Evaluation: Running an Android App as “native” Windows Application

I had to do a short evaluation for a customer concerning the possibilities of running an Android App under Windows without code changes. The only possibility to do this is by using an emulator. The most important goals have been a smooth video playback and to deliver a Windows App  as a simple single Installation.

Here are the results of my survey:

Possible options:

  • Google Android Emulator
  • BlueStacks (http://www.bluestacks.com/)

 

Google Android Emulator

The Android Emulator is also available as source, so changes to the code are possible.

Pro:

  • Also runs on OSX
  • Open-Source
  • It’s possible to create a stand-alone App by making changes to the source. (But could be very complex)
  • Runs stable

Contra:

  • Android GUI, so its optimized for touch screens
  • Videos only play audio, no video
  • Adapting source code is complex

BlueStacks

BlueStacks is an android emulator for Windows. It was developed to give customers the possibility to run their Android Apps on Windows systems, so its optimized for usability. It’s installed as every other Windows Application and has an integrated App Store.

Pro:

  • Easy installation
  • Good usability
  • Good performance, but video playback stutters
  • No adaption needed, if the possibility is given to pre-install the App in BlueStacks

Contra:

  • At the moment there is no possibility to pre install an App and get a branded version of the Application
    • You have to install BlueStacks and after that:
    • Search and install the App
  • Optimized for touch screens
  • Some problems with crashed according to the forums
  • In beta phase

 


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