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AMD Partners With BlueStacks To Bring Android Apps To PCs

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the just-pinch-your-mouse dept.

AMD 143

eldavojohn writes "News outlets are reporting that AMD has partnered with BlueStacks to bring Android apps to AppZone Player, something that will apparently allow the more than 500,000 mobile apps to run on your PC. From their announcement: 'What's special about the player on AMD-based products? There are many challenges with running apps that were originally designed for phones or tablets on a PC that in most cases has a larger screen and higher resolution display. To solve this, BlueStacks has designed and optimized the player for AMD Radeon graphics and in particular, our OpenGL drivers found in our APUs and GPUs so you get a great 'big-screen' experience. Additionally, the apps are integrated into AppZone, our online showcase and one-stop-shop for apps accelerated by AMD technology.' Unfortunately this appears to only work on AMD-based PCs (although nowhere does it say that it won't work on Intel CPUs or non-Radeon GPUs). Also no word on how they overcame the difference between a mouse and touchscreen (think pinch to zoom)."

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143 comments

Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41481843)

Thank you, Press-release-dot.

Now explain why I would even *want* to use phone apps on my desktop?

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41481945)

Because most forum designs are absolute junk.

(There is no desktop app that is not an eyesore when compared to tapatalk).

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (3, Insightful)

shiftless (410350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482007)

So in other words, there's no reason to use Android apps.

Yes, Tapatalk is nice....but if you're having to use a phone app on the PC to accomplish something, you're doing it wrong.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482977)

This is a junk piece of software still (It has an ad (suggested apps) bar on the side you cannot remove) it runs at a set size

(xterm sized phone tapatalk might have been ok but not like this).

There is some things that don't have an available equivalent (For various reasons including the apps being deliberately gimped, The website being awful to look at).

(Slashdot works really well probably because it is run/coded by people who know what they are doing. mod_perl instead of php/python I guess helps.)

Most modern tech discussion seems to happen not on mailinglists or usenet but on god awful forums. They look awful and don't resize in a sane manner making using them extremely unpleasant. (I suppose if you have 3 screens or more you can dedicate on to just being a browser).

Tapatalk is good but if they made a desktop version and it gained allot of traction (Or someone else did) most of the sites would remove the support. It has everything that is necessary but nothing that isn't.

Foldersync don't know of a comparible desktop app (Skydrive / Google Drive etc are deliberately gimped so you cannot support multiple accounts - there is some cloud thing that is subscription based or the free "CarotDAV") but foldersync or even es file explorer is more convenient.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483225)

Actually I think the whole X86 OS world has contracted some kind of mass insanity, I mean every damned thing is either trying to ape a cell phone or like this bring cell phone crap onto X86...why? Unity, Win 8, this...why? Why would you WANT your PC to be a supergigantic smartphone [youtube.com] when all of the design choices on smartphones is either based on screen size (not applicable) or battery life (not applicable as what works on ARM won't save power on X86) so it just makes no damned sense to me.

So I just don't get it. Maybe its me but I've never messed with a smartphone and thought "You know what would be cool? We put this on a big ass desktop monitor, so i can't haul it around! Wouldn't that be great?".

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (4, Insightful)

admdrew (782761) | about a year and a half ago | (#41481955)

explain why I would even *want* to

Why not? It's new and interesting tech news, and this is /.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483157)

Having run my own apps in the iPhone/iPad simulator, I can say it's nowhere near as good as the real thing. And apps on 'the real thing' are usually nowhere near as good as they would be on my desktop, except for portability and touchscreen-specific features. I have no desire for a solution that combines all the downsides of both PCs and portable devices.

Admittedly, there is the rare phone app that, for no obvious reason, has no match on the PC, but even rarer is an app that would be worth the inconvenience and inevitable compatibility issues that would come from using a shim-ulator like this. And for those, why not just... use your phone?

