There once was a time when Microsoft had the monopoly on the operating system market with Windows but those days are long gone. With the explosion of tablets and smartphone devices a new operating solution was required that better suited touch screen. Google’s Android operating system is now one of the leaders in this field and there is a whole host of top apps and games available for it on the Play Store. If you are a Windows user there is now a top Android emulator for PC that will allow you to fully utilise the Google Play Store on a Windows PC. In this Bluestacks review we will take a look at what this Android emulator for Windows 10 can do an its features. Play Android apps on PC in a few easy steps.
Bluestacks – The Android Emulator for PC
At the end of this post there is a full video tutorial showing the Bluestacks install and an overview of the emulator. Bluestacks is an Android emulator for Windows 10 that will allow you to run any APK file designed for Android on your PC. It does more than this though and offers you a virtual tablet on your Windows desktop. You get the full Android experience including its software and user its interface. In our Bluestacks review we will take a look at both the install and the workings of the best Android emulator for PC. If you want to play Android apps on PC then Bluestacks is the place to start. [Read: How to Launch Android Apps from Kodi]
The Bluestacks Android emulator for PC install could not be easier. Simply head over to the Bluestacks homepage and
hit the big green Download button shown in the centre of the page. This will allow you to save the Bluestacks executable to your PC.
Run it and you will presented with the following screen. [Read:Xenia Project – The Working XBOX 360 Emulator for PC]
You will notice at the bottom right of the screen there is the option to “Customize Installation”. The only option within this menu is to change the install path of the application.
Select this if you want to specify a new folder or
hit Install Now to begin. There is nothing more to the Bluestacks install than that. [Read:LaunchBox & Big Box Emulator Frontend Review]
Bluestacks Interface – Play Android Apps on PC
When your installation has completed Bluestacks will launch for the first time. The screenshot below shows how the application will look on your Windows desktop. It looks and feels as though you have an Android based tablet contained within a window. The first launch of the Bluestacks emulator for Windows 10 is the same as starting a physical tablet for the first time. It will ask you a series of questions to setup the device including your details and your Google account login. [Read: RPCS3 – The Working Playstation 3 (PS3) Emulator]
Not only does the Bluestacks emulator for PC look like a tablet but it is seen as one in the eyes of Google. When you enter your Google account credentials into Bluestacks Google will register a sign in from a new tablet device. This is great as it gives you the ability to sync data from your Bluestacks application to your Google account and other Android based devices. It also gives you full access to the Google Play Store and all of its available downloads. [Read: Best CPU for Emulation – Computers, Consoles & Arcades]
Bluestacks Layout & Android Version
The above image shows the main Bluestacks interface once you have fully completed the install. It runs Android version 4.4.2 Kitkat. Notice the tabs along the top of the main window. The “My Apps” tab displays your main tablet desktop with all of your icons and apps you have installed. The “App Center” tab gives you access to the Google Play Store and app searching functionality. We will look at this in the next section. All of your icons look and behave in exactly the same way as they do on a real Android tablet. At the bottom right of the screen there are two key buttons. “Instances” allows you to have multiple instances of Bluestacks open and essentially multiple virtual tablets. “Install APK” allows you to install APK files you have saved on your computer in zip file format. [Read: Dolphin – The Nintendo Gamecube / Wii Emulator]
Bluestacks & Google Play
The next part of the Bluestacks review covers how the application interacts with the Google Play Store for app downloads.
Click on the App Center tab and you will be presented with the screen shown below. Like with the Google Play Store you will immediately see a number of top app recommendations ready for you to download. Bluestacks knows your Google account details from the initial installation and so all apps are ready to install.
Enter an app into the search box next to the orange magnifying glass and any results on Google Play will be displayed. [Read: Best PC Game Controllers for HTPC – Emulators & Steam]
Bluestacks Additional Features
The Bluestacks Android emulator for Windows 10 feels like one of the most complete emulator packages out there. With most emulator applications created by a small number of developers usually on a part time basis they lack the professional finish to them. Bluestacks looks and feels perfect and the interface seems flawless. This is without doubt one of the most professional looking emulators you will find for any system. This combined with its excellent compatibility and performance makes it the top tool to play Android apps on PC. [Read: Top 5 Emulator Frontends for your HTPC Media Center]
Open up the settings page on the Bluestacks Android emulator for Windows 10 and there are many tweaks you can make to improve the performance of your Android applications. It also gives you the ability to backup your Bluestacks configuration ready to be restored onto another system. A feature that really impressed me during our Bluestacks review was the app desktop shortcuts. When you download and install an app in Bluestacks it will automatically create a Windows desktop shortcut for that app on your Windows desktop. This allows you to launch your Android apps straight from Windows without first having to load up your virtual tablet. Play Android apps on PC as though they were natively installed. [Read: 3 Best Windows TV Stick Devices- Alternatives to Android]
Bluestacks Android Emulator Overview and Install Video
The below video shows the full Bluestacks install and a brief overview of what the application looks like and how it is used.
Bluestacks Review – Final Thoughts
You simply won’t find a better more complete Android emulator for PC. Gain full access to the Google Play Store and run any Android app on a Windows PC. You even get your own virtual tablet device. Aside from is brilliant software compatibility and extremely professional looking interface this is a superbly user friendly piece of software. The Bluestacks Android emulator for Windows 10 can be installed in just a couple of clicks and could not be simpler to use. Every application we tested worked perfectly during our Bluestacks review and looked great on a Windows PC. Try Bluestacks now and get your own virtual tablet to play Android apps on PC. [Read: Steam Link Review – Stream Games to Every Room]