up, take a look at 3DTV. 3DTV was used as a way to make a product look premium, adding Android apps to Windows PCs is the same thing. But we all know how 3DTV worked out and I would hedge that Android apps on Windows PCs are going down the exact same route.

For common tasks, such as web browsing and checking email, tablets and smartphones are a better tool that are less cumbersome for the consumer. Because we now have so many ways to browse the web, buying a new PC every few years is no longer needed since we get a new cellphone, generally speaking, every two years or so. This is the logical reason behind the decline, as opposed to strictly blaming Microsoft, which seems to be the cool thing to do.

The idea that PCs are completely going away is also a bit ludicrous too. Sure the market is contracting, but Excel, Photoshop, accounting, report writing and other functions will need a traditional PC for the foreseeable future. But do these markets needs Android apps, heck no. We may have peaked in terms of annual sales, but that does not mean the PC market is dead.

Transformer Book Duet runs Windows 8.1 or Android 4.2.2

So are Android apps really going to help combat this decline and push vendors to sell more PCs? Probably not, because they are not addressing the fundamental reason consumers are not buying a PC. When was the last time you heard someone say “I’d buy this laptop, but it doesn’t run this Android app that I must have?” Heck, even if the previous statement had been said, you have been able to run Android apps for sometime on a Windows PC using Bluestacks, which makes all of the above a moot point.

It’s not all awash, the dual-boot scenario that you see on transforming devices such as the ASUS model posted above make a bit of sense. Seeing that Windows has the laptop/desktop market share on under its belt and Android has strong roots in the mobile segment, this scenario does seem logical, but is not a perfect solution either. You have to admit that jumping between two operating systems on one device is a pain in the butt as your settings, files, and even web browsing history do not always transfer flawlessly. What makes more sense, is to have one OS that can do both, PC tasks and tablet tasks…. like Windows 8.1

What I am saying is, Android on a PC with Windows is nothing more than a cheap marketing gimmick that OEMs hope will boost sales. The practicality of the feature, minus the dual-boot scenarios on a tablet that kind-of make sense in an off-handed way, is not there. At this point, OEMs are throwing anything with a buzzword into their machines to help move them rather than focusing on quality, innovative products... but that’s nothing new.

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I have a client that they use an Android app that does a marketing stuff for they; they don't have Android phones and it woun't make sense, just for that app (the desktop version is way expensive). So they use bluestacks, runs somewhat slow but it serves that app to them with little cost.

so much hate on bluestacks.....

as long as you have fast processor and enough memory. it runs great.

it maybe a gimmick. but its more fun playing the games on pc with keyboard and mouse then with touch

Yeah, it's sort of a waste. If it were up to me, if I were to be an OEM I would set up a tablet to run SteamOS with Ekiga Softphone and have an Android application emulator with a very cut-down version of Android that allowed for the Play Store to only be functional, as well compatibility software for Android beam. Since Android is open source, an OEM could in theory do SteamOS, Linux Mint or Ubuntu and get away with shipping a Google Play app, which I would assume would be renamed to something like Google Market, a "Beam receiver" for NFC via Android Beam and an application to run Android applications within their own separate instance of Android, or in a cut-down Android desktop that has only a home screen and access to Play.

I tried BlueStacks awhile back.. very unimpressed.
It runs an older version of android OS, but the play store did not work, and I couldn't buy or install any apps.
On top of that, the system was buggy in that you couldn't even deactivate your account from BlueStacks.. so that means under Google Device manager, it will forever see that you have a device registered to BlueStacks

If you ever reinstall BlueStacks again, well, it will register as a new BlueStacks device under your account. Very unfriendly to say the least

Brad, as much as I love your reviews I have to disagree on this one.

Now that "Kaveri" (AMD's new gen APU - realsed in 14'th Jan) has an ARM co-processor I think this is actually a nifty feature. While to this day all apps and the system itself had to be emulated which caused slowdowns etc I might agreed but now...not so much. I'd actually love to try it out myself but I don't think my current E2 CPU can handle it

>>Android apps on a Windows PC is an OEM gimmick, waste of time

Disagree. See below.

>>allowing Android apps to run inside of Windows using a virtualized environment but…why?

Why not? I would love to see a virtualized Android environment running as a guest OS on my machine. I have been trying to run android-x86 for Asus Eee PC on VirtualBox 4.x as a guest with varying degrees of success. The latest ISO builds for android-x86 4.2 for Asus Eee PC don't want to install, so I am out of luck. I would also love to install and run the Android apps and games I see and heard about on TV and the Internet that I can't run in Windows, i.e. the WWE app comes to mind since I am a wrestling fan.

>>The idea of running Android apps on a Windows machine is somewhat logical as Android now has a massive footprint in the mobile segment. What doesn't seem to make much sense is that mobile Android apps are designed for mobile devices not PCs with a mouse and keyboard or even a touchscreen laptop as the resolution in the displays are dramatically different.

Agreed. In VirtualBox the keyboard and mouse are already detected with android-x86 4.0 for Asus Eee PC, so no problem there. The problem I do have is there no Wi-Fi support, only Ethernet. The latest source is android-x86 4.4 kitkat. I don't have the time and patience to setup the environment and compile because I heard the build is buggy and the author gives no support.

>>At the end of the day, the problem isn't Android apps, it's the implementation. Being able to run Android apps natively inside Windows would be a much better solution than all this virtualization and dual booting nonsense. I think it's incorrect to say that the whole endeavour is a waste of time though.

@Majesticmerc - Agreed.

