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The first beta of BlueStacks for Windows brings ARM Android apps to your PC courtesy a new technology called LayerCake. So yeah, that's the Android version of Angry Birds Space on your PC for free.

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Angry Birds Space running in the BlueStacks beta app player for Windows.

The BlueStacks app player for running Android apps on Windows has taken a major step forward today with the release of its first beta, which can run even graphics-intensive Android apps on desktop PCs.

The BlueStacks beta (download) leverages a new, patent-pending technology that the company has developed called LayerCake, which does two things necessary for running Android apps on Windows. First, it powers the app on hardware that it wasn't originally intended to run on. That's basically the ARM to x86 conversion which runs the apps, and it comes with the blessing of one of AMD's head honchos.

"LayerCake is a disruptive technology that enables PC manufacturers to bring the best of the Android ecosystem to their customers. We are excited to work with BlueStacks to make the emerging Android mobile apps market part of the broader computing arena," Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, Content, Applications and Solutions at AMD, said in BlueStacks' statement announcing the new beta.

LayerCake also includes hardware graphics acceleration that wasn't available in last year's BlueStacks alpha. This means that it uses your PC's graphics card to make graphics-intensive apps, including Android NDK games like Air Attack HD, run more smoothly. "It's actually quite similar to the hardware acceleration in your browser," BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma said during a phone call with CNET yesterday.

There's more to LayerCake's hardware acceleration than that, though. It also can replicate accelerometer tilting in apps that utilize it via the mouse or arrow keys. Pinch-to-zoom is also supported on mouse trackpads.

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Air Attack HD running in the BlueStacks beta app player for Windows.

BlueStacks saw enormous success during its brief, three-month long alpha test last year. "We had more than one million downloads in three months," said Sharma, who added that BlueStacks traffic equaled one-sixth of the Kindle Fire purchases during the same period. "It's possible that two months from now, we'll become the largest Android deployment on large screens," he said.

This beta debuts a significantly changed program. You can download apps directly from within BlueStacks, without using an Android phone, and it comes with a dock launcher that fits naturally with the Windows interface. Using BlueStacks' Cloud Connect feature for syncing apps, you can now send and receive text messages on your PC. There are plans, Sharma said, to expand it to include more of your phone's notifications, too.

Android apps such as Angry Birds, which cost money for their PC versions, can now run on your PC. So if the Android app is free, then you can run it on your Windows box for free, too. The multitude of simple photo editors are another example of Android app that BlueStacks can run on your PC. I'm not sure the world wants the Android version of Instagram on Windows, but chances are somebody will dig applying those filters to the photos saved on their desktop.

"This is a leveling of the playing field," said John Garguilo, BlueStacks' vice president of marketing and business development.

You can also run apps in either windowed or full-screen mode, and BlueStacks now comes localized for 12 non-English speaking countries including Korea, China, Germany, The Netherlands, Brazil, Japan, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, and Russia. Localization goes beyond translation, and includes region-specific apps. So, KakaoTalk will come with the Korean version of BlueStacks; Germans will get eBuddy; WhatsApp comes to the Spanish-speaking countries, and China gets Weibo.

Among the numerous pre-installed Android apps on BlueStacks for English-speakers are Fruit Ninja, StumbleUpon, and Evernote.

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BlueStacks beta version runs Android apps on PC

BlueStacks has released a new public beta version of its already acclaimed software product that allows a large number of Android apps to be run on Windows-based PCs.

Back in October, BlueStacks released the first public version of its software that allowed many of the apps available for Android devices to run on a Windows PC. Today, BlueStacks has released a new public beta version of the software. The company's website is apparently getting hit with lots of traffic at the time of this news post so it may take a while to load.

According to today's press release, the new version adds some extra features that were not available in the first editions of the software. This is due to BlueStacks' own Layercake technology. The company says that Layercake allows the software to run applications that were designed for ARM-based processors to operate on x86 Windows PCs. It also allows Android apps to be run that have support for hardware accelerated graphics.

The public alpha version of BlueStacks was downloaded by over a million people in a three-month time period in 2011. BlueStacks says over 4.5 million Android apps were opened using its software on PCs during that time. The new beta version has also been localized for ten different countries. Check out this video showing how BlueStacks works:

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BlueStacks hits beta, runs Android apps on your Windows machine

Following a three-month alpha phase and a well-received CES 2012 demo, BlueStacks has launched the beta version of its innovative Android emulator for Windows XP, Vista and 7. Using a patent-pending binary-translation technology, BlueStacks allows x86-based PC users to access the growing wealth of apps designed for devices powered by ARM's processing architecture and Google's mobile OS.

On the flip side, BlueStacks provides developers with a massive secondary install base without having to port their software. "A billion PCs is a huge potential market for any developer," said HandyGames CEO Markus Kassulke. "There is the potential to make good money from the additional app discovery and usage. The best part is, we don't have to do any work. Our apps run without any modifications."

During alpha, BlueStacks was downloaded more than a million times in over 100 countries. Users ran over 4.5 million apps with multi-protocol IM applications Kakao Talk and WhatsApp being the most popular in Korea and the US, while the multi-player game Wordfeud was the most used app in Germany. Games appear to be the beta's largest attraction, as they weren't widely available in the previous build.

The App Player's latest version has greater access to Android's 450,000-strong catalog via its proprietary Layercake technology, which enables hardware acceleration. "Layercake is a disruptive technology that enables PC manufacturers to bring the best of the Android ecosystem to their customers," said AMD, which contributed to the startup's second round of funding in October. BlueStacks has raised $14 million.

via http://www.techspot....ws-machine.html

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