It’s 2018 and you still can’t easily run Android apps on your PC. Yes, you can, but the keyword here is easily. Platforms like BlueStacks exist to ease that pain but there are still some hurdles to overcome, like Android’s dreaded fragmentation. With a new Android N beta release, BlueStacks has taken one step closer to bridging that divide, bringing the promise of the latest Android games for you to ply play on your Windows or Mac computers.
A side effect of its open nature, Android comes in different versions on different devices. A headache for developers as it is for users, some developers simply decide to ignore the hundreds or thousands of users running slightly older or even ancient Android versions. Some games, for example, only run on, say, Android 7.0 Nougat.
That presents a problem for Android emulators like BlueStacks. BlueStacks, in particular, is still based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat, which means users have no access to the latest apps and games. Moving to Android N opens up a whole new world of Android content to enjoy in the comfort of desktops or laptops. The beta also updates BlueStack’s latest HyperG Graphics System to make games run smoother and faster, in addition to the improvements brought by Android N itself.
The Android N version of BlueStacks is still in beta, a public one at least. It’s free but there is a hidden cost in terms of system requirements. While you won’t need a rig powerful enough to run VR apps, you will at least need a recent Intel or AMD processor with virtualization extensions and 4 to 6 GB of RAM. The stable release is promised to be a bit more forgiving.
Although it can, in theory, run any Android app, BlueStacks’ core focus is running Android games on PCs. It even goes beyond simply running games by integrating with live streaming platforms such as Twitch and Facebook Live. The hype around Android emulators for PCs have died down because of the lack of development and updates, which is why this BlueStacks Android N beta could be a very good thing for that niche market.