Not so ridiculous - and here's why; other than the MAYBE one or two applications that use a lot of (if you're a home user, they are non-casual games, more likely than not - Outlook, Word, or even Excel aren't going to tax an i3, let alone an i5, heavily in home usage), your desktop-formfactor (or laptop, or notebook, or x64 tablet) is loafing most of the time, and for two reasons: most everyday applications, or even utilities, don't use much in the way of CPU power, and an utter lack of casual games - especially compared to Android or iOS. (Example: PopCap is one of the largest, if not THE largest, developer of casual games for browsers and Windows; that is why EA acquired them in the first place. Since EA acquired them, where has PopCap's focus gone? To Android and iOS, more so than Windows - including ModernUI. Right there with them are Zynga and Plarium - in fact, neither Zynga or Plarium has ANY presence in either ModernUI or Win32 casual gaming, for that matter. If any application category is the Achilles heel of Windows as a whole, casual gaming is.) The lack of casual games is not just a ModernUI problem, but a WINDOWS problem, as there are few new casual games even for Win32 - even the lighter indie games on Steam aren't exactly casual. BlueStacks (current version) will run any Android app or casual game that supports Ice Cream Sandwich - which is most of them. (That is only two versions back - and more than a third of phones, and over half of tablets, are STILL running ICS, due to inability to upgrade to JellyBean, let alone KitKat.) BlueStacks (despite running as an emulator atop Windows) is faster than real Android hardware (tablets OR phones) in two areas - networking (remember, BlueStacks uses your existing Internet connection of your desktop - if you have a wired gigabit connection there, you'll smoke ANY tablet or phone video-surfing) and RAM - if you have merely 4 GB of RAM, then BlueStacks has 1 GB to itself - the amount that most Android tablets do; if you have more, BlueStacks ramps up RAM usage accordingly. At merely 8 GB of system RAM (where BlueStacks reserves 2 GB to itself) that is MORE than most tablets - or any smartphone). Still, even with 2 GB reserved, you can still run other software in the background *alongside* BlueStacks - this is something I do all the time, and on a Q6600; there is absolutely zero reason why a later Intel or AMD dual-core or better CPU can't do so. (I have 4 GB of RAM - so I'm at the low end of the system RAM curve among Neowinians on desktops.)

PGHammer said,
Not so ridiculous - and here's why; other than the MAYBE one or two applications that use a lot of (if you're a home user, they are non-casual games, more likely than not - Outlook, Word, or even Excel aren't going to tax an i3, let alone an i5, heavily in home usage), your desktop-formfactor (or laptop, or notebook, or x64 tablet) is loafing most of the time, and for two reasons: most everyday applications, or even utilities, don't use much in the way of CPU power, and an utter lack of casual games - especially compared to Android or iOS. (Example: PopCap is one of the largest, if not THE largest, developer of casual games for browsers and Windows; that is why EA acquired them in the first place. Since EA acquired them, where has PopCap's focus gone? To Android and iOS, more so than Windows - including ModernUI. Right there with them are Zynga and Plarium - in fact, neither Zynga or Plarium has ANY presence in either ModernUI or Win32 casual gaming, for that matter. If any application category is the Achilles heel of Windows as a whole, casual gaming is.) The lack of casual games is not just a ModernUI problem, but a WINDOWS problem, as there are few new casual games even for Win32 - even the lighter indie games on Steam aren't exactly casual. BlueStacks (current version) will run any Android app or casual game that supports Ice Cream Sandwich - which is most of them. (That is only two versions back - and more than a third of phones, and over half of tablets, are STILL running ICS, due to inability to upgrade to JellyBean, let alone KitKat.) BlueStacks (despite running as an emulator atop Windows) is faster than real Android hardware (tablets OR phones) in two areas - networking (remember, BlueStacks uses your existing Internet connection of your desktop - if you have a wired gigabit connection there, you'll smoke ANY tablet or phone video-surfing) and RAM - if you have merely 4 GB of RAM, then BlueStacks has 1 GB to itself - the amount that most Android tablets do; if you have more, BlueStacks ramps up RAM usage accordingly. At merely 8 GB of system RAM (where BlueStacks reserves 2 GB to itself) that is MORE than most tablets - or any smartphone). Still, even with 2 GB reserved, you can still run other software in the background *alongside* BlueStacks - this is something I do all the time, and on a Q6600; there is absolutely zero reason why a later Intel or AMD dual-core or better CPU can't do so. (I have 4 GB of RAM - so I'm at the low end of the system RAM curve among Neowinians on desktops.)

Paragraphs are your friend.

I would prefer a PS2 emulator instead.

There are PS2 emulators for Windows (such as ePSXe and PCSX2 - either will run on Windows 8.1 just fine, and neither stomps on BlueStacks, or any other Android emulator.

so let me get this strait this is how I see it .....wernt the windows haters saying that they don't want metro app on their computer because its hard and non productive when all they have to press a button to get to the desktop. but wait when OEMS are all to put android apps on computers the google supporters jump up and down saying its great and a great step forward when they are apps that are basicly the same thing as metro apps just google... all of them were just saying no I don't want apps on my computer because its a tablet but change their attitude when android is on board ....wtf or they just hate metro just for the fun of it -.- either way I don't want to have to do this on every new machine I have to go work on when a client calls me

I like the idea as I can play some android games on pc and it easier and faster then on my 2 year old phone or galaxy tab 2. my computer has no problem run bluestack and it runs fast on my system.

dont know why its a wast of time. if I decided to play all the angry birds games, I can just use bluestack instead of going to my browser and going to facebook or another site to pay and play.

maybe it wasting time by playing games......

I can see Android and/or Chrome soon becoming huge on PC's. Most 'normal'* people don't care about the OS, they care mainly about cost and then what they can do on the machine. These days email and web use are the most important tasks. The need for Office is overrated for most non business or corporate people. These days people expect the OS to be FREE. In the future and starting now if your OS is not free you will have problems gaining traction.

