BlueStacks Android App Player hits beta

After three-months of alpha testing, BlueStacks has rolled out the official beta version of its Android App Player. 

The software – which supports Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 – enables Android apps to run in windowed or fullscreen mode on a PC.

Indeed, the latest iteration of BlueStacks includes a feature dubbed “LayerCake” which allows apps written for ARM processors like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja to run seamlessly on x86-based PCs.

LayerCake also supports hardware graphics acceleration, as well as apps designed for high-end tablets powered by graphics-intensive engines such as Unity. 

Unsurprisingly, BlueStacks has already been endorsed by a number of industry heavyweights, including AMD which is just beginning to eye the lucrative tablet market. 

“LayerCake is a disruptive technology that enables PC manufacturers to bring the best of the Android ecosystem to their customers,” explained AMD rep Manju Hegde. 

“It also leverages the advanced graphics capabilities of AMD APU and GPU platforms… We are excited to work with BlueStacks to make the emerging Android mobile apps market part of the broader computing arena.”

As noted above, BlueStacks recently completed a successful three months of alpha testing, having attracted over a million users in more than 100 countries such as the US, Korea, Brazil, Germany and China. Over 4.5 million apps were run, with Kakao Talk in Korea, Wordfeud in Germany and WhatsApp in the US weighing in as the most popular. 

Meanwhile, devs behind top apps like Fruit Ninja, SliceIt!, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Townsmen, Evernote, Defender and StumbleUpon have partnered up with BlueStacks to have their apps pre-loaded in the beta-1 version.

“A billion PCs is a huge potential market for any developer,” said Markus Kassulke, CEO HandyGames.

“There is the potential to make good money from the additional app discovery and usage… [And] the best part is, we don’t have to do any work. Our apps run without any modifications or porting.”