Thursday , February 22 2018

Android apps, now coming to … Windows Phone?

In some stranger news, rumours have emerged that Microsoft may be considering allowing Android apps to run on both Windows (i.e. the desktop variant) and also Windows Phone. Sources familiar with Microsoft have told The Verge as much, stating that Microsoft favours the idea of simply allowing Android apps inside its existing operating system/ecosystem, while others believe it could lead to the death of the (already flagging) OS.

Android is undoubtedly more successful than Microsoft’s mobile operating system; it’s everywhere, it’s overtaken iOS as the most common mobile platform, and it has the app support behind it as you’d expect. Mainstream apps come for iOS and Android, but Windows Phone is often considered too niche to develop for, and so the platform misses out.

There’s a tonne of speculation (and it really is nothing more than that) about how precisely this could work, with Microsoft possibly able to borrow from BlueStacks’ technology, which allows Android apps to run on the Windows desktop platform already. It could also use hardware-level emulation, which has been developed elsewhere, but if you ask us, the problem is elsewhere.

One can’t imagine that Google is likely to allow Windows Phone users to access the Google services necessary to get things like the Play Store working, perhaps leaving Android on Windows (if it ever does eventuate) as a significantly poorer cousin to those running Android natively.

This could either throw Windows Phone a line (maybe), or lead to a faster switch of Windows Phone users to Android instead (seems more likely).

What are your thoughts?

Source: Verge.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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5 Comments on "Android apps, now coming to … Windows Phone?"

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Valued Guest

This will be great for Windows 8.1 pc users since the Win8 app store is really lagging behind and not widely supported by many developers. Also, pc hardware is quite powerful and should handle the most demanding android app fairly well.

I cannot imagine how this will work but I hope this actually will go ahead.

Ben Liu
Valued Guest
Ben Liu

It really isnt too hard to bring Android type applications to Windows platform as long as they develop a top notch Dalvik engine. This is actually a very clever strategy to allow more apps being able to run on their closed platform. All Google needs to do now is some cross licensing policies with them to seal a deal and hopefully the MS vs Google patent wars will disappear to give a really good ecosystem for all consumers (unlike Apple).

Stewart Wilson
Valued Guest

Not sure how well this will work out for Windows Phone users. Developers will continue to only release apps for iOS + Android, if Microsoft allows this. This will lead to not having many native apps on the platform. Blackberry tried this and the emulation was horrible.

Valued Guest

Actually, this is less surprising now I think of it.
Consider what has been reported on the Nokia Normandy. That it’s supposed to be using a thoroughly MS-ifyed version of Android. I am wondering if that rumour about the Normandy is wrong, and if the plan is to use the Normandy to bring Android apps to the Windows Phone OS.

Valued Guest

I recall the Blackberry emulation of Android apps was quite dodgy, so this is still far from ideal. It might be the only way for WP to close the app gap, but it it will effectively kill MS’s store. So much for those WP-exclusive Metro styled apps.

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