Windows Phone with Android

Software giant 'seriously considering' Android app support, reports The Verge

Future Windows Phone handsets and Windows computers could run Android apps, according to a report from The Verge's Tom Warren. Citing unnamed sources, the outlet says Microsoft is "seriously considering" bringing support for Android applications to its Windows and Windows Phone operating systems. While discussions are said to be ongoing within Microsoft, and opinions within the company apparently sharply divided, the move is seen as a possible way for Windows Phone to bridge the so-called "app gap" between with Android and iOS.

Warren points out that the ubiquity of Android and its relatively strong library of apps could allow Microsoft to position Android support as a "Band-Aid" for its Windows Phone app woes. The move has echoes of BlackBerry's Android runtime, a feature which in its latest release allows BlackBerry 10 devices to run Android apps alongside native BB10 apps. Any Microsoft runtime, like BlackBerry's, would likely lack Google Play Services, and thus wouldn't offer the same APIs as an "official" Google Android device. (It's also worth considering how vastly different the design languages of Windows and Android are right now.)

Nevertheless, many companies are already working on getting Android and Windows to play nicely together, including Bluestacks and manufacturers like ASUS, with dual-OS devices. For its part, Microsoft is reported to have reached out to HTC late last year over installing Windows Phone as a dual-boot option on some of its Android phones.

Any move towards official Android app support on Windows could have far-reaching consequences for Microsoft and Google. Though the decision-making process is apparently at an early stage, it'll be interesting to see whether Microsoft decides to take a chance on Android, and if so whether it's able to turn this feature into a boost in sales and app numbers.

Source: The Verge


Reader comments

Microsoft could bring Android app support to Windows, Windows Phone


Well...I have a Nokia Lumia 521 and they need some apps. But a mean, if windows has 4% of the market, the only way is up no. And sideloading apk I think is not the solution.

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Here we go with the false equivalency argument. Please don't make it sound like WP and Android are equal in anyway, almost everything about WP is inferior and to suggest otherwise is absurd.

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For you to even fix your fingers to type the above only goes to show you have never touched a Windows Phone. Other than the lack of apps, I know without a doubt that WP far surpasses Android in just about every way possible. And I'm a big Android fan! Android is still in it's adolescents compared to WP. Just because WP doesn't have to market share that Android has don't for a second think that Android is a better product. It's not.

I half agree with you. I strongly dislike the "better" argument, which is highly personal, but there's no denying that Windows Phone has a much better performance and a coherent design language. Just look how smooth it runs on a low level hardware like the Lumia 520.

I use Android as my main device. I'm not a app hungry that needs million of possibilities, which, by the way, are more than a half just crappy software. The next update for WP, 8.1, is certainly going to nail a lot of features missing in Windows Phone, bringing it more close to its competitors (let's face it, WP lacks some useful things...).

But the advent of Android apps is surely a step backwards for the platform. It would seriously damage all the careful work spend to build the Windows Phone as a platform, and justify a denial to its app development. On the other hand, run Android applications on a touch capable Windows desktop is another story, far more interesting and much more appealing for Microsoft.

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I think you are right. If WP opens the floodgates to android apps, then many developers may lose interest in WP, and WP might become irrevocably dependent upon a completing platform, which is not a good business plan.

The Lumia 520 does not have low level hardware. Low RAM maybe, but it still has a Dual Core Snapdragon S4 just like the Galaxy S3. Android would run just fine on a Lumia 520, especially since Kit Kat. There is a reason Nokia is using Android on their low end device. Windows Phone requirements are too high.

@jwyche007 :

This is an Android forum, ahh. I get it.

So how does it actually feel to beat yourself in front of your own home crowd like this? Trotting out false equivalency like you're lord of specious reasoning and then turning right around and ending your post with an appeal to ridicule? I mean why'd you even come out of the locker room suited up if you were going to embarrass yourself?

What a childish post.

I've been looking at WP for a few months now, solely because of Nokia's hardware. Hardware that is unmatched (in my opinion) by Android OEM's.

This is really bad but yeah, it's pretty much true. I went into my nearest carrier store and tried to bend a Nokia and Samsung. Samsung felt like it wanted to break. The Nokia absolutely solid, it feels like one piece of solid steel without any flex.


Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Have you ever used one? Be honest...

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Hardware as in the case? Because the screens aren't that great and who cares about the processor or memory if it gets the job done. I am not sure what makes a Nokia better than an HTC One for example other than nostalgia. The camera of one of their phones is nice I guess.

That's debatable.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

The screens aren't that great? News to me, since I don't see any Android or Apple screens staying intact while getting run over by cars, hit with ball bats, or thrown against stone pillars like the 920 was subjected to on YouTube.

