We all have favorite phone apps to run our business, interact with friends and family, or entertain us.
But if you are on the Android system it can sometimes be painful when you can’t use your phone and need or want to use that app. Bluestacks runs an Android emulator right on your PC or Mac!
Quite simply, Bluestacks runs an Android emulator on your computer by basically creating a new phone on your computer. You set it up like a new phone or tablet with your Google account, you get access to the Google Play store, and you install the apps you wish to use.
Why Would I Use An Emulator Instead of My Phone?
So why would you use an Android emulator instead of just pulling the phone out of you pocket or purse and using that?
Some of the reasons would include :
- Your favorite apps may not be available in the Windows or Apple stores, or in the Chrome Extensions.
- Many favorite apps are available in online versions through the browser, but if you have many tabs open at one, it’s easy to lose track of what’s there and close it by accident or lose information when the browser crashes.
- Some workplaces simply frown, discourage, or completely refuse to allow the use of smartphones in the office.
- In multiple monitor uses it allows the Bluestacks app to be placed in a position outside the typical email and web browser locations.
How Bluestacks Works and Looks
First all, if you’ve ever used an Android tablet, it looks and works very similar to that. The interface has large, easy to click/touch shortcuts. Bluestacks will work with both touch screen and a mouse/keyboard so don’t think you need a touchscreen computer to work the app.
Each app will open in their own tab, and music and other media will play unless the “System App” folder is opened to change settings, visit the Google Play store and other maintenance items. There is a small big of lag noticeable, but compared to virtual Windows boxes or other emulators, Bluestacks run very efficiently.
There’s not much noticeable drain on computer resources, but I didn’t test it on a lower-end Windows computer, so there is a possibility of the app not wanting to run efficiently on boxes with low RAM or single-core processors. Remember you ARE running basically another device off your laptop or desktop.
One thing I did not like the tendency of some apps to default to portrait mode. I saw this on my Chromebook as well, and there is no way I’ve found to fix this. The portrait mode happens when an app is not designed to work in tablet mode and switches the emulator window to portrait mode to display properly. Most of the time the window goes back to landscape when another app is opened, but I have seen it stay portrait when switching back.
Should I Try Bluestacks?
Easy answer? Yes! If you’re like me and rely on your smartphone or tablet to handle some tasks like your calendar, task management, time tracking, notes, chat communication and more Bluestack is a great way of handling all of those. I used to listen to podcasts and music, keep Slack open, handle incoming website tickets and view/edit my calendar on my Chromebook and phone. Now my phone sits in my charger and my laptop went back to being a laptop instead of a second primary device.
And when I get the urge to play games like the now popular FIFA Soccer, Hungry Shark World during Shark Week, or the always fun Clash of Clans, I can do it on my large computer screen instead of my tiny smartphone.
Give Bluestacks a try, and let me know what you think!
Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencing users, I receive mobile devices with line of service from Verizon and will occasionally talk about them in blog posts, social media and podcasts. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise a positive review. All opinions are my own. By the way, many of us meet every Friday @ 2pm CT on Twitter (#MobileLiving) to discuss mobile phones and how you can use them in your daily lives. Join us!