Native Android app support for Windows 10 is still on track for 2021 launch

Android apps for Windows 10

After abandoning Project Astoria,
Microsoft has been looking into ways of bringing Android apps
to Windows 10 and it has already enabled streaming support
via the Your Phone app for select Samsung phones.

Microsoft’s latest idea is “Project Latte”, which aims to help
developers package their mobile app as an MSIX and enable
native support for the Android subsystem. The project is built
on top of the Windows Subsystem for Linux and it will initially
support apps published by developers in the Windows Store.

If the idea is implemented it could help address the infamous
“app gap” problem of the Windows Store and also improve the
Store experience on Windows 10 ARM and Windows 10X.

We’d heard whispers as far back as early October last year that
Microsoft was working on a successor to Project Astoria, but we
still don’t have any tangible evidence to back that up.

Android apps for Windows
Android apps via Your Phone app

However, the project is still on track and it’s apparently not
cancelled. In fact, the first preview of this feature could be
released in the second half of this year. To offer native
Android app compatibility, Microsoft also plans to replace
Google APIs with Windows APIs wherever possible.

Unlike Project Astoria, Project Late and the associated
Linux-based sub-system will be a little more advanced with
support for Windows 10 features.

It will allow end-users to sideload Android apps on their
desktop. To do so, you would need to open Developer Settings
and enable developer mode, and then deploy the desired app.

However, apps like Gmail, Photos and Play Store, which rely
completely on Google Play Services integration, won’t work on
Windows 10.

Android apps compatibility on Windows 10

Most APK files are expected to work without modification and
little effort would be needed to bring Android apps to the
desktop operating system.

However, some apps won’t run properly, owing to screen
resolution issues, lack of Google Play services, and crashes
when using the keyboard.

Project Latte is currently expected to go live in the preview
builds later this year and it could change the Windows Store
picture in a big way.

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