*People who don't read tech blogs, people not like us.

Android on any laptop or pc with a touch screen or a tablet is not "just a gimmick." If anything, they need to make a version of Bluestacks that runs on Windows RT as well, so that all versions of Windows can use it. While you shouldn't be using it to run crap like Pinterest, Facebook, or pretty much anything that has a Windows app, there are still a ton of games on Android that have not been ported to Windows yet as well as other potentially useful apps (for instance, the Android ComicRack reader is a far better reader on a touch screen than the Windows desktop version).

I agree that it may not be too useful in its first incarnation, but they have to try something, and they have to start somewhere. This was quick and easy to get up and running, and I have no doubt they will refine the experience. Not really meant for power users who are already guaranteed to buy new PCs, but casual users.

Funny about how they mention the apps are not designed for the desktop, this was mostly the argument against Metro and Modern apps. I tend to agree with that, but like I said it's not for me, but a casual user.

Hello,

The only thing I like about this is there will be more and more driver developers which means more and more varients of devices that can run Android...

All in all, this is not very good for Microsoft at all. Microsoft Windows has everything to lose here and if this practice continues, you can watch MS Windows market share fall. Especially if it comes to price. If an Android/Windows PC costs $100-$200 more than an sole Android PC (an open source system), people will spurn Windows. What Windows fans fail to realize (because they don't pay attention to the other side), Android is just going to get better. The ecosystem Google is building is exciting and visionary. Windows can't because they have to worry about legacy software.

I bet you, that if Microsoft had their way, they would do away with Windows and develop Surface (as in RT, not Surface Pro). They know, THAT'S the FUTURE of the company. That is where the market and technology is heading. Even Apple knows it. There are even rumors of an iOS desktop computer.

Well, anyway, like I said....Android & Windows in one machine isn't a good deal for Microsoft.

Would not call it a gimmick, some of the most fun and addictive simple small games i have played are only on android or ios with no windows port.

Also apps like Whatsapp, KIK messenger and a few other social tools are handy to have on PC and your phone (for days when you are in the office phone is left at home or needs a charge.)

Can see many good reasons for it most defiantly not a gimmick.

A couple of things:

1. In regards to 3DTV....3D is not a product, rather it's a feature. Therefore connection between 3DTV and Android:PC cannot be made.

2. There basically is no more real need for Windows machines, unless if there is a critical need for legacy software. That's because everything can be done on the web. Word Processing, Spreadsheets, and imaging manipulation and even accounting can be done online. Heck, if one needs any of the Office Products, Microsoft has Office web apps for free. Quickbooks has a whole accounting system online.

Thing is, the OEMs have to do something, or the new-PC market WILL continue to contract. First off, the planned obsolescence that OEMs have counted on isn't there any more - any PC that came with Windows 7 (and a lot of them that came with Windows Vista) can run Windows 8.1 - as is - now. No hardware changes required. (That is practically the entirety of 2007's launched PC hardware.) Second, look at what's in Windows 8 that absolutely requires new hardware - it's two features, and both of those are outliers. (The two features are touch support and Hyper-V - touch support is the biggest outlier of the two.) Thirdly, speaking as someone that builds PCs - for myself; not for others so much - I evaluate hardware AND software based on how well it works together. Most of the critics of Windows 8 and 8.1 - not to mention ModernUI - criticize it for what it lacks that Windows 7 kept - specifically, the Start menu. I never said that I wasn't skeptical of Windows 8 at first - I pointed out that when the Windows 8 Developer Preview merely leaked, I was a major skeptic. I used the release of said Developer Preview to run it in dual-boot mode and finished that portion of the testing no longer a skeptic - for the rather simple reason that desktop applications, games, etc., largely kept right on working as normal. Basically, desktop software runs as well as it did in 7, if not better. Even more critical, the Start menu was gone, and no longer a major and massive in-the-face distraction. (When the pointing device detracts from the keyboard, that is a major problem, and it's one that the Start menu has ALWAYS had, and with each new version of Windows with the Start menu, it's gotten worse. While I'm a keyboard AND pointing device user, I'd rather NOT see one detract from the other.) I use BlueStacks for two purposes - evaluating casual Android-based software, and playing casual games - let's face facts, Android has it all over Windows - ModernUI included - in terms of casual gaming; even EA has more casual games on Android than on Windows - including browser-based games. The current version of BlueStacks is based on Ice Cream Sandwich - not Honeycomb, which was the case with the original version; the newer version is far less crash-happy, and runs more software than the previous version. BlueStacks works, and works darn well - even on my old Q6600 - think of how much better it would perform with an i5, and not even a Haswell-based i5 - to get CPU cycles from. If you are worried about Google Play on BlueStacks, it DOES work - Google Play is how I download most of my software in BlueStacks for Android. (Therefore, so much for supporting Android software on Windows.)

So metro mobile apps on desktops are awesome, but android mobile apps on desktops are terrible? That doesn't make much sen...oh wait I forgot Android isn't a Microsoft product.

Bumblefly said,
So metro mobile apps on desktops are awesome, but android mobile apps on desktops are terrible? That doesn't make much sen...oh wait I forgot Android isn't a Microsoft product.

Metro apps were made to run on multiple devices. Android apps aren't. Hell, they're not even mostly made for tablets, which Brad points out in the article.

Some of the metro apps are indeed awesome on the desktop, most are not. At the very least, the support for input on a typical desktop is there, this cannot be claimed for android apps, as these are designed for touch only.

As said earlier, I can see the point in running android apps on a Windows tablet, (not for me personally, as I believe the metro store has enough of them available, and since the browser runs most websites, the vast majority of apps aren't needed in any case), running them on a non touch based desktop or laptop doesn't make much sense.

