Bluestack Systems has released BlueStacks 4.30, a major new version of its free Android apps emulator for Windows PCs. The app promises to run apps and games faster on PC than any available smartphone.
Version 4 debuts a new user interface, keyboard controls editor and promises significant performance improvements thanks to more efficient use of system resources.
The most noticeable change in BlueStacks 4 is the redesigned user interface, which now defaults to showing the user’s installed applications along with an all-new dock at the bottom providing quick access to frequently accessed features including the Play Store as well as its own optimised games store.
More crucially, BlueStacks promises significant performance improvements, thanks to more efficient resource handling, which reduces the load on the CPU and memory consumption compared to previous versions. The claim is that games will run up to six times faster in BlueStacks than they will on any mobile, including the Galaxy S9+ or iPhone X.
There’s also a new keyboard controls editor, allowing users to edit existing key maps and create new ones more easily than before. This comes with the promise of new and more precise controls to make gameplay faster and smarter, and is also accompanied by a new Game Controls Guidance window to help steer users through the process of keyboard mapping.
Once signed in with a Google account, users can install a mixture of regular Android apps as well as games, including items previously purchased for use on their Android mobile devices.
BlueStacks 4.30 is available now as a free, ad-supported download for PCs running Windows 7 or later. An Intel or AMD processor and 2GB of RAM is also required, along with a free Google account for accessing the Play Store. A premium subscription – $4/month or $40/year – promises to remove all ads and allows users to personalise the app wallpaper.