Not too long ago I talked about how the AppPlayer was heading from Alpha to Beta and along with it there would be a Windows 8 Metro optimized version of the player. The good news is that the Beta has finally been released. The bad news is that it doesn’t yet support Metro, and probably won’t until it hits store shelves later this year. Still, all you have to do is navigate to the desktop or put a shortcut within Metro to have easy access to this Android emulation and all the apps that come with it. How does it work? Actually pretty good, I mean there is a little lag but overall I had a pleasant experience messing around with it, though admittedly I haven’t used it enough to give it a complete rating yet (about an hour with it). So what kind of apps can you get? Anything from Amazon’s store, GetJar, and 1Mobile Market. That means that titles like Angry Birds Space are actually easily available to Windows 8 tablet and desktop users. [caption id="attachment_15369" align="aligncenter" width="542"] A Look At The Amazon AppStore Within BlueStacks[/caption]
The only thing to keep in mind is that not all graphics drivers are perfect in Windows 8 and if they aren’t officially recognized it might mean high-3D games within BlueStacks won’t work in the Consumer Preview either, just to warn you.So is this as good as having native access in Metro to thousands of apps? Of course not, but it is nice to have touch-apps that are way beyond the currently limited Windows Store offerings. Looking back at things in a few years, such programs as the AppPlayer will largely be irrelevant as the Windows Store becomes loaded with great choices. For now though, it’s a great way to take your Windows 8 device’s functionality a lot further by adding many of the apps you might be missing that you regularly use in Android and iOS devices.
I also think that the AppPlayer will be of much more use to Windows 8 users once it has true Metro integration released, like they showed off at CES. The downside is that ARM Windows 8 tablets will likely not be able to benefit from this as they have locked down “desktop application” support and probably won’t be able to install this anyway.