Android apps to run on Apple Macs via Bluestacks program

Screengrab of Android apps page The Bluestacks software might make it easier to get free versions of apps

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Owners of Android smartphones now have a way to run their favourite apps on an Apple Mac computer.

Start-up Bluestacks has produced a software wrapper that lets the phone apps run on a desktop Apple machine.

The release follows an earlier software tool that helped Android apps make the jump from a phone to a Windows PC.

Bluestacks said the software was for people that wanted a consistent experience with their favourite apps, no matter where they used them.

Playing games

So far, only 17 Android developers, including Handy Games, Creative Mobile and Pulse, have signed up to make their apps available to run on a Mac.

Bluestacks said more developers were signing up to get their apps working with the company's software.

The latest estimates suggest there are about 400,000 Android apps available.

In a statement, Bluestacks head Rosen Sharma said its software was helping to "break open" the closed ecosystem surrounding Apple's computers.

Making apps that looked good on desktops could also help developers produce programs that worked well on tablets, he said.

Stuart Miles, founder and head of technology news website Pocket-lint, said the Bluestacks software would likely prove popular with keen users of Android apps.

"The appeal is likely to be more for gamers," he said. "So your favourite Android game, you could have that on your desktop at work."

It might fill another gap, he said, because there was currently no easy way to run apps for the iPhone on a Mac desktop computer.

In addition, it might also mean that people can get hold of free versions of iOS apps by going to an Android site, downloading it and running it on a Mac. If more developers sign up it could mean they can get popular programs, such as Angry Birds, for free instead of buying them from Apple's Mac store.

A test, or alpha, version of the Bluestacks Mac software is now available for download on the company's website.

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