Unfortunately, if this takes off (and I can't really imagine it will), it would only encourage lazy developers to build compromised designs that work passably on phones and PCs without taking advantage of the unique strengths of either. It would be another decade of the same write-once-suck-everywhere that Java and Flash brought us.

And for all of you, who I'm certain aren't interested in the slightest, here's my dramatic reading of the announcement:

[The new hotness will] allow the more than 500,000 mobile apps to run on your PC

*based on our estimate that soon all PCs will be Windows 8 multi-touch tablets—Steve Ballmer said so!—and all Android developers partner with us.

'What's special about the player on AMD-based products?

We call it: "Vendor lock-in!"

There are many challenges with running apps that were originally designed for phones or tablets on a PC that in most cases has a larger screen and higher resolution display

Likewise, there are many challenges with using the Mario Kart wheel to control a 747.

To solve this, BlueStacks has designed and optimized the player for AMD Radeon graphics and in particular, our OpenGL drivers found in our APUs and GPUs so you get a great 'big-screen' experience.

To solve this, we use only pink Mario Kart wheels, and in particular, pink wheels covered in our proprietary glitter for the best possible experience.

Additionally, the apps are integrated into AppZone, our online showcase and one-stop-shop for apps accelerated by AMD technology.'

You'll be able to use ANY Android app...that's tweaked for our service and available in our store. There'll be dozens! [bluestacks.com]

BlueStacks has achieved some incredible momentum

We think it will revolutionize the whole software market, just as CrossOver made Windows a thing of the past!

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483503)

You'll be able to use ANY Android app...that's tweaked for our service and available in our store. There'll be dozens! [bluestacks.com]

You joke, but after running Android x86 on an old windows tablet I was absolutely amazed at the number of apps that worked on ARM devices only. Some basic things like pdf readers were not available.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (3, Interesting)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41481981)

Because you find an app that you wish you had it on your desktop? Duh!
 
Case in point, the Tango app became very popular in my friends circle. Even when I was in front my laptop, I had to use my phone to video chat with someone. Until recently they did not have a desktop application. I would have definitely used this tool, if I could have.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482093)

Why would you ever want to use Tango? Google Talk works way better than Skype/Tango.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482261)

From his post he says that he used Tango because his friends used Tango.

Why his friends used Tango, who knows, but they did, so he did.

Why his friends used Tango... (1)

pem (1013437) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483841)

I don't even know what a Tango is, but I'm only six degrees of separation away from its creator, right?

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41481983)

This is actually one of the more technology-heavy marketing releases you'll see, they even utter "opengl". Sure, they don't talk about the why, but they explain the "what" without spewing a bunch of BS. What's your complaint?

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (3, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482017)

There are oddly enough some apps that don't have a good equivalent on the PC side.

A good example is Torque Pro, an amazingly awesome OBDII app for $4.99 . Does things stand alone OBDII readers could never do, even ones costing thousands of dollars can't do the things this little program can. And it is easy to use.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482481)

and it works great with cheap chinese ELM327s that cost sub $20.

I am not affiliated with Torque nor the producers of cheap ELM327 units, just a happy geek.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482651)

If you are using a PC, I would recommend using an USB OBDII interface (it is more reliable if you plan on seriously modifying flags, and costs the same as the bluetooth ones (~$10)) and an free OBDII tool (there are many, I use VAG-COM for my Volkswagen). The interface sucks compare to Torque Pro, but you can really understand what is happening and you have more options.

Exactly, still looking for some. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41483309)

Another example is Cam Scanner. There are a lot of programs that can do image manipulation but hardly anything that can automatically produce useful results.

Cam Scanner on my phone works nicely but the camera is crap compared to any decent digital camera (>$100) so I am still looking for an easy way to digitize documents without having to scan them. There a quite a few people searching on different forums but nothing similar for Windows, Linux or Mac seems available.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483753)

"Remote" for iOS and the Android version "Remote for iTunes".