And as for screen quality? It doesn't take 4K resolution to ensure everything is crystal clear, bright, and can be seen no problem in direct sunlight. My Nokia 1520 is testament to all of that. And it's even funnier when journalists pretend they don't know why the 1520 doesn't have a stylus. Perhaps if the Note screens were sensitive enough to use with any device that can be dragged on it, or through gloves, we'd have nothing to discuss regarding stylus support and trying to "decide" for everyone that the concept of a phablet dictates its use of a stylus.

After that's all done, you'll finally be right. Its camera buries its competitor's offerings too.

Bold move but the apps won't be stable and unable to connect to gp services thus no updates. Can't beat em join em I suppose.

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This could be a good move for Android in general.
Shortly after I started sideloading Android Apps onto my old BlackBerry device's, I just decided to say screw it and went out and got a Note 2 and got rid of BlackBerry.
Look at me now, A Samsung fan boy!
Maybe this will convert people from WP to Android!

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I did the same thing. I had the Z10 which runs perfectly the UI is sweet. But when you start sideloading android apps stuff goes wonky. The latest update fixed a lot of it but I love my Droid Maxx.

how is that working out so far for those parasitic innovation-bankrupt incompetent intellectually-challenged canucks over at blackberry? 0% market share?

Maybe, lol

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Lol, yeah, that was slightly intense

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. At least Microsoft admits they have a problem with their apps, or lack thereof. I agree with a previous poster, this will be great for Android as it will show Windows Phone users what they're missing and probably spur some of them to jump ship and switch over to Android.

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Without Google Play, there will still be an app gap. The Amazon app store proves how large this gap is, just ask Kindle Fire owners. You may be able to find the app, only to realize that it is an old version.

The way I see it is, either provide Google Play support, or don't provide Android app support at all.

If true, then it sounds like Microsoft is admitting defeat. I realize that sounds a bit dramatic, but this is coming from the company who held a funreal for the iPhone.

Also coming from a company that joined Apple and others to form RockStar Consortium To Sue Google and Android and Now They Want Android Apps, WTF? Good luck getting that partnership going while sueing Google and Android

It's fine for BB10, but not for WP, as WP is supposed to unique and not look like iOS and Android apps. So I don't like this. And we pretty much got all of the popular apps already, like Instagram (even though 6ag is better). :)

I agree with you.
The third party apps are better on WP than the first party ones on other platforms. 6tag and 6snap are good examples.
also Temple Run 2 gets you Xbox Live achievements.

Seriously, this is the worst thing that could possibly happen to Windows phone.
WP 8.1 just has to be released (look at the leaks, its gonna be awesome), and it will be the best OS out there, people will buy more wp devices, it will get more market share than iOs, devs will get intrested, and problem solved.
WP Apps have a look and feel to them, that Android apps don't have. It would destroy the wp experience.

Blackberry 10.X.X keeps saying the same thing (its gonna be AWESOME!, never is) but I agree with you on ruining the design language of WP could be a bad thing.

Windows Phone is dead. Nokia and Microsoft could not make it work together, what chance does Microsoft have on its own? Nokia sold less Lumia phones last quarter, and that was during Christmas! Do you really think Microsoft has any chance to increase sales? They have had no success in mobile at all, what exactly are they doing that will change that?

I think that all these companies Google, Samsung, Black Berry and now Microsoft are are teaming up to try and destroy Apple

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The only problem with this theory is that BlackBerry, Microsoft, and Apple are all members of the Rockstar Consortium trying to destroy Google's core ad business.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

So what would be Microsoft then? It has already "partnered" with Apple :D A skitsofrenic company? :D (Well look at win 8, that is the answer.)

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So the App-Gap remains the biggest problem with Windows Phone; as Nokia (Now Microsoft) see things.
It makes me wonder if Widows Phone would even have survived without Nokia taking up the OS.

I would assume they would still need to license every app if they do that which wouldn't be a small task and some campanies, like google, probably wouldn't play along. Microsoft has shown with the youtube app they aren't willing to put up with the ads from google so I am not sure how this would work.

What is the point of even using Windows phone then? Why not just use Android and put a windows phone skin over the top of it so that it looks the same? Most people don't care how the guts work.

People should care how the guts work. Perhaps not what they are but definitely how they work.
the same specs as the Galaxy S3 with less ram runs incredibly better on the Lumia 520. No lag. Ever. Where the S3 is lagtastic half the time.

Microsoft just needs to make their apps (Office, etc.) for Android and then have Nokia make Android phones/tablets.

I'd probably use Microsoft web services if I could get them cross platform.

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While I do not hate on WP like others do (I like it for how limited it is/was/can be) I think it show a serious lack of effort on the part of MS. Maybe it is just that they got into the game a bit too late. Maybe it is the lack of hardware (only one OEM, not that it is not good hardware).