Dot Matrix said,

Metro apps were made to run on multiple devices. Android apps aren't. Hell, they're not even mostly made for tablets, which Brad points out in the article.


Brad is wrong, he clearly doesn't know what he's talking about and as this is an editorial I guess he gets a pass. Android apps ARE made to run on multiple devices, the different resolutions and pixel densities as well as different input devices have been part of Android for quite some time. There is only one official Android store for phones and tablets which is more than you can say for Metro where phones use one store and tablets use another. MS is working to fix that but Android is already there. Android has mouse and keyboard support and TVs and other devices will be using the same Android app store now that Google TV has been phased out. Given it's greater use on touch devices (phones and tablets) Android makes MUCH more sense if you want to add touch apps to your desktop/laptop then repurchasing everything in Metro. I've not used specific implementations though so maybe the are all buggy and not worth using but the CONCEPT is sound and this article isn't about a specific solution it's just about "Android Apps on a Windows PC"

Dot Matrix said,

Metro apps were made to run on multiple devices. Android apps aren't. Hell, they're not even mostly made for tablets, which Brad points out in the article.

And like you, Brad is painfully ignorant. Not only are there plenty of tablet optimised apps on the Play store, even those that aren't optimised are upscaled pretty well, they look far better than Metro apps and the ridiculous amount of screen space they waste anyway.

neufuse said,
maybe with android support, Windows will finally have some programs to run on it </sarcasim>

I see the sarcasim and like it =). However, maybe I can actually run a gmail app or google drive app now on my windows tablet. The only piece missing for me . Until I get out of Google all together that is =)...

I strongly disagree with this article. The idea of Android apps on Windows is a good idea to compete with Metro (or whatever it's called now). It's not intended to compete with traditional desktop apps that are mouse/keyboard centric. As such the focus IS on touch oriented apps which is exactly what Android apps are. Furthermore the Android App store is not segregated between tablets and phones like the MS ecosystem and so there are MANY apps that are made for tablets which would work just find on a touchscreen desktop and laptop. Most 5" Android phones are 1080p so the resolutions aren't even that much different as this is the most common desktop/laptop resolution now. Having to dual boot is a hack or run in a virtualized window however if the apps run seemlessly on the desktop right beside desktop and even metro apps then it's a great idea. With Android having a huge percentage of the mobile market and Android's unified store it would be very nice to be able to run apps you've bought for your phone and/or tablet on your laptop/desktop as well. As for the MS store there are MANY major apps that aren't in the MS app store but lets pretend for a moment that every one of your Android apps from your Phone has a Metro equivalent for your laptop/desktop... do your really want to repurchase every one of them? I'd rather buy the app once in one store and have it work on my phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop. Android on Windows allows that to happen.

The question would be why ? I can understand one might want to run Android apps on a Windows tablet, but it makes no sense to run them on a desktop. And let's get a bit of reality here, the number of Android apps is nothing compared to the millions of win32 apps on the desktop, most of them aren't even apps but applications, real applications.

Why did MS create Metro? I'll say it again. The point is to compete with Metro apps NOT desktop apps. How do touch oriented metro apps make sense but not android ones? Android apps on Desktops/Laptops make just as much sense as Metro apps. Now I personally don't want touch on my desktop/laptop so I don't like either (which is why I'm still on Windows 7) however I can see the point for those who do and I know if that's the way things go and I eventually have to move to touch on my desktop/laptop I'd rather keep using the apps I've already bought on my Android phone/tablet then have to repurchase them all in Metro variants.

Actually, metro apps ARE usable with keyboard and mouse. Microsoft didn't create metro apps to run on the desktop, and they aren't desktop apps, they are metro apps.

These metro apps are used on a tablet and in some cases they make sense on a desktop (the remote desktop app is a prime example), but they aren't a viable choice when you run Windows on a desktop.

It isn't rocket science, on my desktop I mainly run desktop apps, whilst on my Windows tablet I actually run metro apps.

That's why I said that I can understand running Android apps on my tablet, yet it makes no sense to run them on my desktop.

My closing statement would indeed be that running metro apps on the desktop makes slightly more sense than running Android apps, the reasons are that metro apps are better with keyboard and mouse and they sure as hell scale better.

Asmodai said,
I strongly disagree with this article. The idea of Android apps on Windows is a good idea to compete with Metro (or whatever it's called now).

That honestly makes no sense what so ever. Intel has no stake in Android, why shove it into PCs where it has no purpose? I run WINDOWS. Not Linux. You don't turn around and bit the hand that feeds you.

sjaak327 said,
Actually, metro apps ARE usable with keyboard and mouse. Microsoft didn't create metro apps to run on the desktop, and they aren't desktop apps, they are metro apps.

These metro apps are used on a tablet and in some cases they make sense on a desktop (the remote desktop app is a prime example), but they aren't a viable choice when you run Windows on a desktop.

It isn't rocket science, on my desktop I mainly run desktop apps, whilst on my Windows tablet I actually run metro apps.

That's why I said that I can understand running Android apps on my tablet, yet it makes no sense to run them on my desktop.

My closing statement would indeed be that running metro apps on the desktop makes slightly more sense than running Android apps, the reasons are that metro apps are better with keyboard and mouse and they sure as hell scale better.

Also, they're NATIVE applications.

Dot Matrix said,

That honestly makes no sense what so ever. Intel has no stake in Android, why shove it into PCs where it has no purpose? I run WINDOWS. Not Linux. You don't turn around and bit the hand that feeds you.


What are you talking about? I didn't say anything about Intel. Furthermore you are wrong anyway as Android does run on Intel, Intel is a member of the Open Handset Alliance, and Intel is quite active in Android development. Intel supports non-MS OS's just as MS develops on non-Intel platforms.