There is "iTunesRemoteSE" for the Mac/PC/Linux, but it is based on an Android app and does not have as much functionality as the Android or iOS apps.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482085)

I got a 100% 189/189 perfect score on the original Angry Birds in 6 hours with a mouse. So basically so that people can cheat at games cuz mouse > finger. Also, MONEY!!! MOAR MONEY!!!!

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (1)

AmeerCB (1222468) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482249)

Now explain why I would even *want* to use phone apps on my desktop?

Because most people have already purchased huge numbers of apps and, if they can get use out of them on another platform, why not?

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482325)

Stock tickers, okcupid, weather, and other things where you do not have to open a web browser then type the name of the address, then login info if it is not saved, etc.

The apps can provide more functionality too and can sync with your phone. Ask any Mac user with an IPhone?

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482669)

So you can watch Netflix on Linux?

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41483141)

There are a lot of cool Android apps that make my phone more useful than my computers, depending on what I'm doing. I'm glad that small minds aren't in charge of everything.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483149)

Here's a subjective reason. I have this game called Stone Age Game. You can recruit other players into your clan by typing in their ID, so people send their IDs back and forth. It's a pain to select an ID, change to another screen and then paste it in. It's boring and tedious. On a PC, I could do that in a tenth of the time.
Stupid reason? Maybe, but it would at least improve my gameplay.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (1)

admdrew (782761) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483529)

As sort of an off-topic aside to this, I *hate* these kinds of games, because they're not "MMOs" like they claim, they just force their users to do marketing for them to increase the amount of advertising they send to people. And actually, they're not games, they're just revenue machines for lazy people taking advantage of peoples' desires to level up.

Thankfully, they're usually easy to avoid - you can always tell it's one of these when users post their game IDs in their reviews, asking you to "add me please!!".

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483481)

Now explain why I would even *want* to use phone apps on my desktop?

Because there are hundreds of thousands of them and, statistically, there has to be at least one good one.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (1)

erice (13380) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483891)

Thank you, Press-release-dot.

Now explain why I would even *want* to use phone apps on my desktop?

CraigsNotifica is a far better Craig's List browser than anything I have found for the desktop. I think they are may be some Windows payware that is of similar capability but I don't run Windows.

Re:Blah.blah..marketing..marteting..blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41484421)

Kairosoft.

Mouse versus touchscreen (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#41481873)

Also no word on how they overcame the difference between a mouse and touchscreen (think pinch to zoom).

Multi-touch trackpad, perhaps?

Re:Mouse versus touchscreen (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482003)

I don't see how there's any relevant difference at all between a desktop and a touch-screen tablet interface. Just use the same interface for both and everything will be fine. /Unity developer

Re:Mouse versus touchscreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482671)

Bwahahaha. God, I hope you're joking.

Re:Mouse versus touchscreen (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482189)

Maybe hold L&R mouse buttons then move mouse to zoom, or zoom with scroll wheel ?

Re:Mouse versus touchscreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482239)

Maybe hold L&R mouse buttons then move mouse to zoom, or zoom with scroll wheel ?

The zooming in and out isnt an issue, it's the rotational axis that would be really hard to duplicate well with a mouse. What you would need to do is presume that on-click is one finger, and the mouse as it moves away is another finger allowing you 2d input. You would still need the wheel for in-out control. There are just some things fingers do better on their own.

Re:Mouse versus touchscreen (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482625)

Or maybe pinch to zoom is irrelevant because the screen is large enough that you don't need to zoom.

Re:Mouse versus touchscreen (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483775)

ALWAYS RUN AT MAXIMUM ZOOM!

JUST LIKE TALKING AT MAXIMUM VOLUME!

  Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
  Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Karate-kid style... (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482855)

ctrl-scroll-wheel zoom in. ctrl-scroll-wheel zoom out. ctrl-scroll-wheel zoom in. ctrl-scroll-wheel zoom out. Feel like I can kick some serious ass now...

Re:Mouse versus touchscreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41483097)

Or the right button could be used for initiating multi touch.

