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AMD, BlueStacks Working on Dual-OS Android Solution

By - Source: AMD | B 15 comments

This week during Mobile World Congress 2014, AMD announced that some AMD-based machines from select retail stores will have the BlueStacks software offered as an added option. This version will be optimized for AMD APUs and Windows 8.1, and be based on the full version of Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean."

This is actually BlueStacks' third product, following the BlueStacks GamePop "console," and the BlueStacks App Player, the latter of which can be downloaded for free from the BlueStacks website. The "Player" version doesn't provide the full Android experience, but lets users play a few games and run a number of apps. This version is also based on the "Ice Cream Sandwich" build, and doesn't provide optimizations for AMD hardware or compatibility with Windows 8.1.

This third new "Premium" product announced this week is a full-blown version of Android on a Windows desktop. This approach enables PCs to run both Windows and Android applications at the same time, and enables users to share files between Windows and Android. OEMs won't need to run separate driver tests and support processes for the two operating systems.

"Not only can you run the latest apps, but through the familiar Android UI you can customize your settings, background, preferences, and alerts," writes AMD's Clarice Simmons. "Virtually everything you do on your Android device can now be done on your PC. You also get full support for the peripherals that are typically leveraged in mobile apps. That means you can take advantage of camera, GPS, accelerometer, and other components in your PC device, just as you would their equivalents in an Android phone or tablet."

Basically, this new offering brings the full Android UI and apps experience to Windows PC, she adds. Simmons goes on to highlight the AMD-specific optimizations of the new BlueStacks Premium product, revealing that the software leverages AMD's Unified Video Decode (UVD) silicon, a fixed-function logic block designed to improve performance when playing videos.

The premium BlueStacks product will also have many low-level microarchitecture-specific performance optimizations designed to leverage APUs. These include zero-copy optimizations for shared memory, floating point unit code tuning, optimizations for faster context switching and more. The new premium product will also have support for AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) technology.

"The premium product has a multi-OS runtime at its heart, with innovative BlueStacks virtualization technology that leverages AMD's specific hardware extensions designed to perform repetitive tasks normally performed by the CPU and therefore improve resource use and virtual machine (VM) performance," she writes. "This boils down to enabling minimal overhead for a great user performance experience, even on small, low power APUs."

This new BlueStacks solution will first be made available with several key retail partners across EMEA later this year, including Elkjop Group. A North American release is unknown at this point, so stay tuned.

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  • 5 Hide
    JD88 , February 27, 2014 11:39 AM
    This would be pretty cool on something like the Dell Venue 8. Run Android when using it in tablet mode, then use Windows when docked at a desktop.
  • -1 Hide
    rokit , February 27, 2014 12:08 PM
    Quote:
    This would be pretty cool on something like the Dell Venue 8. Run Android when using it in tablet mode, then use Windows when docked at a desktop.

    Both Ubuntu and KDE teams thought about that long time ago(3+ years ago) and even had some basic things to show. Smartphone/tablet has UI suited for touch devices and when docked to pc has regular desktop UI + you can run the same programs since they're opsensource(just compiled for ARM). However neither project is alive today because of lack of money :/ 
  • -2 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , February 27, 2014 1:31 PM
    Android as an OS really is garbage. Its only positive is that it is leaps and bounds ahead of iOS. From programs that crash 10 times more than a PC program would, to not being able to do simple tasks like print to a shared windows printer, Android is a joke. I can't help but feel much of the instability stems from Android's heavy reliance on Java. Maybe when we get an x86 phone we will start to see real operating systems.
  • 2 Hide
    house70 , February 27, 2014 2:20 PM
    Quote:
    Android as an OS really is garbage. Its only positive is that it is leaps and bounds ahead of iOS. From programs that crash 10 times more than a PC program would, to not being able to do simple tasks like print to a shared windows printer, Android is a joke. I can't help but feel much of the instability stems from Android's heavy reliance on Java. Maybe when we get an x86 phone we will start to see real operating systems.
    I could suggest Printershare as an app for printing. I use it at home, at work and even for cloud printing without a problem. The biggest snag was to select the proper drivers for the printer. As far as instability, it is once in a blue moon that I have an app crash on me; I know which app is causing it, and I avoid it. Some apps are not optimized for ART, but for Dalvik. Once ART becomes mainstream I expect even better stability. As a suggestion, maybe you could pick alternative apps to the ones that keep crashing your phone.
  • 1 Hide
    digitalvampire , February 27, 2014 3:27 PM
    Quote:
    Both Ubuntu and KDE teams thought about that long time ago(3+ years ago) and even had some basic things to show. Smartphone/tablet has UI suited for touch devices and when docked to pc has regular desktop UI + you can run the same programs since they're opsensource(just compiled for ARM). However neither project is alive today because of lack of money :/ 
    It wasn't the lack of funding that prevented Canonical/Ubuntu from doing this, it was the lack of in-house LOW LEVEL TECHNICAL talent. They pretty much only have cosmetic guys. Just look at their kernel contributions. There are next to zero, if not zero. That's why they are often referred to as "Apple of the Linux world". Not a lot of original contributions, just lots of cleanup and presentation, which they do fairly well.
  • 0 Hide
    koolkei , February 28, 2014 6:11 AM
    well we've been seeing some really aggresive marketing from AMD these few months.they've been partnering with a lot of developers recently
  • 2 Hide
    JD88 , February 28, 2014 6:16 AM
    Quote:
    Android as an OS really is garbage. Its only positive is that it is leaps and bounds ahead of iOS. From programs that crash 10 times more than a PC program would, to not being able to do simple tasks like print to a shared windows printer, Android is a joke. I can't help but feel much of the instability stems from Android's heavy reliance on Java. Maybe when we get an x86 phone we will start to see real operating systems.


