BlueStacks App Player review

Get (almost all) your favorite Android apps on your desktop

TechRadar Verdict

An incredibly useful free tool for anyone who's developing an Android app, wants to try a new app without risking damaging their phone, or wants to enjoy their favorite mobile games on a bigger screen. Simple to use and very well designed.


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    Works just like an Android phone or tablet

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    Supports apps from outside the Google Play Store

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    Free to use


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    Not compatible with all apps

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One of the downsides of the mobile revolution is that some apps never make it across to Windows. The developers make an iOS app and an Android one, but don’t then bother putting the app in the Windows Store.

BlueStacks App Player

Download here:

Type: Android emulator

Developer: BlueStacks

Operating system: Windows, Mac

Version: 0.9

It’s not that Windows is difficult; it’s that sometimes the developers feel they reach enough people without needing to support Windows users too. BlueStacks App Player solves that problem, enables you to see if you like Android without shelling out for any hardware, and it’s a handy tool for developers too.

User experience

BlueStacks App Player is also a really useful tool for trying out Android apps, and if you already have an Android device you can get BlueStacks to control the apps already installed on it.

It might sound complicated, but BlueStacks is simple to use. Once you've logged in with your Google account, just access the Google Play Store as you would on a mobile device and install the apps you want to try. There are also quick links to some of the most popular apps on the homescreen to save you a few clicks.

Just bear in mind that unless you have a touchscreen you’ll be controlling things with the mouse, so multi-touch gestures won’t be available to you. That’s not an issue with most apps, but it might affect some games.

It's also important to note that not all apps play nicely with BlueStacks App Player. Pokémon Go is one example, which is understandable because BlueStacks includes a tool for spoofing your GPS location, which takes all the fun and challenge out of hunting down Pokémon outdoors.

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Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)