A couple of rebuttals:


The idea of running Android apps on a Windows machine is somewhat logical as Android now has a massive footprint in the mobile segment. What doesn't seem to make much sense is that mobile Android apps are designed for mobile devices not PCs with a mouse and keyboard or even a touchscreen laptop as the resolution in the displays are dramatically different.

Do you also think that Windows apps are a bad idea then? The vast majority (and in my experience all) Metro apps are much better with a touch screen than with a keyboard and mouse. Granted, Windows apps tend to scale better than Android apps, but there are plenty of tablet-capable Android apps that function perfectly well at bigger resolutions.


What makes more sense, is to have one OS that can do both, PC tasks and tablet tasks…. like Windows 8.1

Okay fair point, one solution is better than a hacked on afterthought. However, there are many more apps for Android than there are for Windows, and the user's paid-for apps in Android have to be re-purchased in the Windows store for equivalent functionality on Windows. Providing the user the ability to run Android apps on their Windows PC allows the user to potentially save money by allowing them to re-download their existing app collection onto their Windows machine. And even though it's just apps, it also provides them with the familiarity of the apps they're used to.

----

At the end of the day, the problem isn't Android apps, it's the implementation. Being able to run Android apps natively inside Windows would be a much better solution than all this virtualization and dual booting nonsense. I think it's incorrect to say that the whole endeavour is a waste of time though.

Majesticmerc said,
A couple of rebuttals:

Do you also think that Windows apps are a bad idea then? The vast majority (and in my experience all) Metro apps are much better with a touch screen than with a keyboard and mouse. Granted, Windows apps tend to scale better than Android apps, but there are plenty of tablet-capable Android apps that function perfectly well at bigger resolutions.

Okay fair point, one solution is better than a hacked on afterthought. However, there are many more apps for Android than there are for Windows, and the user's paid-for apps in Android have to be re-purchased in the Windows store for equivalent functionality on Windows. Providing the user the ability to run Android apps on their Windows PC allows the user to potentially save money by allowing them to re-download their existing app collection onto their Windows machine. And even though it's just apps, it also provides them with the familiarity of the apps they're used to.

----

At the end of the day, the problem isn't Android apps, it's the implementation. Being able to run Android apps natively inside Windows would be a much better solution than all this virtualization and dual booting nonsense. I think it's incorrect to say that the whole endeavour is a waste of time though.

What's wrong with running Windows Phone apps inside the OS? Windows 8 already has this. Now the issue of full screen and navigation without the start menu and bottom dock is where the controversy comes in. Not the apps themselves. I see this as redundant and if rumors are true and Windows 9 will have a touch-first, and mouse-first UI that can do both then I see no need for Android apps and it is something XP users can feel comfortable leaving as this stopped as soon as 8 came out.

sinetheo said,

What's wrong with running Windows Phone apps inside the OS? Windows 8 already has this. Now the issue of full screen and navigation without the start menu and bottom dock is where the controversy comes in. Not the apps themselves. I see this as redundant and if rumors are true and Windows 9 will have a touch-first, and mouse-first UI that can do both then I see no need for Android apps and it is something XP users can feel comfortable leaving as this stopped as soon as 8 came out.

There's nothing wrong with Windows Phone apps running in the OS, if you're willing to concede that there's also no problem running Android apps in the OS. Users may want access to their Android app catalogue on Windows for reasons other than native support (not having to re-purchase being one, availability being another).

Bring iPhone apps to PC. I want to play the non-lag version of FFT War of The Lions. (lagged like hell on PSP, but worked perfectly on iPhone). How the hell does this happen?

I dont know. Would be handy for App testing for the Android platform. Plus those who want to use Apps they cannot yet get on Windows. Once the Windows app store catches up, then I dont think there is an need or want for this. Until then, some may find it handy.

I tried this and for tables it isn't too bad. but consumers already find desktop and metro universes too much to handle and now android as a VM or secondary OS is just too much for most people.

the problem is that android is so primitive and simplified as a desktop OS that it just doesn't work with a keyboard and mouse. Apps are too touch centric and fall apart, and android's UI isn't customized for keyboards. there are no shortcuts, no standardized window management cues, nothing. I think windows 8 was ways to go touch wise but android is miles away from being a suitable desktop or laptop OS.

so I agree, it is a gimmick. realistically what MSFT needs to do is just give away windows client. first of all most of their money comes from the enterprise anyway which will never get rid of desktop, second, windows isn't even a top earner, not even second earner at MSFT. They can probably profit more from using it as a Trojan horse the way google does with android.

people aren't buying pcs/laptop as much as the ones they already own work fine and probably running windows7. they just don't need to be upgraded to run windows/office/chrome smoothly

also, pc makers have been using the same crappy plastic, thick cases, mediocre batteries, crappy screen designs for years and consumers aren't turned on by that. MS surface is the only unique PC i like but I'd rather have a macbook air and bootcamp windows if I really wanted windows7.

phones and tablets get cooler, faster, better screen ppi every year while laptops looks almost the same as they did in 2008

The problem, at this point, is that Bluestacks runs like crap and is buggy. It's almost usable on my desktop PC w/ an i7, but anything less and it's a lag/crash-fest.

I just don't see it ever working really well, being that it's virtualized. And dual-booting just isn't convenient.

Astra.Xtreme said,
The problem, at this point, is that Bluestacks runs like crap and is buggy. It's almost usable on my desktop PC w/ an i7, but anything less and it's a lag/crash-fest.

I just don't see it ever working really well, being that it's virtualized. And dual-booting just isn't convenient.

That's odd. I'm running it on an older Intel Q6600 processor, and it handles the app beautifully.