Control differences (2)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#41481887)

Pinch to zoom is pretty easily handled by the mouse wheel, or say click both the left and right mouse button and drag. You could also do 3 finger touch if you include the middle button. Things that wouldn't work with a mouse would be rotations for example. Those could be handled by buttons on the keyboard, or I guess mouse gestures or other button combinations (left and middle to rotate left for example).

Re:Control differences (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41481939)

Easy. TWO MICE! AWESOME!

Re:Control differences (3, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year and a half ago | (#41481947)

Rotation is easily handled - moving the mouse left/right while holding the mousewheel down, for example. Unless there's also a need for panning while simultaneously zooming and rotating, of course.

On the other hand, how many apps do the two-finger rotation thing? And how many of those have you cursed for having it because every time you merely want to zoom, the app decides that you also want to rotate the view by 1 degree?

I see the lack of an accelerometer in most computers as a bigger issue. Even when it does have an accelerometer, that also happens to be accessible (perhaps as part of a laptop's mechanisms to help prevent damage to HDDs), a laptop isn't exactly something you start tilting around to e.g. play a racing game.

Still, there's plenty of apps that don't even need those things or you can make do with a kludge.

Re:Control differences (2)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482279)

I see the lack of an accelerometer in most computers as a bigger issue. Even when it does have an accelerometer, that also happens to be accessible (perhaps as part of a laptop's mechanisms to help prevent damage to HDDs), a laptop isn't exactly something you start tilting around to e.g. play a racing game.

Most likely they'll just use the arrow keys...

Bring it to Linux (4, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482021)

And then I'll be happy. Especially if it allows me to use Netflix, etc. (one of the few reasons I might boot to windows on my PC still)

Re:Bring it to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482079)

Why don't you just drop your netflix account? I'm sure no one will care.
 
BTW, your "homepage" is defunct. Why don't you clean that garbage off your profile?

Re:Bring it to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482223)

I am sure some one will care (for eg GP)

Re:Bring it to Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482561)

Why don't you just drop your netflix account? I'm sure no one will care.

Seriously, this. Netflix has made it clear times many over that they don't want any money from Linux users. So don't bother with them. There are plenty of other sources of media that do work on Linux just fine, many of which are cheaper and higher quality.

Re:Bring it to Linux (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482635)

Please do name a legal one.

I would love to use it. My understanding is the Linux client issue for netflix is not technical but contactual.

Re:Bring it to Linux (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482707)

Usenet.

Re:Bring it to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41483697)

*legal*

Amazon Prime is one, but their content sucks even worse than Netflix. Hulu Plus maybe to some extenet, though I would feel odd paying as much for instant video but still get subjected to intrusive ads.
Netflix has the expereince right on supported devices with some decent content (though admittedly still not *great*)

Re:Bring it to Linux (1)

Laur (673497) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482945)

Please do name a legal one.

Amazon Prime Video is working fine for me with the XBMC add on, and XBMC has a Linux client.

Re:Bring it to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41483163)

Netflix works fine as an XBMC addon too. Not under linux though, it cant playback encrypted flash videos.

Re:Bring it to Linux (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482499)

I agree 100%.
Does the netflix app work in the android virtual machine?

Never tried, as I have other devices hooked to my tv that can play it.

Re:Bring it to Linux (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482589)

I'm rather suprised that this is windows only (Android actually uses the Linux kernel) - it's much harder to port to a completely different OS and different kernel, than it is to port to another OS with an almost-identical kernel.

Re:Bring it to Linux (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482611)

I would think the bigger issue would be that arm emulation on x86 is painfully slow. Once you have that working reasonably well no need to port anything, just run the whole android os in the emulator.

Re:Bring it to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482969)

fortunately, java is equally slow on every platform

Only use I can think for it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482193)

I use a multiclient messenger (IMO) on my phone that, sadly, does not have a desktop port.
Looking around, they did try to make one, and swiftly abandoned it. Other than that, though, I don't think I'd use it for much, concept is still cool though.

