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Summary:

Not finding enough touch-friendly apps on your new Surface Pro or Windows 8 machine? Try the free Bluestacks player, which boasts more than 750,000 Android titles.

Bluestacks plus Windows 8

If you own a new Surface Pro or other Windows 8 tablets or laptops and are looking for more touch-enabled apps, then you might be looking in the wrong place. Sure, you can download Metro-style software from Microsoft’s own store, but the pickings might be a little slim yet. Why not look at a catalog of more than 750,000 Android apps?

That’s exactly what Bluestacks is hoping you’ll do. The company announced a Windows 8 version of its software on Tuesday as a free download at http://www.GetYourAppsBack.com

I see Bluestacks as a far better app solution now than I did in the past, for two reasons. First is that there’s a lack of depth to Microsoft app store for Metro-style apps. Second: Touch is a much bigger part of Windows — both in terms of hardware and software — than before. Prior to Microsoft truly embracing touch, using Android apps in the Bluestacks player could be frustrating because the software wasn’t optimized for mouse and keyboard input.

A perfect example to using Bluestacks is the lack of an official Facebook client for the Windows 8 Metro-style interface. That’s a key app that many Windows 8 buyers are sure to look for and be disappointed not to find in Microsoft’s store. While one could use the browser for Facebook access, why not use a Facebook app that’s optimized for touch and likely more familiar looking?

Bluestacks launched in 2009 and brings Android apps to Windows device. The company recently surpassed 5 million downloads of its software and has partnerships with several laptop makers to pre-install its software on devices.

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  1. Kevin, Good article. That said, why not make the blue font on the website a few degrees darker? Maybe from powder to baby blue at least. Did Om select it or what? Thanks in advance. Seriously.

  2. I use my Windows 8 Pro computer desktop apps via the touch all the time. If you increase the resolution a little, touch really is not that big a problem with most desktop apps. I don’t see a need for running Android apps on it but it is nice to have the option if you like.

  3. Kevin, thank you for this and many other good articles! I’ve downloaded the Bluestacks to my Asus VivoTab Smart, but have no luck running it. All I get is a black screen. Any advice?

    1. Thanks Alex! Sadly, I think the Intel Atom (or more specifically, the Intel graphics used with the Atom) isn’t capable of running Bluestacks. I say that because I tried installing it to an Acer W510 — same chipset as your VivoTab Smart — and I get the same black screen. :(

  4. Still waiting on a RT version

  5. Why don’t you mention that bluestacks for windows 8 doesn’t run as a metro app, and instead runs in forced fullscreen on the desktop. It is awkward and poorly designed. If they wanted to make this type of software they should have made a C# backend.

  6. Is ‘apps’ another word for time wasting, trivial games? That’s all I see out there for download. When will the humans in this world stop wasting their precious time and go out into the world they were fortunate to be born into and do something genuinely worth while. Help a sick animal. Do an errand for an elderly person. Tidy your garden. Pay some attention to your family members. Tell your father you love him. 750,000 apps and all of them designed to divert your attention from the real issues of this world and milk you of some cash. God help us all!

  7. We need more apps like we need a hole in the head. People, throughout the globe are immersed in time wasting pursuits while the unfortunates (the poor, sick, third world) are left to rot. Throw these pathetic soul sapping devices away before it is too late. Go out into the big wide world and shake someone by the hand; tell your father you love him; give someone a helping hand. Come on Google and all your like. You are happy to put your billion dollar backing into projects such as Glass, which will make ‘apps’ lovers even more hooked into their cyber lives. Why not put your financial clout into a world project that actually help others instead of you and your shareholders.

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