Astra.Xtreme said,
The problem, at this point, is that Bluestacks runs like crap and is buggy. It's almost usable on my desktop PC w/ an i7, but anything less and it's a lag/crash-fest.

t.

I run Android through Google's Android SDK and anything ARM related makes my computer fans extremely loud but it is an older phenomII 2.6 ghz. I image you were running ARM compiled apps where your cpu had to emulate it to get it to run? Anyone verify if bluestacks does hit? Otherwise I play with my development in the x86 android phone emulators but I would not call this something the average Joe would want.

I just don't see it ever working really well, being that it's virtualized. And dual-booting just isn't convenien

I agree. If I'm using a PC why would I want to run mobile apps? The reason mobile apps came into existence was to overcome the limitations of phones/tablets. Completely unnecessary on a PC.

It's like when I buy a Blu-ray and it includes a DVD as well. When would I ever watch that instead of the BD?

Lord Method Man said,
I agree. If I'm using a PC why would I want to run mobile apps? The reason mobile apps came into existence was to overcome the limitations of phones/tablets. Completely unnecessary on a PC.

It's like when I buy a Blu-ray and it includes a DVD as well. When would I ever watch that instead of the BD?

I started messing around with Bluestacks because the Android devices I have suck (they were gifts). It provides an outlet to try apps out that aren't available for Windows 8/RT/Phone yet. Also somewhat for training as I'm seeing more tech support opportunities desire some level of Android experience.

Lord Method Man said,

It's like when I buy a Blu-ray and it includes a DVD as well. When would I ever watch that instead of the BD?

I prefer the combo packs. I only have a Bluray on my big living room TV, so if I want to watch the movie in my bedroom, I need the DVD. It's also useful for taking to a friend's house to watch with them, if they don't have a BluRay player.

Similarly, I don't see any harm in the added option of being able to run Android apps on my computer. But I wouldn't go out of my way or spend extra to get a system with that capability, either. I don't have a burning need to play "Bad Piggies" on my laptop.

Now a PSP emulator, OTOH . . . Yes please!

Lord Method Man said,
I agree. If I'm using a PC why would I want to run mobile apps? The reason mobile apps came into existence was to overcome the limitations of phones/tablets. Completely unnecessary on a PC.

It's like when I buy a Blu-ray and it includes a DVD as well. When would I ever watch that instead of the BD?

For Android developers to test possible desktop versions of apps? For computing enthusiasts who occasionally like to experiment with OSs other than Windows? For people in general that want to access info in an Android app that they've bought (that requires signing in)?

There are some really good apps out there unique to the Android platform. If I could run these without having to pull out my Android phone, that would be handy.

I disagree. I would love to have some battery sucking, ad galored, Google spyware, all running 100% cpu utilization in emulation as 95% of the apps are ARM compiled, with my non touch screen. Wouldn't you?

sinetheo said,
I disagree. I would love to have some battery sucking, ad galored, Google spyware, all running 100% cpu utilization in emulation as 95% of the apps are ARM compiled, with my non touch screen. Wouldn't you?

I'll take 10!!!

Javik said,
I'd love it if ignorant shills actually learned about how Android works before dissing it.

I do. I bought the first Galaxy S1 before they hit it big later on. Buggy, slow, and when I found out Kitkat dispays ads when I freaking use the phone directory I had it! I have a Nokia now and it is worlds better.

Javik said,
I'd love it if ignorant shills actually learned about how Android works before dissing it.

You might as well ask too much of him while you're at it!

sinetheo said,
I disagree. I would love to have some battery sucking, ad galored, Google spyware, all running 100% cpu utilization in emulation as 95% of the apps are ARM compiled, with my non touch screen. Wouldn't you?

awesome

Javik said,
I'd love it if ignorant shills actually learned about how Android works before dissing it.

Haters love to hate dont they

sinetheo said,

I do. I bought the first Galaxy S1 before they hit it big later on. Buggy, slow, and when I found out Kitkat dispays ads when I freaking use the phone directory I had it! I have a Nokia now and it is worlds better.

Have you bought any other Android phones sense the S1? That was almost 4 years ago...night and day since then.

And ads have always been a part of that. If anyone is complaining about ads on an android device, they are complaining just to complain.

sinetheo said,
when I found out Kitkat dispays ads when I freaking use the phone directory I had it!

WTF? you serious?

techbeck said,

Have you bought any other Android phones sense the S1? That was almost 4 years ago...night and day since then.

And ads have always been a part of that. If anyone is complaining about ads on an android device, they are complaining just to complain.

Yes, I had a Galaxy S4 for a total of 5 days. Much improved. I returned it as my contract came to a sudden end at work and I needed the extra cash. :-(

Galaxy S4 battery was atrocious, the ads drove me nuts as it was, it was expensive, and as I learn web development I am not liking -webkit CSS extensions. Android still slows down over time with Winrot or I should say Android rot.

fast forward to last month when I was in a position to upgrade. KitKat now has ads in the dang phone directory now! That is ridiculous. I was exciting over the xboxone and other technologies. I bought a Nokia 820 and I love it. Even with the poor battery life in my model I have double the battery live and half the cost of the S4. WinPhone runs better on the same hardware. MS has really improved and people do not give credit for that as I would never in 1 million years get a WinCE device when they were hot 6 years ago.

sinetheo said,
I disagree. I would love to have some battery sucking, ad galored, Google spyware, all running 100% cpu utilization in emulation as 95% of the apps are ARM compiled, with my non touch screen. Wouldn't you?

Just to correct you a bit there, AMD is adding a seperate ARM core to some of their APUs which will run ARM code natively, not emulate it.

techbeck said,

Haters love to hate dont they

Well this is a Windows oriented forum. If you want to love Android/Gnu-linux and bash MS there is always the anti-neowin called slashdot.org where such a comment like mine would be modded down to -1 troll fast.