Holey Hell Has Frozen Over Batman!!!!! (1)

Jeng (926980) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482205)

Slashdot has in the summary a link to an Original Source!

Screen real estate (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482227)

The problem with phone applications in general is they are designed for either a small display (phone) or large display (tablet).
A UI scrunched-up to fit a phone display suddenly becomes way too spacious when run on a tablet (let alone a 23" 1920x1600 monitor). Android tries to address this by allowing multiple layouts for your UI based on the display it's running on but I've not seen many applications actually implement that. I wonder how BlueStack is planning to address that. TFA sounds like they are mainly pimping "cloud sync" of app info.

Re:Screen real estate (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482657)

Could you not just window the app?
So if it was designed for 800x480 you just give it that many pixels?

Re:Screen real estate (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482787)

I don't know whether it would actually be worth using; but dumping phone-sized applications onto the PC desktop as 'widgets' would be architecturally pretty doable, though the difference in pixel density between most phones and most PCs could make it rather ugly: If you mapped pixels 1:1, the app would end up looking fairly enormous on most monitors; but if you used monitor DPI to display the app at the same size as the phone's screen, bitmap UI elements would not be happy. You'd also run into the bigger question of whether anybody actually wants 'widgets'. I'm pretty sure that I can't remember seeing either OSX Dashboard or the Windows Sidebar thing actually being used by an actual user in forever...

Re:Screen real estate (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483167)

Nice theory. But in practice most of the apps for my Android phone worked just fine on my 1280x768 tablet. Android isn't lame like iOS. Stuff actually scales well with no intervention.

BlueStacks has major problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482283)

According to one of my friends who works with AMD, the BlueStacks folks are having major technical problems and their investors are growing increasingly impatient - apparently for good reason. Rosen Sharma is on the spot to deliver but unless a miracle happens, the whole AMD deal is nothing but hype because they won't be able to deliver on their end.

like finglonger (2)

mestar (121800) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482383)

"There are many challenges with running apps that were originally designed for phones or tablets on a PC that in most cases has a larger screen and higher resolution display."

If only there was a way that you can limit the amount of screen a single app can take. If only... But, one can dream, one can dream...

Re:like finglonger (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482539)

If only, but as Windows 8 and other new interfaces prove such a technology has been lost to time. Perhaps one day it will be rediscovered.

Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482451)

Pinch to zoom could easily be implemented using the scroll wheel of a mouse.

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482701)

Pinch to zoom could easily be implemented using the scroll wheel of a mouse.

No, it can not.

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482893)

Pinch to zoom could easily be implemented using the scroll wheel of a mouse.

No, it can not.

For some reason I just replied to this and it didn't show. Yes, it certainly could. The position of the mouse would be the focus of the zoom and the scroll wheel would scroll in and out. Tell me why that wouldn't work.

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483013)

Two reasons:

1. The reason pinch-to-zoom works is because the other finger is defining range by human intuition. The scroll wheel does not provide even similar intuitive feedback, not to mention the ergonomics of trying to hold a button down and zoom.

2. Most scroll wheels provide clicks, not a smooth roll. (Think: the difference between integers and floats.)

Now I don't know for sure, but I'd also be willing to bet that that when an app does a pinch-to-zoom, they're not doing anything special to identify it as such. The software wouldn't know the difference bewteen "zooming' and "interpreting a gesture based on two inputs". If I'm right, then there's no way to auto-detect being able to swap the zoom gesture with a mouse + scroll wheel input. That would mean the scroll wheel would provide bizarre results for just about any Android app running on the PC.

The scroll wheel is not an alternative to multi-touch-input.

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483363)

Two reasons:

1. The reason pinch-to-zoom works is because the other finger is defining range by human intuition. The scroll wheel does not provide even similar intuitive feedback, not to mention the ergonomics of trying to hold a button down and zoom.

