back to article AMD launches Android app store for Windows PCs

AMD has launched a new web portal designed to connect users with applications and games to run on their AMD-powered Windows PCs – including some 675,000 Android apps, thanks to a partnership with virty Android vendor BlueStacks. Announced on Thursday, AMD AppZone is a showcase for software that has been optimized for AMD …


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  1. Morten Bjoernsvik
    Thumb Up


    Nice tech, but what about linux?, should be easier to create linux runtime.

    1. Shanghai Tom

      Re: linux?

      Download and install Virtualbox - from Oracle, not any other place. Windows or Linux versions.

      search for buildroid_vbox86t_4.0.3_r1-20120518_gapps.ova and run ICS4.0 in a virtual machine WITH google apps market.

      Take a copy of the download first , then you can start again if you mess something up...

      AMD Only ? not with Virtual box and the above download, just switch off "mouse integration" in VBOX if you have a problem with your mouse going invisible on the ICS screen.

      1. RICHTO

        Re: linux?

        Does it come with all the Android security vulnerabilities too? Presumably running on Windows will sandbox it to a large degree....

      2. DRigal

        Re: linux?

        That Buildroid OVA package is great. It is targeted towards Virtualbox but it also works in VMWare Player. I am not sure whether you can get any 3D acceleration from it in VMWare Player, so I don't know how well it works for games, but it is basically functional and connects to internet OK, which the other Android X86 builds have never done for me. Well worth a try for anybody who already has VMWare Player.

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: linux?

      I'm kind of surprised dalvik hasn't been ported already. It sits over a POSIX c lib so it should be relatively straightforward to do. Not so straightforward are all the APIs that Android exposes to apps or natively compiled apps.

      It would be very handy to have dalvik on a normal linux dist because the emulator VM can be pain in the arse slow at times and being able to develop with something executing natively would be handy. There are a few x86 images in the adk but they don't work very well.

  2. Paul Shirley

    just tested it on my PC

    Well, it works. You could even say it works well... on my 3rd attempt to launch it.

    But what it works best at is reminding us that a touch based interface just doesn't work well on a mouse+keyboard. Temple Run ran fast enough, looked pretty, but was no fun because the bloody mouse wasn't window captured and it was far too easy to get it out of sync in a way that doesn't happen with actual touch. Cue lots of other windows being selected, the player window getting dragged around at random and general unusability.

    Something Win8 users will no doubt be facing all too soon ;)

    Also a little surprised to see apps on there that Google would filter out based on lack of hardware support.

    Anyway, having read the T&Cs it's getting yanked off my PC right away. Most customer information pillaging deals offer some token opt-out. If there's anything about my life they don't own under those T&Cs I can't think of it. Not that I'd allow a program with no quit option, that silently tried to install a 'start at boot' link, to stay on my PC anyway.

    1. stucs201

      Re: just tested it on my PC

      While it may not be perfect running phone apps in a window on the desktop does point to a better way MS could have unified Windows 8 and Windows Phone...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Apps that take advantage of hardware-specific features – such as phone dialing and SMS, GPS positioning, or sensors – aren't much use with BlueStacks, either

    So no support for the old 56K voice modem I still have lurking up the loft then? That said I don't think I ever used the voice (or Fax) features when it was new either.

  4. Greg J Preece

    Why? Just...why? Why would you want the mobile version of a game or app when the desktop version is infinitely superior? Why would anyone, for example, install the El Reg app pictured when their desktop has a real web browser? Leaving out the argument that mobile games suck ass, I can't think of anything from my mobile that I couldn't install a free, superior version of on my desktop already.

    1. Richard Plinston

      > Why would you want the mobile version

      One may ask why would anyone want a mobile UI and phone apps on Windows 8, such as that imposed by TIFKAM.

      The reason that MS is doinig that is to make everything the same across desktop, tablet and phone. BlueStacks does exactly the same, but using Android apps (and tablets and phones).

