BlueStacks has been offering software that lets you run Android apps on Windows PCs for almost a decade. But the company says it’s upcoming BlueStack 5 release is a major update that will bring performance and efficiency improvements to the Android emulator.
And while the Bluestacks 5 Beta that’s available for download only runs on Intel or AMD devices, company CEO Rosen Sharma says support for running the emulator on devices with ARM processors is on the way, which could open the door to running Android apps on recent Macs with Apple M1 chips or Windows on ARM devices like the Surface Pro X.
Adding support for ARM might seem like a no-brainer, since most Android apps are written to run on devices with ARM processors. But since there were a limited number of PCs with ARM chips until recently, I suspect there wasn’t much demand.
With Apple planning to transition most of its Mac lineup to ARM-based processors in the coming years and PC makers continuing to (occasionally) crank out new Windows on ARM computers, maybe the tides are turning.
Anyway, Sharma says there’s actually an advantage to running Android apps on ARM devices with BlueStacks, since there’s no need to use translation to convert ARM instructions to x86.
The company says BlueStacks 5 also uses 40-percent less RAM than BlueStacks 4, uses less CPU resources, launches apps more quickly, and offers smoother gameplay with more frames per second.
There’s also a new Eco Mode for improved multitasking, a Multi-Instance Manager for creating multiple instances of BlueStacks (for playing multi-player games with several user accounts on the same PC, for instance), and a Side Toolbar for quick access to settings, among other things.