    Blatant troll, but I'll bite.

    I've had an application crash once on an Android device in the past 6 months. Once. It's generally flawless in terms of stability, especially on KitKat, and that should only improve with ART. Also, you can print to a Windows shared printer, there are many applications out there designed for just that purpose. I think maybe you should do a little research before you spout off nonsense like this, or maybe just move to Windows Phone and see how that walled garden treats you in terms of functionality. How much is MS paying you to shill for them again?

  • -1 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , February 28, 2014 9:58 AM
    Well I have never found a printer app that prints to a shared windows printer. I have found them for network printers, but not a printer hooked up to a windows 7 PC. Even if there is one out there that I missed during my several hour search, this should be a basic function provided by the OS itself.

    As for one crash in 6 months, you are either full of crap or don't use your phone at all. All of the browsers crash frequently. They do this on iOS too. I have never used a windows phone, but I would assume it is no better.
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , February 28, 2014 10:24 AM
    Quote:
    Well I have never found a printer app that prints to a shared windows printer. I have found them for network printers, but not a printer hooked up to a windows 7 PC. Even if there is one out there that I missed during my several hour search, this should be a basic function provided by the OS itself.As for one crash in 6 months, you are either full of crap or don't use your phone at all. All of the browsers crash frequently. They do this on iOS too. I have never used a windows phone, but I would assume it is no better.
    Do you think Microsoft cares if your Dell PC is crashing every 6 hours? Do you blame Windows when your ATI video card drivers crash? Do you blame Windows when your power supply browns out and BSOD's your system? Do you blame Windows for java memory leaks that cause their apps to crash?If you have problems with your android phone, then maybe you should buy one from Google instead of AT&T/Sprint/Verizon. After purchasing a nexus device, if your built in google apps start crashing every 6 hours then feel free to blame google/android. I would still call this an EBKAC as your phone is obviously broken if this happens, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.Troll on..
  • 1 Hide
    JD88 , February 28, 2014 10:46 AM
    Quote:
    Well I have never found a printer app that prints to a shared windows printer. I have found them for network printers, but not a printer hooked up to a windows 7 PC. Even if there is one out there that I missed during my several hour search, this should be a basic function provided by the OS itself.

    As for one crash in 6 months, you are either full of crap or don't use your phone at all. All of the browsers crash frequently. They do this on iOS too. I have never used a windows phone, but I would assume it is no better.


    Using Chrome and Chrome Beta and I've never had an issue. One time I was in the middle of a Hangout call and I got the message "Unfortunately Hangouts has stopped." I had never seen that before and I remember laughing at the time about how I thought I had escaped that sort of nonsense when I completely left Windows behind over a year ago. I haven't seen it again since.

    I haven't turned my phone off since I got the upgrade to 4.3 last fall and it's still running like butter. I invite anyone to try that on Windows.
  • 0 Hide
    rokit , March 1, 2014 11:41 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Both Ubuntu and KDE teams thought about that long time ago(3+ years ago) and even had some basic things to show. Smartphone/tablet has UI suited for touch devices and when docked to pc has regular desktop UI + you can run the same programs since they're opsensource(just compiled for ARM). However neither project is alive today because of lack of money :/ 
    It wasn't the lack of funding that prevented Canonical/Ubuntu from doing this, it was the lack of in-house LOW LEVEL TECHNICAL talent. They pretty much only have cosmetic guys. Just look at their kernel contributions. There are next to zero, if not zero. That's why they are often referred to as "Apple of the Linux world". Not a lot of original contributions, just lots of cleanup and presentation, which they do fairly well.

    As i said, not just Canonical but people from KDE team. They came up with different solutions almost at the same time with workable prototypes. Its not a matter of intelligence, Linux kernel can run everywhere, everything is already written for you. But supporting(not microshit level support ofcourse) devices and repositories for 1 more platform(especially phones) is a question of money. And even more money you need to push it to public.
  • -2 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , March 2, 2014 8:07 AM
    Nexus phones are a year or two behind the rest of the market technologically. I'm sure they are slightly more stable, but you sacrifice a lot of hardware going directly with Google.

