What you need to know
- BlueStacks 5 beta is now available for download.
- The Android emulator has been rewritten and now uses 40 percent less RAM.
- BlueStacks 5 beta supports ARM devices, including the Surface Pro X.
BlueStacks is one of the most popular Android emulators available. The makers of the emulator recently announced BlueStacks 5 beta, which includes several improvements over BlueStacks 4 that came out in 2018. The app now uses 40 percent less RAM, has new features, and supports ARM devices like the Surface Pro X.
The latest version of BlueStacks is a complete rewrite of the app. The two main benefits of this rewrite are reduced RAM usage and support for ARM devices. It also has a 40 percent faster setup time and a library of over 2 million games.
"ARM devices have a big advantage over x86 devices for running Android Apps as they don't need binary translation. Our support for ARM reflects the work we have been doing for the last three years," says Sharad Agawarwal, chief architect for BlueStacks 5.
The emulator also has FPS lock and Long-flight features that make it better for longer play sessions. According to its developers, it should have more consistent FPS figures during gaming. It also has an Eco-mode that makes multitasking more efficient.
While there's plenty of good news when it comes to BlueStacks 5, Android Authority highlights a major weakness. According to Android Authority, BlueStacks 5 still uses Android 7.1.2 Nougat, which came out in 2016.
Using a version of Android from four years ago could cause compatibility issues going forward. Four years is a long time in terms of Android app support, and some app developers may move away from Nougat soon if they haven't already.
While the press release announcing BlueStacks 5 beta mentions ARM support, the emulator's page only lists Intel and AMD processors as supported at this time. It seems that ARM support will be available in the future.