BlueStacks is a popular Android emulator for PC. What it does is allows you to run mobile applications on a computer. And it’s free. Compared to the first version, BlueStacks 2 has improved functionality, stability, and enhanced performance. It’s not as advanced as BlueStacks 3 or 4, but it has its perks and is well-suited to old or weak computers.
Key features and capabilities
Why you should install BlueStacks: to run your favorite mobile games, instant messengers, and other applications on your PC. And you don’t need to worry about the battery charge. The BlueStacks App Player is a fully functional environment with a huge array of useful buttons and possibilities. This emulator has a lot to offer:
- Download applications directly from the Google Play Store.
- Run .apk files downloaded from any other source.
- Work with Android applications in full-screen mode and control them with a mouse and keyboard.
- Synchronize your computer and smartphone.
- Make calls and send messages from your computer.
- Run any x86 and ARM-compatible programs.
With root access, you’ll be able to control your smartphone via computer, make system changes to it: reflash the device, remove bloatware, and reconfigure the functionality.
The second version of BlueStacks would be a great solution for those who don’t have a powerful phone or tablet to run modern games with high-end graphics.
BlueStacks’ interface is pretty straightforward. Its home screen looks like a desktop with icons of the installed applications (16 popular apps already pre-installed). In the upper-right corner, you’ll see a gear icon that opens the settings. On left-hand side there is a panel with a lot of buttons used to:
- watch video;
- shake the screen;
- flip the screen;
- take a screenshot;
- set location;
- install .apk files;
- exchange files with Windows;
- copy and paste;
- adjust the volume;
- get additional information.
As you can see, using BlueStacks 2 is just as easy as using a smartphone. You can chat with your friends during games, and if you can’t find a game you want in Google Play, you can download its .apk file from another site and run it in BlueStacks.
As for the top panel of the program, it contains open tabs and has the standard for any program set of buttons, such as:
- minimize/maximize window;
- close the program.
The interface of the emulator is simple, it’s nearly identical to that of your phone or tablet. The only difference is that you don’t tap the buttons with your finger; you click them with a mouse. By the way, when you launch the program for the first time, you may click on each button to see what it does.
Advantages and disadvantages
BlueStacks is not the only product that helps emulate the functionality of an Android system on a computer. However, due to a huge number of advantages, BlueStacks is the people’s choice. Why is that so:
- installing and running Android applications on PC in one click;
- minimal system requirements for the device, which allows using the program even on outdated or weak computers;
- multitasking – run several applications simultaneously and switch between them on the fly;
- vast array of useful functions
- absolutely free of charge;
- 16 preinstalled applications;
- fast installation;
- simple and intuitive interface.
BlueStacks 2 brings Android to your PC allowing you to run your favorite apps in a new way: on a large screen with precise mouse controls. Alas, like any other program, BlueStacks 2 is not flawless and has its downsides:
- occasional freezes and bugs;
- time-consuming and rather cumbersome uninstallation that might require the use of special utilities;
- prone to hacking;
- greater usage of RAM, compared to some similar programs.
It is a matter of opinion, but for most people, the advantages clearly outweigh all the negatives.
How to download the program
After you’ve weighed all pros and cons you may proceed to the installation. But first, you got to download BlueStacks, of course.
Before downloading any program, check if your PC meets the system requirements. If it does, then the program would run fast and smooth. Here are the requirements for BlueStacks 2:
- operating system: Windows XP or later;
- 2 GB RAM;
- 300 MB of free disk space.
Later versions of BlueStacks require at least 4 GB RAM and are more demanding to the hardware. So if you own a rather weak computer pick BlueStacks 2.
Where is the best place to download BlueStacks? Right here: it’s quick, safe, free, and without registration. To download BlueStacks 2 look at the table below and click the Download button next to the version you need. The download will take a couple of minutes, after which you’ll be able to start the installation.
|BlueStacks App Player version||Full Setup Size|
|Version: 188.8.131.5267||319 MB||Download|
|Version: 184.108.40.20638||259 MB||Download|
|Version: 220.127.116.1123||294 MB||Download|
Installation and the first launch
When the software package is downloaded, you can proceed to the installation of BlueStacks 2. Run the installation file “BlueStacks2.exe” from the download folder and take the following steps:
- Read the license agreement when it appears on the screen, accept its terms, and then click “Next”.
- Specify the installation folder or leave it as default, then click “Next” again.
- Now the program will prompt you to select additional components, tick them both and click “Install”.
- Log in to your Google account. If you don’t have one, then sign up. Google account is essential to using the Google Play Store.
In the program window, you will see a standard set of applications that you can start immediately. Each new application opens in a new tab. The program allows running several applications at the same time. To install new games or other apps, go to the Google Play Store and use the search bar to find the application you need. After loading it, it automatically adds to the emulator home screen. As you can see, everything is pretty much the same as with the phone.