Talk about irony: With the latest version of Bluestacks’ mobile app player, Mac users will be able to run just about any Android app — even though Apple fans still have no method for running iOS apps on OS X.
Bluestacks is today releasing a free beta version of its mobile app player on Macs, which lets Mac users download and install every Android app on the Google Play store. A previous version of Bluestacks for Macs only ran a few preinstalled Android apps.
The company’s Windows client for running Android apps landed last March, and it has been installed on more than five million Windows PCs so far.
Bluestacks’ virtualizes Android to run the platform’s mobile apps, similar to how VMWare lets you run a virtualized version of desktop operating systems. The company calls its patent-pending virtualization technology Layercake, and it’s also partnered up with Asus and AMD to bring Android apps to their devices.
While most people probably aren’t clamoring to run mobile apps on their desktops, Bluestacks is useful for those rare occasions where you need to run an app with no desktop equivalent. For example, there’s currently no way to use Instagram without an iOS or Android device. I haven’t had a chance to test out Bluestacks’ Mac player yet, but I found its Windows sibling to be fast and seamless.
The Campbell, Calif.-based BlueStacks has raised $15 million so far from Andreessen Horowitz, Ignition Venture Management, Citrix Systems, and others.