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Microsoft bringing Android apps to Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft has been working on ways to bring Android apps onto Windows 10 Mobile, according to reports from Neowin and numerous other Windows related blogs.

It is not the first time Microsoft has looked into porting Android’s 1.3 million apps onto Windows Phone, rumors in 2013 and 2014 pointed to tests but nothing conclusive. The lack of growth on the store might have pushed Microsoft to go through with it this time, even if it means a potential drop in natively developed apps.

Google allows other platforms to sideload Android apps. BlackBerry has used this sideloader to bring Android apps onto the BB10 platform, although that did not result in any growth on the platform.

Windows 10 will be a unified system of apps for mobile, tablet and desktop, but it is unclear how these Android apps will work on larger displays. Google has worked on making Android apps more usable on larger screens, but these tend to be 3 to 6-inches - not suitable for 22-inch desktop screens.

Hopefully, Microsoft’s universal apps will work regardless of the programming language. The two platforms do have a lot in common when it comes to development, but Microsoft is closed source whereas Android is open.

Microsoft has not announced that it will be using Android apps to beef up the app store, but we expect before summer an announcement will be made. Considering it is a stab at the lack of Windows apps available, it will most likely be a stealth announcement, tucked away in the patch notes.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.