2. Most scroll wheels provide clicks, not a smooth roll. (Think: the difference between integers and floats.)

Now I don't know for sure, but I'd also be willing to bet that that when an app does a pinch-to-zoom, they're not doing anything special to identify it as such. The software wouldn't know the difference bewteen "zooming' and "interpreting a gesture based on two inputs". If I'm right, then there's no way to auto-detect being able to swap the zoom gesture with a mouse + scroll wheel input. That would mean the scroll wheel would provide bizarre results for just about any Android app running on the PC.

The scroll wheel is not an alternative to multi-touch-input.

No offense but that is a weak argument. I never said it was a replacement for multi-touch-input. I said it could be a viable alternative for pinch-to-zoom, which is a subset of multi-touch. Nothing you said makes it sound like it wouldn't work. It probably wouldn't be perfect but the functionality would be there.

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483479)

I never said it was a replacement for multi-touch-input.

I didn't say you said it was. What I said was the app emulating the Android device would need to know the difference between being a generic multi-touch gesture and an actual 'zoom' or you're going to get undesired behaviour.

I know you're not convinced, but that actually is a pretty compelling argument of why it's not as simple as you've made it out to be. Think about it.

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483615)

I never said it was a replacement for multi-touch-input.

I didn't say you said it was. What I said was the app emulating the Android device would need to know the difference between being a generic multi-touch gesture and an actual 'zoom' or you're going to get undesired behaviour.

I know you're not convinced, but that actually is a pretty compelling argument of why it's not as simple as you've made it out to be. Think about it.

I still think that it would be a suitable substitute, and yes I can write code and can think of ways to capture the mouse position and input to emulate pinch-to-zoom. What I fail to see is why anyone would want to run mobile apps on a PC, but that wasn't what we are debating. On that note, I would like to thank you for the civil debate. All too often these days /. descends into 4chan-space with regards to disagreements.

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about a year and a half ago | (#41484449)

On that note, I would like to thank you for the civil debate.

Cheers man, you've been great to talk to as well. Have a nice weekend. :)

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#41484453)

The app shouldn't need to do that. It should be receiving an appropriate event/message/action code from whatever abstraction layer deals with the GUI.

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

jsh1972 (1095519) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483371)

the defining range problem is easy- when you click down, that is your zero point, when you roll it up as Fwy as you can, it's equal to spreading your fingers apart as far as you can, and vice versa. Most pinch to zoom apps, i.e. Image galleries, won't zoom in to the max with one pinch; you typically have to use around 3 or 4... Same with the wheel, click down, roll up.. Click down, roll up... Click down, roll up. You could do it at the same speed as pinching, try it on your mouse.

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

jsh1972 (1095519) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483411)

sorry to reply to myself, the problem about the software knowing when it's a zoom and when it's a multi-touch pinch... Can't you bind the click wheel to always equal a multi-touch pinch, and just let the position of the mouse determine whether to zoom or not, just like pinching in certain areas on the screen? Also, I may not patent this, but if anyone tries to, this is prior art! ;-)

Re:Pinch to zoom is easy (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483523)

the defining range problem is easy- when you click down, that is your zero point, when you roll it up as Fwy as you can, it's equal to spreading your fingers apart as far as you can, and vice versa.

Mice do not have a standard for telling the computer that the user has completed a quarter turn. The configurability of the OS compounds this problem.

the problem about the software knowing when it's a zoom and when it's a multi-touch pinch... Can't you bind the click wheel to always equal a multi-touch pinch, and just let the position of the mouse determine whether to zoom or not, just like pinching in certain areas on the screen?

Lots of 'pinch to zoom' apps also handle rotation. That means the gesture is not as simple as "X and Y plus Distance'. It becomes "x1, y1 plus x2, y2". You're trying to control four inputs with only 3 outputs. You'll be able to make certain circumstances work, and that's about it.

You're gonna end up with a lot of apps not working right.

