by July 30, 2012 0 comments



Mobile application development has often been associated with device emulators and simulators because of the variety of target devices. This is especially true in the case of Android since it has penetrated the market at multiple price points. This article is meant for such developers and testers who would want to check out Android applications in a simulated environment without leaving their Windows system.

Installing BlueStacks

BlueStacks is an application player that allows you to get a pre-built Android image under which you can install applications from popular marketplaces. These applications persist over relaunches of BlueStack (including the user settings). Developers can submit their request for including their application, without making any changes to the same, at no cost, in the `Featured applications` list. This is a list of applications in BlueStack (accessible via the `Get Apps` button) that you can install in one click. BlueStacks automatically consults different marketplaces (such as GetJar,Amazon AppStore,etc.) to obtain the application and installs it immediately, with its icon appearing in the list.

Snapshot

Applies to: Android developers

USP:Without actually using an Android device, emulate mobile application behaviour on a running Windows desktop.
Related Links:10 Free Android Apps for System Admins http://ld2.in/48m

Search engine keywords: Android app player, BlueStacks

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Note that BlueStacks is still in beta although it does a commendable job at providing access to thousands of Android applications. The default installer is thin, meaning that you will need a working internet connection during the course of the setup. An alternative installer is also available. Since BlueStacks uses virtualisation, it is recommended not to run this on older systems with low RAM. The user, if he wishes, can have a pre-loaded set of most popular applications downloaded and installed for use automatically at the first launch of BlueStacks. This includes EverNote, Facebook and Twitter clients, Documents To Go, Talking Tom, StumbleUpon, etc.

BlueStacks by default also creates a Mac-style transparent dock bar at the top centre of your desktop which will give you immediate access to your installed apps, popular downloads, the supported application stores (marketplaces) and cloud connect (to sync your Android device over the cloud). You can always hide this, it sometimes does get in the way of regular Windows operations.

BlueStacks requires advanced graphics’ capabilities for some applications, in the absence of which the user will be notified upon installation that some applications that require such features will not be offered for installation. This includes popular games like Angry Birds. They are offered only on capable machines.

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It is even possible to run a typically mobile-only application such as WhatsApp inside BlueStacks. When you install WhatsApp and run it for the first time, WhatsApp will ask you for your mobile number to send you a verification SMS. This will of course be sent to your actual mobile device and not the player itself, since there is no such mobile number associated with the same.

Once verified, you will be able to use WhatsApp as you normally would, except that your contacts wouldn’t be transferred to the simulator and hence the contacts list will be blank. Be rest assured that this does not mean deletion of your contacts and history on your regular mobile device. That information stays safe.

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In the event that SMS-based verification fails, you can also request to have them call you with a verification code. Note that this will be an incoming ISD call and will repeat the verification code digits one at a time.

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Installing YouWave

YouWave ( http://www.youwave.com ) is another application that will allow you to get an Android-like experience on your desktop. It has a 7-day fully functional trial available, after which a permanent license needs to be purchased (one-time) from their own store.

Doesn’t all of this sound exciting? Have you always wanted to use an Android application on your mobile? If so, which one? Tell us how you used BlueStacks / YouWave by writing to us at pcquest@cybermedia.co.in.

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