I have an account there too but I am tired of hearing them bash anything MS related and how great their unstable non true type font hinting, os is going to finally take over the desktop. But pick your poison. This is my opinion and I do not like Android after using it for 3 years.

sinetheo said,

Thats just Samsung and not Android as a whole. People like to think Samsung means Android since Samsung is the leader in Android sales. They load their phones with TW and a bunch of other junk.

For the past couple of years, the Nexus devices started getting great battery life. The N4, N5, and now the LG G2 all get great battery life.

sinetheo said,

Well this is a Windows oriented forum. If you want to love Android/Gnu-linux and bash MS there is always the anti-neowin called slashdot.org where such a comment like mine would be modded down to -1 troll fast.

I have an account there too but I am tired of hearing them bash anything MS related and how great their unstable non true type font hinting, os is going to finally take over the desktop. But pick your poison. This is my opinion and I do not like Android after using it for 3 years.

This is a technology forum, and you are a troll.

Try stock Android on the GS4 and you'll see how well it actually works. I'll grant you that Samsung add a lot of crap to their Android devices, the problem is that you're passing that onto Android itsellf. I'll reassert that you're an ignorant shill.

techbeck said,

Thats just Samsung and not Android as a whole. People like to think Samsung means Android since Samsung is the leader in Android sales. They load their phones with TW and a bunch of other junk.

For the past couple of years, the Nexus devices started getting great battery life. The N4, N5, and now the LG G2 all get great battery life.

Not to mention, no such things called ADS anywhere on a 'Nexus' device. I wouldn't even think there would be ads on ANY stock phone, must have installed some 'free' app that is now spamming his (ex) S4.

Ive owned Android since G1 days, since birth of Android. Never once have I had any 'astronomical' CPU usage, ram usage, or ADS in wrong places. Only if you were a dummy like many Windows users and download/click everything, then yes you will get ADS all over the place. Its called free advertising for these spammers. Follow the same safety rules as you would with Windows (don't click everything you see and dont download every app in the app market) and Android will run flawless with NO ads! That was something you did. Don't blame Android for something you did. I have NOT seen ONE AD in KitKat since it came out (and I been using it).

It always comes down to common sense. If you want to download a 'cand7crush' app, that's probably your own fault for not seeing its the official dev. and just downloading it without paying attention. That's life in general. Got to pay attention to what your doing, else you can end up with 'ADS'.

theslam08 said,

Not to mention, no such things called ADS anywhere on a 'Nexus' device. I wouldn't even think there would be ads on ANY stock phone, must have installed some 'free' app that is now spamming his (ex) S4.

Looked up the same thing. The ad code in the program was old code which Google responded to and stated. Google also said they had no plans in adding ads to the dialer.

sinetheo said,
I disagree. I would love to have some battery sucking, ad galored, Google spyware, all running 100% cpu utilization in emulation as 95% of the apps are ARM compiled, with my non touch screen. Wouldn't you?

I don't know for sure, but I would expect BlueStacks to run the x86 version of Android, not the ARM version. But even then it doesn't matter because from my understanding Android apps aren't compiled for a specific CPU architecture anyway. Again I could be mistaken...

sinetheo said,

Yes, I had a Galaxy S4 for a total of 5 days. Much improved. I returned it as my contract came to a sudden end at work and I needed the extra cash. :-(

Galaxy S4 battery was atrocious, the ads drove me nuts as it was, it was expensive, and as I learn web development I am not liking -webkit CSS extensions. Android still slows down over time with Winrot or I should say Android rot.

fast forward to last month when I was in a position to upgrade. KitKat now has ads in the dang phone directory now! That is ridiculous. I was exciting over the xboxone and other technologies. I bought a Nokia 820 and I love it. Even with the poor battery life in my model I have double the battery live and half the cost of the S4. WinPhone runs better on the same hardware. MS has really improved and people do not give credit for that as I would never in 1 million years get a WinCE device when they were hot 6 years ago.

Sorry where is the ads on the phone directory?
I only know of the Google's Caller ID which seems a bit of useful but it does not disrupt me at all.

http://www.androidpolice.com/2...4-google-personal-accounts/


And... Galaxy S4's battery is considered above average.
http://blog.gsmarena.com/samsu...date-battery-life-improved/

techbeck said,

Looked up the same thing. The ad code in the program was old code which Google responded to and stated. Google also said they had no plans in adding ads to the dialer.

I guess someone is just lying through saying he used an S4.. Or had just installed another dialer app and has no idea about it...

Javik said,

This is a technology forum, and you are a troll.

Try stock Android on the GS4 and you'll see how well it actually works. I'll grant you that Samsung add a lot of crap to their Android devices, the problem is that you're passing that onto Android itsellf. I'll reassert that you're an ignorant shill.

I would argue that the same happened to Windows up to Win 7, OEMs filling the PC with crapware in a pointless attempt to differentiate their poorly designed, crappy, plastic, cheap and bulky hardware from others. OEM should focus in doing hardware, get differentiation from design, specs and build quality, not for their lousy attempts at software and GUI design.

Now regarding the Android vs Windows argument... I love options, but lets be practical: do we even need to start supporting another desktop OS in the workplace, with all the incompatibility, security, training, administrative issues that this will cause? What for? To get access to more fart Android apps? Options and competition is fine, but there is a virtue in standardization. It is practical and simplifies people's lives.

Windows RT is criticized by the same Android trolls because it included a desktop, which is not the best UI for a tablet. Well, Android apps are not the best apps for a desktop either.

