Why Are Android Apps on Windows 11 Better Than BlueStacks?
The ability to run Android apps is one of the most interesting features of Windows 11. But what makes that so exciting? Isn’t it possible to do so with an app called “BlueStacks” that has been for years? Yes, but this is far superior.
It’s true that running Android apps on Windows has been technically doable for quite some time. BlueStacks was initially published in 2014, and it was the first stable version. Android apps in Windows 11 and BlueStacks, on the other hand, are significantly different.
How Does BlueStacks Work?
BlueStacks is an emulator at its most basic level. It creates a virtual environment in which Android applications and games can operate. BlueStacks is a full-fledged Android emulator that runs on your Windows computer. Everything is included within the BlueStacks software.
BlueStacks is essentially a “virtual machine,” if you’ve ever heard of the term. The Android apps and games are run in a virtual Android environment rather than on Windows. That’s one of the biggest differences between BlueStacks and Android apps in Windows 11.
Virtual computers and emulators can be useful tools, but they’re not without flaws.
Why Window’s 11 Android App Solution is Better
Emulators and virtual machines have the drawback of consuming a lot of resources from your computer. After all, it’s a full operating system that runs on top of your current Windows installation.
This has always been one of BlueStacks’ major drawbacks. Although running a virtual Android device on your computer is technically possible, it is more of a bandaid than a solution. It’s not a pleasant experience, and it puts a strain on your computer’s capabilities.
In Windows 11, Android apps do not run in an emulator. To run Android apps natively, Windows 11 use Intel Bridge Technology (IBT), a “runtime post-compiler.” The word “natively” is crucial here.
We’ve written a comprehensive guide to how Android apps operate with Windows 11. The crucial thing to keep in mind is that IBT recompiles the Android app’s code to include everything it requires to run on Windows 11. It connects native Android features to native Windows features.
As a result, Android apps operate natively in Windows 11 without any additional effort on the part of the developers. Almost any Android app or game will function, whether you get it from the Amazon Appstore or sideload it.
Emulation Isn’t As Good As Native
It all comes down to whether you want to run native or simulated programs. Using native apps is always preferable. They can make better use of your Windows PC’s resources. They don’t use any hacky workarounds to respect built-in Windows functionalities. If you want to run Android apps on your PC in the most efficient way possible, Windows 11 is the way to go.
Emulators and virtual machines have the drawback of draining a lot of resources from your computer. After all, it’s a whole operating system that runs on top of your current Windows installation.
This has always been BlueStacks’ worst flaw. Although running a virtual Android device on your PC is technically possible, it is more of a band-aid than a long-term solution. It’s not a pleasant experience, and it puts a burden on your computer’s capabilities.
In Windows 11, Android apps do not run in an emulator. To run Android apps natively on Windows 11, Intel Bridge Technology (IBT) — a “runtime post-compiler” – is used. The word ‘native’ is crucial here.
We’ve got a complete rundown of how Android apps operate in Windows 11. The most important thing to remember is that IBT recompiles the Android app code to include everything required for Windows 11 compatibility. bridges the gap between native Android and native Windows functionality.
As a result, Android apps operate natively in Windows 11 without any additional effort on the part of the developers. Any Android app or game, whether downloaded from the Amazon Appstore or sideloaded, will just function.
Emulation is inferior to native.
It all comes down to whether you want to run native programs or simulated apps. Native apps are always preferable. They can make better use of the resources on your Windows PC. They don’t use any hacky workarounds to get past built-in Windows features. If you want to run Android apps on your PC in the best possible way, Windows 11 is the way to go.
Benchmarks of Windows Subsystem for Android vs. BlueStacks
Before we get to the results, I want to underline that you should treat these figures with caution. This is because BlueStacks’ benchmark scores vary depending on the device profile and performance mode. During my experiments, I used the Galaxy S20 Ultra as the device profile and the high-performance option in BlueStacks. Furthermore, BlueStacks uses Android 7 Nougat, whereas Windows Subsystem for Android uses Android 11. BlueStacks outperformed Windows Subsystem for Android in single-core performance with these settings, whereas WSA outperformed BlueStacks in multi-core performance, as seen below:
As I previously stated, these rankings do not really reflect WSA’s full potential, especially when it is in beta. Before passing judgment on optimization and performance, it’s best to wait till Microsoft releases the final version of WSA.
BlueStacks vs. Windows Subsystem for Android: App Compatibility
When compared to BlueStacks, the main challenge for Windows Subsystem for Android is app compatibility. Windows Subsystem for Android, unlike BlueStacks, does not run Google apps and services natively. Although it is possible to sideload Android apps and even run Google apps on the Windows Subsystem for Android, a typical Windows 11 user is unlikely to do both. They’ll most likely rely on Amazon’s native Appstore integration.
Because the Windows Subsystem for Android does not come with Google Mobile Services (GMS), the app selection is severely limited. Even if you sideload software, apps that require Google Play Store will not work until your WSA installation is patched and Google Play Store is installed on Windows 11. BlueStacks, on the other hand, has a large library of apps and games owing to the Google Play Store.
I’d also want to point out that both Windows Subsystem for Android and Bluestack 5 enable multiple instances. You might be wondering what that means. That means you can use your Windows 11 PC to run many Android apps at the same time. You are not restricted to using only one Android app or game at any given moment. BlueStacks vs. Windows Subsystem for Android: Performance
In terms of performance, my limited experience using Android apps on Windows 11 has been positive. On my Windows 11 PC, I was able to install most of my favorite apps, including Apple Music. The experience has been fairly pleasant, whether it’s installing apps from the Play Store, watching videos on YouTube, or scrolling through Reels on Instagram. Of course, you won’t be able to scale Instagram to fill your laptop’s entire screen, and certain programs can be hard to resize or install. However, the initial beta of Windows Subsystem for Android has exceeded my expectations in every way.
Now, one key point raised by Rupesh from our team in this video is the use of RAM. He discovered that the former was sucking RAM like crazy while testing both Windows Subsystem for Android and Bluestack. Bluestacks was using roughly 100MB of RAM and running smoothly when the Google Play Store was open, however WSA was consuming around 2.4GB of memory. So, yes, Android apps on Windows 11 require the WSA to work, and it appears that additional RAM is required for smooth operation.