Intel makes the best PC processors around. That being said, we all can't afford the $300 Intel demands for their latest processors. That's why I go with AMD and their very affordable high-quality CPU line. Turns out that my frugality when it comes to CPUs nets me and other AMD CPU users a boatload of Android apps.
AMD and BlueStacks announced a partnership today that will bring 500,000 Android apps to PCs powered by AMD CPUs. The two forces have launched the AMD App Zone where users can grab the virtualization software required to run Android apps on the PC alongside a number of free apps. Most of the apps are games, but there are quite a few general purpose apps as well.
“BlueStacks’ cross-platform innovation bridges the Android and x86 application ecosystems, providing new opportunities for developers and better experiences for users,” said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, Heterogeneous Applications and Developer Solutions at AMD. “By collaborating with BlueStacks, we are enabling software developers to more easily tap into the full capabilities of AMD’s products, and providing millions of consumers with great experiences as they can now run Android apps on AMD-powered devices.”
It should be noted that the Android apps are only available to users running Windows 7 or Windows 8. Users are also only required to have an AMD CPU to run Android apps.
“As the engine behind the AMD AppZone Player, we are providing a potent combination of award-winning software optimized for AMD’s industry-leading hardware. Consumers can now enjoy their favorite mobile apps on the larger, more immersive screen of their PC,” said Rosen Sharma, CEO of BlueStacks. “With BlueStacks technology, app developers can rest assured their Android apps will run directly on Windows without any code change. We’ve made it easy for all.”
Unfortunately, neither company clarifies if these apps will be modified in any way to be better on the PC. Can users up the resolution of Android apps to take advantage of larger displays on the PC? Will controls be optimized for the PC, or will PC users have to replicate touch movements with the mouse? We've reached out to AMD for clarification and will update when we hear back.
An AMD spokesperson just got back to us. They said that PC users can scale Android apps up to 1920x1080. Unfortunately, it's not true full screen mode as a window must remain open for key functionalities that are accessed in the window. They also said that AMD has optimized its graphics technologies to make the scaling as smooth as possible.
As for controls, they say that the BlueStacks Layercake technology features support and is optimized for touch, keyboard/mouse, and various movement sensors.