2013/01/30

Bluestacks Attack!

If you have another Android device with Google Play Store, then you should be sideloading apps using either the Google Drive methods. 

If you don't have another Android device, then up until now you've been unfortunately out of luck. I've been searching for an Android emulator for a few months now, but nothing that I’ve come across was simple enough to promote to everyone.  That is until I came back to BlueStacks, after abandoning it as an option, about a year ago.  Upon installing BlueStacks this time, I stumbled upon a hidden and undisclosed feature -  access to the Android Market, aka Google Play Store. 

BlueStacks App Player emulates a Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone running Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) and can be installed on PCs running Windows XP, Vista, 7 or 8 and Macs running OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion).  

Following my written instructions or Fan-a-Tech Robyn's video will allow you to install the BlueStacks App Player on your PC or Mac, gain access to Google Play Store and then sideload apps onto the nabi 2 Tablet.

PREREQUISITE:  None.


BLUESTACKS INSTALLATION:
1. Go to the BlueStacks website on your computer.

2. Click on the appropriate Windows or Mac download option.

UPDATE:
The current Windows beta version 0.8.1.3051 gets stuck loading when BlueStacks is launched.  Please download the last working version from the link below.

NOTE:
 To ensure that this "feature" does not disappear, the latest versions of the program with the feature will always be available here.

3. Click on the downloaded file to run the installation.

4. Click the Continue button after reading through the Terms provided.
5. Click the Install button, keeping the default settings.
6. Launch BlueStacks App Player, once the installation has completed.
TIP: To exit full screen mode, hit the F11 key on your keyboard.

7. Click on the Tools icon located next to the My Apps icon in the top panel.
8. Select the ES File Explorer option.
9. Select the ES File Explorer File Manager option under the Android Market icon on the far right.  
NOTE: As ES File Explorer is being installed during this process you will need to select another option in order to access the Google Play Store the next time.  I suggest pick Dropbox.
10. Click on the Yes button.
11. Click the Next button.
12. Click the Sign In button and enter your information.
13. Proceed until you have linked your Google account to the BlueStacks App Player, and then click the Finish Setup button.
14. Click the Continue button to upgrade Android Market to Google Play.

15. Click the Accept button, after reading through the Google Play Terms of Service.
NOTE: The Google Play Store app is now fully available for purchasing and downloading apps compatible with a Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone running Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread).

Not all apps installed from the Google Play Store can be sideloaded or will necessarily work on the nabi 2 Tablet.  This is due to numerous factors including developers utilizing DRM restrictions on the app and hardware and drive differences between the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone and the nabi 2 Tablet.
If you do not have a credit card associated with your Google account, the first time you go to purchase an app you will be asked to enter the related credit card information.  It is not necessary in order to download free apps.

UPLOADING APPS:
16. Search for and install ES File Explorer, Astro File Manager, an app you want to sideload onto the nabi 2 Tablet and finally Google Drive. While other Cloud Service apps can be installed and used Google Drive provides a direct launch option into ES File Explorer.
17. After installing Google Drive you'll notice a Notification icon pop-up in the Notification bar.
18. In order to access the Notification bar pull down on the center of it.
19. Click on the Permission Requested notice.
20. Click on the Allow button to grant the required permission.
21. Click the Open button on the Google Drive install and click the Accept button after reading the Terms of Service.
22. Click the OK button.
23. After launching Google Drive you'll again notice some Notification icons pop-up in the Notification bar.  Click on each of them and click the Accept button to allow the permissions.
24. Click on the Menu soft key in the bottom left corner to access the Google Drive menu options.  Click on the Upload option.
25. Check the "Use by default for this action" check box and then select ES File Explorer.
26. Click on the AppMgr button second from the right hand side.
27. Choose the app that you want to upload.
28. Select the File Way option.
29. Modify the file name to something appropriate so that it is easy to identify.
30. Click the OK button to begin uploading the app to your Google Drive account.
31. A notification will pop-up when the upload is complete.
32. Repeat steps 24-31 until all of the apps you want to upload are done.
NOTE: If the upload fails, skip down to Step 44 to troubleshoot.