      It may well be useless for games with mouse, but so will TIFKAM on a desktop, as already pointed out. It does, however, allow functional Android apps to be run across all platforms, including XP, Windows 7 and, eventually, MacOS. A Linux version may be nice, possibly it could be derived from the MacOS one.

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        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Linux will run android natively before long

          And then Linux will become a rampant market for malware, trojans and viruses. Personally I don't want android back into Linux and while its interesting that it runs under windows it's a massive attack surface for relatively little gain.

          1. ZeroP

            Re: Linux will run android natively before long

            I don't know what Android you're using. The only android malware I've personally witnessed was on one of my co-worker's phone and tablet from his illegitimately sourced applications. And I work in electronics retail, which usually means that if anything happens to the phone it's my personal fault and my family should be hanged for it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Linux will run android natively before long

              Err... The only malware I've seen on Windows has also been from "illegitimately sourced software" that's the point. It's extremely unusual for a commercial software developer to offer a malware laden download. However, I have heard many of the linux developers at my place of work who love Android saying things along the lines of "I wouldn't download an app from there it looks like it's got malware written all over it."

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just as

          Wine is not an emulator, seems Bluestack is not blue... um I mean an emulator either. It's a bit more complicated than that. :P

        3. KnucklesTheDog

          Re: Linux will run android natively before long

          "Linux is merging the Android extensions back into itself, so sooner or later apps written for android will (as far as I know) also run on Linux with no VM / emulation layer"

          There's an enormous gap between adding extensions into the Kernel and running Android apps. Not to say it doesn't make it (slightly) easier to reach that stage, but they're not the same thing at all. Linux distros wont have the services that Android requires, and the root filesystems are very different.

          The other thing to consider is that even though Intel claim they can run something like 75% of ARM code on some on their Atom processors, this is not going to be the case for your desktop processor - so native apps wont run (if Blue Stacks used QEMU or something similar, it would actually run the native apps - or at least have a go).

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Its simple... This move will boost Ballmers confidence that he is indeed on the right track. He can now tell the stock holders: "See? Even the competition tries to follow out lead! And look; they didn't even fully implement mouse support. I bet we can remove mouse support entirely in our first win8 update...".

      And if that doesn't kill off Windows 8 permanently then nothing will!

      Mission accomplished! :-)

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      "Why? Just...why?"

      I think the intent is to give people who use a Windows 8 tablet the ability to install and run Android apps. Much like RIM's Playbook does. I doubt it will be much cop in other scenarios.

      While it's better than nothing I don't see this as being hugely innovative or unexpected. Android puts a lot of abstraction between the app and the hardware it runs, and the codebase is open source. So its not surprising that someone has ported it to other environments and gotten apps to run on it. Probably the hardest issue would be what to do with native apps, i.e. those that bypass the abstraction and use machine code. Without reading their technical docs I wouldn't be surprised if apps must at least target x86, or if the entire environment was just a VM of some kind.

  5. Robert E A Harvey

    Obvious Question

    > Apps that take advantage of hardware-specific features

    > – such as phone dialing and SMS, GPS positioning, or

    > sensors – aren't much use with BlueStacks, either.

    Is that mostly 'cos the host hasn't got the hardware, rather than a Bluestacks issue?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obvious Question

      Nah, if you tilt your PC you'll notice...

      What? It's worth a try isn't it?

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Obvious Question

      The come on AMD, put arm/android in your graphics cards and a way to link GPS, etc from your phone.

      Hehe, no need to boot your Intel pc, just the little linux box attached to your screen...

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    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      there's such an enormous market for desktop java apps that OSX no longer comes with a JVM and US and UK government installs of Windows have Oracle's JVM specifically listed as a banned install (unless you are an Oracle DBA in which case exceptions are made).

      Desktop Java is dead, dead, dead.

      Anders Hejlsberg described C# as "an opportunity to make a version of Java that didn't stink". Mission accomplished. Too bad some people are still breathing the stench of Java even now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Desktop Java is far, far, far from dead. True, it's rare in consumer-oriented apps. But in the business world, it's a whole different story - most custom business apps are written in Java. Open up and search the job listings for a few programming languages. C++, Python, C#, whatever you like. Now search for Java - it's #1 by far.