Any way this is kinda good new for us in the android world. With both BlackBerry and Windows Phones claiming Android apps as their own, the Android platform may get better attention.

What I am say is why design for one platform (iOS) when you can design for 3 (Android and by extension WP and BB)

Supporting Android apps on Windows phones is a very sensible thing to do IMHO. There is nothing wrong with creating a product that offers the best of both worlds. Microsoft's goal should be to make as much money as possible for its shareholders by all possible legal means, and they already make a significant amount of money by licensing patents to Android phone makers. Android isn't the enemy, but an apportunity to increase Microsoft's profits.

Yeah, right. Microsoft doesn't even allow sideloading of Windows apps, now they are going to allow Android apps? I don't understand why anybody would expect that.

This is interesting news, to say the least. I've had my eye on Windows Phone, for awhile now. I'm not sure if this is the right course of action, but I wouldn't be mad, if I saw this functionality baked in to Windows Phone 8.1.

My only concern is that it hurts native app development for Windows Phone. This same issue threatened/continues to threaten app development for BlackBerry.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Like webOS and BlackBerry this makes absolutely no sense. The end goal is to get apps on your platform, right?

If I'm a developer who has iOS and Android apps and MS does this, what would ever make me want to develop an app for WP? Nothing. In fact this may hurt MS. It may have WP developers asking why shouldn't they move their apps from WP to Android resulting in even fewer apps for WP (native, that is).

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Interesting. I guess android is the savior of faulting ecosystems from blackberry to windows phone

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I like that there trying to get more apps on the platform, but Microsoft needs to spur developers to get their apps ported to the Windows phone platform. That would allow apps to tap into more features that windows phone has, instead of just emulating android apps

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So let me get this straight, MS already makes a couple billion from android and ransoming their patents to OEMS, cant make it on thier own so now (like blackberry) wants to run Android apps to boost sales yet BOTH these companies are part of rockstar sueing Google. WOW. Wish google could block this somehow but i dont think its possible.

This reminds me a little of the VHS/Beta issue... VHS being ubiqitous and Beta (probably the better format for image quality) backed by Sony, trying to gain market share. IIRC Sony came out with dual VHS/Beta decks so you could have both... perhaps someone also came out with dual Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players as well, but using the hybrid/moped approach, historically, hasn't worked. Wasn't there a way to boot Windows within a Mac environment? Who ended up actually doing that?

Ya still wouldn't even bring me close to considering a Windows phone. I'd go without a phone before I got a Windows phone.

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Yea in this connected world we live in no phone is certainly better than something perfectly suitable for the job. I hear ya man.
haters gotta hate. Its how we do.

I use the Android Runtime on my Z30 and I must say it has made my phone more enjoyable to use some Android apps (Netflix, Google Earth, Draw 2, paypal), they all run great, but the UI is different. The thing is, is that I never buy Android apps, only free ones. I only purchase from BlackBerry World and have over $150 worth. I'd say about 30% are Android ports. If developers are willing to make native apps for BlackBerry I have no problem in buying a Pro version. I will never buy a pro version apk. Many BlackBerry users share my same view and developers are starting to take noticed and build more native apps.

Now can WP make a Runtime as stable as BB10 running on QNX and convince developers that their users are more willing to pay for a native app? and it's in their best interest to create native apps instead of ports. (BlackBerry users tend to spend more money on apps as the average income is higher than other OS's)

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And IBM added the ability to run Windows apps on OS/2 Warp. Adding the ability to run your competitor's apps usually doesn't work out well.

If this were successful, it might increase hardware sales, but it would accelerate the erosion of MS lock-in.

If it's not well implemented, then it would make installing apps a frustrating exercise, and probably drive more people to Android or Apple, especially if native WP app development reduces. This could really backfire on them.

It actually seems like a lose-lose situation in the long run.

I'm a BlackBerry user by choice, and the reason is the UI. I like that I can run some Android apps, but that's not why I picked the Z30 S my daily device. Having said that, I think that all of the OS's offer something that works for their users. I tried WP and I thought some of it was great, other things? Not so much. I agree that it's a dangerous move that might make WP lose devs but I've also seen through my BlackBerry experience that if devs port their apps or make them native on the platform, the platform users will reward them! That is the user's dedication to the experience their device provides them, and I think that figures big in this debate.

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So now Joe Blow windows phone user is going to download shady APKs and Malware will rise on wp... cool!

Most people won't even know how to do this, anyway.

The Lumia 1020 running Android is borderline my dream phone. I am sadly leaving Android for the 1020 just because I really can't handle the rubbish cameras Android phones offer. Especially my Nexus 5.

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