Those of you who want to check out an Android app without an Android device can now run that app on your PC thanks to a program from the folks at BlueStacks.
The software, dubbed the BlueStacks App Player, has just hit the alpha stage, meaning a test version of it is now available for anyone to download. The basic player lets you run several pre-loaded apps, install up to 26 others, and sync apps from an Android phone to your PC.
Long-term, the company aims to make available both free and paid versions of its software, and to have it loaded on new PCs. The alpha version allows most Android titles to be loaded on a PC, but prohibits some games, such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, that will ultimately be a part of the paid version.
“We’re happy with the degree to which apps work,” BlueStacks VP John Gargiulo said in an interview. “Not every app will work perfectly.”
The company’s app will ship with several Android apps preloaded, and users will also be able to push programs from their phone or tablet to the PC from a program that will be available from the Android market.
The appeal of the software may be challenging to understand for some who grew up with PCs. But CEO Rosen Sharma says it will be immediately obvious to the next generation, which has grown up with smartphone apps.
“Their first computing device is a phone,” Sharma said in a telephone interview. Indeed, BlueStacks had its idea for virtualization technology long before it had the idea to do Android on Windows. That specific implementation, Sharma said, came when one of his colleagues got back from a trip to Switzerland. On that trip, the colleague’s young daughter had played a lot of Android games. Back home, she wanted those same programs to run on the PC. With that, BlueStacks had its business model.
BlueStacks raised $7.6 million in Series A funding earlier this year from backers including Ignition Ventures, Radar Partners, Helion Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. The company has slightly more than two dozen workers at its headquarters in Campbell, Calif., and at offices in India, Taiwan and Japan.