BlueStacks - supporting Android versions beyond Nougat
BlueStacks is a very popular Android emulator which until now was limited to Android 7 Nougat versions. However, with the latest release of BlueStacks beta 5, the emulator can now support Android 8 Oreo and Android 9 Pie.
The new beta version allows users to enjoy Android games that have been developed for the more recent Android versions on their PC or Mac. This means that popular games such as Alchemy Stars, Genshin Impact, and NFS Heat Studio can now be enjoyed with the beta version of the emulator.
The beta version is also free to download, just like the current stable version, and you can use them in multi-instance mode. This provides a fallback if the beta version has a few bugs or former apps don’t run entirely as they should.
There may have been some concerns regarding BlueStacks safety, as it is normal to be cautious of software, especially free software. BlueStacks is a legitimate company. They have also partnered with industry giants AMD, Intel, and Samsung, which gives them some credibility.
Also, looking back over their history, there have been no reports of data leaks or other attacks. However, in 2019, a security flaw was brought to the attention of the developers, who immediately responded with a patch to fix the vulnerability. Since then, there have been no further issues, and the company makes sure to stay on top of any updates to open-source Android to release any patches needed to ensure their user’s security.
There are two ways that you share your data when downloading BlueStacks. Firstly, you will need to log into your Google account to download the emulator. As such, the app will get access to your email address, name, and any other personal information on your Google account. Secondly, they will also see some of your computer’s data such as OS, hardware, unique identifiers, and network information.
This is not odd, and most modern software or installed apps get access to this information in varying degrees. However, it is always a good idea to keep your apps updated and only download files from reputable sources to stay safe.
On another note, it is unclear how long Android emulators will still be required. Windows 11 is set to be released at the end of the year, and along with it, the OS will offer native support to Android apps, which might mean the end of Android emulators.
It has been a long wait for the BlueStacks emulator to start supporting newer Android versions, but the beta version is here at last. Although it doesn’t support Android 10 and 11 yet, this version does include support for some major games. I look forward to seeing their next move, especially regarding the upcoming Windows 11 release.
The main security flaw you didn’t mention is you cannot set a screen lock or encrypt your bluestacks installation, or backups of them.
Re the native android apps in Windows 11, I didn’t know that and that sounds awesome, however one of the reasons people use emulators (from what I see) is using them as rooted devices for misc purposes they can’t do on a real thing (like using macros in games, enabling features they can’t do on an “official” android device and so on).
either way, very interesting
Shaun, thanks earnestly for the article. This is quite handy to hear about as an update to a product I use every couple weeks (I was formerly unaware of this update).
Thanks for including info about the privacy/security. Appreciated.