Silicon Valley startup BlueStacks has officially launched the alpha version of its App Player for Windows, which lets users run Android apps in full screen on Windows 7. We covered the announcement of BlueStack's virtualization solution back in May, but starting today it is available for anyone to download and try it out. The basic player comes preloaded with 10 apps and can sync apps from an Android phone to your PC.
It works on any Windows 7 device including desktops, laptops, netbooks, and tablets. Users simply need to download and install the free App Player on their systems and the free Cloud Connect app to an Android device.
Once installed, the app places an Android gadget in the upper right corner of your screen where you can launch any of the preloaded Android apps. The apps themselves launch in a full-screen virtualized version of the Android operating system, and though are built for touchscreens, BlueStacks will also support mouse and keyboard input.
You can click on an option to add more apps, which requires you to log into the BlueStacks App Channels using a Facebook account. The current free alpha version only allows for 26 additional apps to be installed, but the company plans to lift that limitation in an upcoming App Player Pro that will also support 'premium' (paid) apps.
The company is also considering a Mac OS X version but says that it may be a while before one is available.
Since this is alpha software you'll still find a few bugs and BlueStacks admits not all apps are going to work perfectly at this point. However, they do see a big opportunity here as their App Player software opens up Android to over a billion PC users, and it does not require any additional work because the apps can run unmodified on the Windows PC.
The company raised $7.6 million in Series A funding earlier this year. BlueStacks is said to be working on partnerships with OEMs to offer the software pre-loaded on their Windows systems, and is teaming up with Citrix to deliver its virtualization solution to enterprise customers.