INSTALLING APPS:
33. Login to Mommy/Daddy Mode on the nabi 2 Tablet.
34. Launch the Google Drive app.
35. Click on the app that you want to install.
36. Click on the Install button.
37. Click on the Done button.
38. Repeat Steps 35-36 for any other apps you want to install.
39. Click the Home soft key and launch the Add Apps app.
40. Check the apps you want to make available in nabi Mode.  Uncheck any that you'd like to remove.
41. Click the Home soft key and launch into nabi Mode.
42. Click on the All Apps icon in the top right corner to access all of the apps available in nabi Mode.
43. Hold down on the app that you want to make available on the Home Screen.and position it on the page you want.

UNABLE TO UPLOAD APP:
Some developers put DRM restrictions on their apps, so that they cannot be backed up and sideloaded.  Astro File Manager provides a method of quickly seeing if an app has DRM restrictions placed on it.
44. Launch Astro File Manager from under My Apps in the BlueStacks App Player.
45. Drag from right to left to access a list of options.  
46. Click on the Application Manager.
47. Scroll through the list of apps.  If the troublesome app has (private) listed next to the backup check box, then the app cannot be backed up and has DRM restrictions on it. Check the check box if (private) is not listed beside it.
48. Click the Backup button to backup the app to /sdcard/backups/apps.
49. Hit the Back soft key numerous times to exit Astro File Manager.
50. Launch Google Drive, from My Apps, and being the upload process, as shown in Step 24.  This time however, instead of clicking AppMgr select the backups folder.
51. Click on the app to upload and proceed using Steps 28.

6 comments:

On step 34 when it says launch Google Drive under mommy/daddy mode does this mean download it to the Nabi or just open it in the browser? Also I am just making sure by doing this, does not void the warranty correct? But I made it to step 34 and I got confused a little because when I went into it as a browser and logged in it shows what is on my drive but it looks nothing like what is above.

"Laton Abu says: February 2, 2013 at 5:08:00 PM EST Reply
On step 34 when it says launch Google Drive under mommy/daddy mode does this mean download it to the Nabi or just open it in the browser? Also I am just making sure by doing this, does not void the warranty correct? But I made it to step 34 and I got confused a little because when I went into it as a browser and logged in it shows what is on my drive but it looks nothing like what is above."

It is a prerequisite to install the minimum required apks and the Google Drive app before proceeding with the BlueStacks installation. Neither using BlueStacks nor installing Google Apps through the Googlie Booglie post voids your warranty, as you are not rooting your device. You can either use the Google Drive app that you were supposed to have installed or go to drive.google.com in order to download your apks.

To install 'large' apps like Asphalt 7, use the following to increase SD card size

http://7labs.heypub.com/tips-tricks/bluestacks-sd-card-internal-memory-ram.html

I am trying to follow the directions but many of the steps do not have the options listed available on the Bluestacks program that I downloaded. Can you tell me what version you are using so that I can try to acquire that version? I believe the options have since changed.

I went back and uninstalled the newer version and installed the older version you had above. The options are now the same however when I go to install Vudu in BlueStacks, it is telling me that the Vudu app is not compatible with this version.

"Mary says: March 25, 2014 at 2:37:00 PM EDT
I am trying to follow the directions but many of the steps do not have the options listed available on the Bluestacks program that I downloaded. Can you tell me what version you are using so that I can try to acquire that version? I believe the options have since changed.

Mary says: March 25, 2014 at 3:49:00 PM EDT
I went back and uninstalled the newer version and installed the older version you had above. The options are now the same however when I go to install Vudu in BlueStacks, it is telling me that the Vudu app is not compatible with this version."

Hi Mary! Sorry that I haven't had time to update this post with the latest version of BlueStacks. If you have a nabi 2 tablet then I'd suggest performing the latest updates to the tablet which installs the Google Play Store and related Google apps. This will allow you direct access to installing Vudu onto your tablet, if it is compatible. In the past it has been compatible, then not compatible, then compatible again. As the app is not available in Canada, I can't verify if it works on the nabi tablet product line right now or not.

To upgrade your nabi 2 tablet (all versions) please check out the Biggest News Since... and I'm Going Shopping blog posts that can be quickly accessed from the list at the top right of the page.

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