Trend (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482545)

I guess it's much easier to "dumb down" the desktop instead of trying to make "smarter" phone apps.

Why? (0)

gelfling (6534) | about a year and a half ago | (#41482763)

First off most Android apps suck. Second, they're built for touch screens. Third most Android apps suck. Fourth, most Android apps are built to circumvent limitations in the phones browser and the download speed. Fifth most Android apps suck.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482885)

There are some good ones that work well with regular PCs but most of them require Android >= 4.0 and Bluestacks runs 2.x underneath. They'e as usable as Metro/Win8 apps although that's not saying much.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41483297)

So do most apps period, that's why you don't download most of them, and just get the ones worthwhile.
Do you have some medical condition that requires you to download every app you see?

"Apps" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41482993)

I can't take anyone seriously who says "app" without putting it in inverted commas and rolling their eyes. Most apps are basically shitty browsers which can only view one website for some reason. Also everything has to be distributed through Google, which I never felt like registering my phone with.

Windows 8 Tablets (5, Insightful)

Arterion (941661) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483237)

You guys are missing the point! This is all about Windows 8 tablets, which are going to be on the market very soon. The Windows app store is going to be sparse, and honestly, the biggest drawback to getting a Windows tablet. With Bluestacks, you get all the Metro apps AND all your android apps. This is a HUGE deal.

Think about when Intel comes out with the next generation of ultra low power x86 processors: Windows 8 tablets running on x86. You get everything you could want: Real desktop apps, Metro Apps, and all the Android smartphone/tablet apps. Throw it in a case with a bluetooth keyboard + trackpack (or mouse), and why would anyone need or want a laptop? I think it could probably replace the desktop for many users.

I'm telling you, this is HUGE. It will allows Windows 8 tablets to overcome their barrier to entering the market: a mature app store.

Re:Windows 8 Tablets (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41483657)

"Think about when Intel comes out with the next generation of ultra low power x86 processors: Windows 8 tablets running on x86. You get everything you could want: Real desktop apps, Metro Apps, and all the Android smartphone/tablet apps."

Except it states it only runs on AMD setups...

pinch-to-zoom with a mouse (1)

jsh1972 (1095519) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483323)

pinch-to-zoom with a mouse could be done by pressing down on the click wheel, and while held down, roll up to zoom in and down to zoom out, or vice versa.

Re:pinch-to-zoom with a mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41483551)

Or hold a key and scroll.

Controls? Easy! (1)

Pubstar (2525396) | about a year and a half ago | (#41483789)

Why is everyone over complicating this?
Pinch To Zoom: Just use mouse wheel
Pinch to Rotate: Hold mouse wheel down, have you move in a circular pattern in the way you want to rotate
Accelerometer: Push a button to toggle mouse usage where current setting is center, moving it determines how far the device is tilted. Have another key to recenter and have an adjustable dead zone.
Or is there something Im missing here that makes it harder than this?

It's a win32 app? (1)

hduff (570443) | about a year and a half ago | (#41484081)

So does it run in WINE?

Re:It's a win32 app? (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year and a half ago | (#41484215)

Let's get it right: you want to emulate an emulator that emulates a Linux system? Especially now that Android changes have been merged into upstream kernels, this seems to be Ruby Goldbergesque to say the least. It's pretty trivial to get text-mode Android to run in a chroot, it might be tricky to get graphics right. I did not try that -- if you're satisfied in system-in-a-box, VirtualBox and/or KVM work well enough.

Bluestacks on a 100" Touchscreen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41484119)

Here at TouchMi we have been using Bluestacks for quite some time. We really love it. Here is an example of it running on a 100" touchscreen we built. The version that is running here is still beta however its very responsive and works quite well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSSey2JEzSo&feature=plcp

huh? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year and a half ago | (#41484345)

There are many challenges with running apps that were originally designed for phones or tablets on a PC that in most cases has a larger screen and higher resolution display.

Try doing it the other way round. In the snow.

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