Android becoming the multi-platform platform with BlueStacks

Summary:Android may be poised to break into other platforms too. BlueStacks brings Android to the Windows world, and its virtual machine software looks like a decent solution to run Android within Windows.

You know Google is happy with Android rising through the smartphone ranks, and beginning to do the same for tablets. It seems a new Android phone or tablet gets announced every day, with many more promised for the foreseeable future. In addition to that success, Android may be poised to break into other platforms, too. BlueStacks brings Android to the Windows world, and its virtual machine software to do so looks like a decent solution to run Android within Windows.

RIM created some noise with the news its upcoming PlayBook tablet would be able to run Android apps in a virtual machine. Android basically runs all its apps in a virtual machine environment due to Dalvik, so bringing that capability to other platforms is perhaps more straightforward than it would be for other operating systems. A lot of people were excited at the thought the PlayBook would be able to run all of those Android apps, so it makes sense that other platform users would benefit from the capability.

BlueStacks as demonstrated to SlashGear looks like a solid implementation of running Android under Windows. This solution creates a virtual machine running under Windows that virtualizes the entire Android OS. This full version of Froyo (Android 2.2) means that most apps written for the platform will run in a neat window under the full Windows OS. The cool thing about the BlueStacks approach is that the Android VM can use Windows drivers for talking to the hardware. This makes things like printing from Android apps easy to do while running under BlueStacks on Windows. It is possible to switch back and forth between Android and Windows apps using the virtual machine software.

Whether there will be practical applications for Android virtual machines like BlueStacks remains to be seen, but Android app developers will likely find this useful. It is interesting that Android has become so big that others are determined to have it running under other platforms.

Topics: Hardware, Google, Mobility, Smartphones


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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