This is a transitional world, we are moving to more touch and less mouse and keyboard, but we still haven't figured it out completely for hard corporate work. I'm sure that eventually, we will figure out how a person working in a corporate environment using spreadsheets and hardcore productivity apps will operate a computer with less mouse and keyboard and more touch, voice, eye tracking or whatever user input technology comes out. But for the moment, we don't have it completely figured out, neither in UI nor in hardware.

In the meantime, most consuming and recreational apps have found a way into the touch world, and work better than mouse. So what do we do? Do we keep separate devices for personal and corporate use? I hate having to carry a personal and a corporate phone myself, it makes no sense, just like carrying a pager and a phone. They are just a screen with CPU, memory and battery, no need for duplication.

For this reason, if you ask me which approach I prefer from what is being offered by Apple, Android or Microsoft, I have to say I prefer Microsoft's direction because it unifies devices, unifies personal and corporate worlds and pushes to standardization.

Metro apps have strict IU requirements, they need to adjust to landscape or portrait mode, they need to support mouse, they need to be dockable side by side with others and still look good. They should use DPI scaling and scale the content well in a big screen. They need to have settings in the same place, print in the same place. All these requirements are a must for building apps that will survive the upcoming transition years. Is Android pushing for the same high standards? Or even Apple? Are they pushing design that will last or are they just selling disposable cool stuff?

For this reason, having being a Windows, Apple and Android user, but at the same time being an IT person, I love options and competition but I just can't support a platform that will push me to use different devices for personal and corporate use, or that will duplicate resources, increase complexity and create incompatibilities and disposable applications. I won't remake the wheel just for the sake of options and prefer vision and practicality over coolness and fashion.

Charles Keledjian said,

<snip>

That argument would be relevant if this were targeted at business, but it's not, it's targeted at consumers. Businesses rarely buy OEM consumer PC's and even when they do they leave them with their stock configuration even less frequently.

sinetheo said,

I do. I bought the first Galaxy S1 before they hit it big later on. Buggy, slow, and when I found out Kitkat dispays ads when I freaking use the phone directory I had it! I have a Nokia now and it is worlds better.

What a liar. I have the S1 and it is still working great. If you are happy with limited windows phone i can understand you. You had no idea what phone you had with the S1...

It also bring opportunities. Games like the early Final Fantasy games have never been ported on the PC, but the Android version can be downloaded on played on your PC now.

Emulators have existed forever and a day for PC, and even on Android for that matter. Sometimes they play better than those ports you get on Android too. I welcome any port to PC of course, but considering I've bought all these games before, I don't really feel too heavy hearted in playing them the way I do. Final Fantasy 7 and 8 though have been ported at least to PC, which I did repurchase.

I say this because PC gamers aren't without options, and I'd rather run something where I can get a controller attached and working, as opposed to trying to jump through hoops and hurdles just to get Android going.

At least, that's how I feel about it anyway.

Rudy said,
It also bring opportunities. Games like the early Final Fantasy games have never been ported on the PC, but the Android version can be downloaded on played on your PC now.

Final Fantasy 1 and 3 are available for all Windows devices. I have both on my Lumia 1020 and Surface RT.

Edit: Sorry, they're apparently not available everywhere. I do have both of those installed on my phone though. They really need to unify all their stores.. it's pretty ridiculous.

Xenosion said,

Final Fantasy 1 and 3 are available for all Windows devices. I have both on my Lumia 1020 and Surface RT.

Edit: Sorry, they're apparently not available everywhere. I do have both of those installed on my phone though. They really need to unify all their stores.. it's pretty ridiculous.

Windows Phone is "Windows" OS

dead.cell said,
Emulators have existed forever and a day for PC, and even on Android for that matter. Sometimes they play better than those ports you get on Android too. I welcome any port to PC of course, but considering I've bought all these games before, I don't really feel too heavy hearted in playing them the way I do. Final Fantasy 7 and 8 though have been ported at least to PC, which I did repurchase.

I say this because PC gamers aren't without options, and I'd rather run something where I can get a controller attached and working, as opposed to trying to jump through hoops and hurdles just to get Android going.

At least, that's how I feel about it anyway.

Yes and no, right now there's no way to play the mobile remake of FF5 (yes you can play the snes/gba/psx versions I know), or the 3d remake of FF4 The After Years or FF Dimensions.

Yes there's plenty of content for Windows based PCs but why not add more if you can? Some of the content available on Android is great and often not available on Windows directly

Senlis said,
Actually, FFVII and FFVIII were ported to PC a very long time ago.
Ported back in 98 and "updated" to support modern Windows last year

"What doesn't seem to make much sense is that mobile Android apps are designed for mobile devices not PCs with a mouse and keyboard"

Sound familiar. *cough metro*

Thrackerzod said,
"What doesn't seem to make much sense is that mobile Android apps are designed for mobile devices not PCs with a mouse and keyboard"

Sound familiar. *cough metro*

Not the same, most Windows apps are also designed for mouse and keyboard, also, Android apps are most of the time portrait apps and don't even work in landscape, while Windows apps are mostly landscape, since this is the default for desktops.

That quote makes zero sense, the author is living in the past, like yourself. Pretty much all the Windows devices that come with Android on them have a touch screen and/or double as a tablet. It don't matter if Android apps don't work with mouse + keyboard.

People complain about the Windows store not having enough apps, and now they have all Android apps + Windows apps.

Studio384 said,
Not the same, most Windows apps are also designed for mouse and keyboard.

No, they are not. They are accessible through a mouse and keyboard. Are they designed for a mouse and keyboard? Not even slightly.

Thrackerzod said,
"What doesn't seem to make much sense is that mobile Android apps are designed for mobile devices not PCs with a mouse and keyboard"

Sound familiar. *cough metro*

thats a good one