AMD, Bluestacks launch AppZone bringing Android apps to Windows

On Thursday, AMD announced the launch of AppZone, an “online showcase” for applications and games which offers access to over 500,000 Android apps, ready to run on AMD-based Windows PCs.

The emulation software enabling this crossover was developed by BlueStacks – the company responsible for technology that “married” Android and Apple’s Mac OS in June.

It will directly compete with Intel’s AppUp software marketplace, which doesn’t currently offer Android apps. Intel-based PC owners can still download the older, non-branded version of BlueStacks software from the company website, but will miss out on AMD’s convenient interface and “optimisation”.

The launch of AppZone means that popular games and applications like Fruit Ninja and Evernote will be available on Windows 8 tablets as soon as they hit the market in October. Google’s mobile OS currently has around 500,000 apps available for installation. That’s around 498,000 more than the number of apps developed for Windows 8, with the release date just weeks away.

AppZone works like an average software marketplace, offering regular PC software titles alongside Android apps. Users can automatically sync their AppZone apps with Android-based devices via BlueStacks Cloud Connect, and all apps will be presented on PC and tablet displays in full-screen mode.

AMD, a major investor into BlueStacks, hopes that the new platform will help counter the low number of apps currently available for Windows 8.

“This helps AMD leapfrog Intel by making Windows 8 more attractive on their tablets and PCs,” BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma told Wired in an email. “We’ve worked closely together to optimise the performance of the apps for AMD’s unique ‘graphics and computing on one chip’ setup. The result is awesome — mobile apps run beautifully on their machines.”

BlueStacks is currently in talks with OEMs to make the software come preloaded on future AMD devices.

“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 for 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.”

Earlier this week, Intel CEO Paul Otellini told his employees that Windows 8 was not ready for commercial release, but Microsoft had no choice but to go ahead with the launch, scheduled for 26 October. He later published an apology.