BlueStacks runs Android apps on Windows and Mac.
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Pro Easy to use and set up
For end users who are not developers, Bluestacks is perfect for the simple reason that it is just one click install, one just need to download the package and install it on windows or Mac to start accessing games and apps. It is just simple!
Pro Designed with gaming in mind
Pro Creates shortcuts for Android apps
A folder on the desktop with shortcuts to apps will be created. Opening a shortcut will start up BlueStacks and run the selected app.
Pro Decent performance
Pro No need to register in order to download and install
Only a Google account is needed, which is the same as setting up an Android phone.
Pro Can install apps from Stores and from APK files
Installing apps from APK files is important for developing purposes.
Pro Can run multiple instances
Now, running multiple instances of BlueStacks is possible even with different Google Accounts.
Pro Can transfer files between BlueStacks and Windows host
There are shared folders for this purpose.
Pro Built-in search allows quickly looking up and installing apps
Pro You can use BlueStack tweaker (portable), then you can access root and easily transfer files
You can not only transfer from Windows to Android storage (from BlueStack tweaker), but you can also delete or rename a file from it and also access themes and other options.
Con Does not run on Linux
Only for Windows and Mac OSX.
Con Default home screen can not be customized and lags a lot
Con Default launcher hides almost all normal Android functionality
The default launcher acts like a portal to launch games and not much else. If you're looking for a stock setup without much tweaking, look elsewhere.
Con Has bloatware and popup ads on free plan
You have to pay to remove both bloatware and popup ads.