    If android was so great, people wouldn't be rooting their phones. You never hear of people rooting or jailbreaking their Windows or Linux OS. People don't root because of carrier restrictions or anything else besides a desire to circumnavigate the restrictions of the OS.
  • 2 Hide
    JD88 , March 2, 2014 12:54 PM
    Quote:
    Nexus phones are a year or two behind the rest of the market technologically. I'm sure they are slightly more stable, but you sacrifice a lot of hardware going directly with Google.

    If android was so great, people wouldn't be rooting their phones. You never hear of people rooting or jailbreaking their Windows or Linux OS. People don't root because of carrier restrictions or anything else besides a desire to circumnavigate the restrictions of the OS.


    Your posts are a flowing well of misinformation. The Nexus 5 is actually state of the art in just about every way, and does it at a price point about half of most other flagship hones. It matches or exceeds just about every phone out there in everything but maybe camera.

    People don't root to circumnavigate the restrictions of the OS, they root to circumvent the restrictions of carriers and manufacturers. They do this because the OS is open source and allows for an extreme degree of customization. Even non rooted Android is far more open than any other major mobile platform.

    There's no other operating system out there other than perhaps Linux that allows for the community to customize and shape the user interface as much as Android does. People flash custom roms to try out different ways of using their phone. Different things work for different people. A lot of people root and flash to get the latest software versions faster. Android itself is an excellent operating system because it is so flexible in these ways.

    Saying people don't root Windows or Linux just demonstrates your lack of understanding as to how operating systems work in general so I'm not going to touch that. Suffice it to say they do lol. I "root" my Linux desktop about 5-10 times a day.

    Operating systems like Windows, OS X, and iOS are locked down and have very little customization and freedom. Microsoft and Apple try to tell people how their devices should behave. I choose to decide that for myself. That's why I use Linux and Android.
  • -2 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , March 2, 2014 2:07 PM
    Fanboyism can really bring out someone's inner retard.

    People don't root Windows or Linux because they already have root access. People root android phones because the operating system is specificly designed to restrict people's access to the phones. This has almost nothing to do with bypassing carrier restrictions. People root their phones to put on ad blocking applications or freeze the plethora of useless bloatware from Google and carriers. They root their phones primarily because Google doesn't want them changing settings that would interfere with their targeted advertising and data mining.

    It is clear that you don't have any knowledge or experience with rooting because you mentioned people root to upgrade the OS. Besides the fact that you stupidly confused rooting with unlocking the boot loader, people with root are more likely to be on an older Android OS version because they don't want to loose root when they upgrade.

    As far as the Nexus line being competitive, give me a break. Besides the display, the Nexus 7 is on par with Samsung's GS3. I would still take the S3 over the nexus for the removable battery and SD card slot. Comparing the Nexus to the newer S4 is a joke. Google goes with cheap phones. Fine. They may be a good value and offer a lot of bang for the buck, but they're cheap non the less, and it shows.
  • 2 Hide
    JD88 , March 2, 2014 2:28 PM
    Quote:
    Fanboyism can really bring out someone's inner retard.

    People don't root Windows or Linux because they already have root access. People root android phones because the operating system is specificly designed to restrict people's access to the phones. This has almost nothing to do with bypassing carrier restrictions. People root their phones to put on ad blocking applications or freeze the plethora of useless bloatware from Google and carriers. They root their phones primarily because Google doesn't want them changing settings that would interfere with their targeted advertising and data mining.

    It is clear that you don't have any knowledge or experience with rooting because you mentioned people root to upgrade the OS. Besides the fact that you stupidly confused rooting with unlocking the boot loader, people with root are more likely to be on an older Android OS version because they don't want to loose root when they upgrade.

    As far as the Nexus line being competitive, give me a break. Besides the display, the Nexus 7 is on par with Samsung's GS3. I would still take the S3 over the nexus for the removable battery and SD card slot. Comparing the Nexus to the newer S4 is a joke. Google goes with cheap phones. Fine. They may be a good value and offer a lot of bang for the buck, but they're cheap non the less, and it shows.


    Everything you are saying is absolute nonsense so this is the last time I'm going to bother correcting it.

    The Nexus 7 is now less than $200. Find a tablet with all around better specs for that price. You won't. The Galaxy S3 is a phone and was $700 when it came out.

    Few new phones have a removable battery and many are now not offering an SD card slot. You obviously haven't touched an N5 if you think the S3 is a better option. The performance of the N5 is much better than the S3 and better than the S4. Nothing about the build quality is cheap. I'm saying this and I own an S3 and use it as my daily.

    Rooting and unlocking the boot-loader go hand in hand. I'm not sure what you're talking about with older phones. People root to do things like remove carrier and manufacturer bloat and add applications that require root access. Rooting has very little to do with changing Google settings. Your talk about data mining just shows how ignorant you are of the platform. Android is open source. The only thing that reports information back to Google are Google applications which have nothing to do with the OS itself. Look at how Android is used on the Kindle or Nokia's new phones.

    And you obviously know very little about root access because you don't "already have it" in Linux and you don't root in Windows. Keep trolling because I'm done correcting this crap. Come talk to me when you have a single best answer on the forums and show you know something about anything.