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Anon Coward 8:33

          @Eadon - Why should posting AC be suspicious? I personally don't post under my name as someone once told me that they thought they knew who I was and who I worked for and that they'd try out my company's security.

          Anyway, we aught to get you and RICHTO in a room together to finally decide "Windows or Linux who wins?" Personally I find it rather tedious, I use Windows and Linux (and many other OSes) every day, I don't see why one has to win or why it engenders such polarising viewpoints. They are all better than each other in many areas and I relish having skills in so many OSes, rather than only knowing one OS and trying to make myself seem smart to others by slagging anything else off.

        2. Steve Todd Silver badge

          @Eadon - .NET code doesn't run on OS X and Linux?

          Shows what you know

    2. RICHTO

      You clearly don't understand the changes - Microsoft havnt failed at all - .Net is amazingly popular - virtually every developer advert I see specifies .Net required. As opposed to Java which only really used in very niche markets. None of my PCs run Java, and I never miss it.

      SilverLight has been killed because of the now widespread support for HTML5 renders it obsolete. Just like Flash.

      Windows 8 and Windows RT are built on new APIs offered by WinRT. The APIs are implemented with a flexible architecture that still enables developers to use popular programming languages such as C, C++, C#, Visual Basic, and JavaScript to build Metro-style applications. High performance and code reduction are emphasized, and the .NET Framework is supported.

  8. Richard Lloyd

    Interesting, but has limitations

    Although AMD do indeed sponsor this, it's not made very clear that it runs fine on Intel CPU chips as well. It's quite a clever idea should there be an app on Android that doesn't have a close equivalent on WIndows (for serious stuff, I doubt that, but I bet there's some mobile-exclusive games out there).

    I'm probably a little more impressed with the Cloud Connect stuff that lets you sync across (i.e. probably copy the apk) your Android apps from another device into the Bluestack environment - a lot easier that some manual side-loading you'd otherwise do. It should probably also sync your app data too, but I don't know how easy that is to find where it is on Android.

    As ever, there are a load of downsides that make it sadly less than useful, such as only running on Windows (c'mon, surely it can be out for Mac OS X and Linux too?), can't emulate a lot of tablet/phone hardware so a large chunk of apps become less than useful, doesn't run Android 4 (which has been out long enough surely for Bluestack to have ported their code to it by now?) and the Settings screen seems woefully short of options.

    I might have missed it, but I didn't see a way to rotate the window between landscape and portrait, which seems an obvious piece of functionality to include.

    So a B+ for getting the ARM virtualisation and app syncing working, but it needs more improvements to make it behave much closer to a phone/tablet (i.e. like the Android SDK phone emulator),

  9. h3

    This app is junk (You cannot remove the suggested apps bar which is massively irritating other than with silly registry hacks).

    Cloud anything just means give us your data.

    AMD should just work on a way of running the emulator properly on amd platforms (LIke intel's hwacceleration thing).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I am trying to imagine who this is for, failing. There are easier ways to run ANdroid on a PC if you really have to (which work with newer versions, too), and downloafding a bit of software to get a link to Photoshop seems like a waste of space/effort/tuits.

    Not sure what AMD are smoking here.

  11. Miek

    Damn, I just bought an Intel CPU and nVidia graphics card. Guess I will just have to be content running android apps on my Android Phone, Android Tablet or that pesky Android SDK Emulator thing.

    1. h3

      If you have an Intel cpu you can use Intel® HAXM to run the Atom sdk image.

      (Far more useful than this).

  12. richard 7


    El reg need to test this stuff if they are going to link to it.

    Nice app I can see uses. However I dont need the portion that sits in the tray and shows popups, for that sole reason its gone. When will the Ad agencies realise that all these peices of cretin ware do is make people remove the program and eventually the 'carrier' application gets shitlisted and removed on sight.

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