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Windows Phone to support Android apps in the future?

Sam Loveridge

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Windows Phone

Microsoft could allow Windows Phone to support Android apps in the future, according to a new report.

New information suggests that Microsoft is at least considering the possibility of supporting Android apps on Windows Phone and Windows one day.

Speaking to The Verge, “sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans” say Microsoft is talking over the idea of accepting Android apps into the Windows and Windows Phone ecosystems.

The sources say that the discussions are still in the early stages and planning “is ongoing”, but Microsoft is talking about the possibility.

Apparently, Microsoft is discussing whether to simply allow Android apps to appear within the Windows and Windows Phone stores, but some execs suggest it could destroy the platform entirely, especially on mobile.

Android dominates the smartphone market, and iOS tends to be the initial focus for app developers with the Android version launching simultaneously or very shortly afterwards.

Windows Phone neither has the market authority or developer attention and investment that iOS and Android does, so accepting Android apps may well give it a boost.

The latest announcement stated the Windows Phone Store offers 200,000 apps, which is pretty impressive, but it took 18 months for this number to double from 100,000.

It also pales in comparison the 900,000 iOS app milestone Apple announced in June 2013 and the 1 million Android apps that are contained within the Google Play app store, as revealed in July last year.

In late November 2013, Microsoft made the rather bold promise that the Windows Phone Store would be able to rival the iOS and Android app stores by the end of 2014.

Could adding Android apps to the Windows Phone Store be the only way to achieve that goal? Maybe, but we’d be very surprised if Microsoft makes such a bold move anytime soon.

Read more: Best Android apps 2014

jhtanglewood

February 12, 2014, 5:00 pm

Won't happen.

danielfrisbee

February 12, 2014, 5:08 pm

Why aren't 'apps' clever enough to work on all platforms? Surely a few lines more code could have them working on all similar hardware. I set up Tinder on my windows laptop for a joke using bluestacks to emulate android, it works seamlessly. With phones ever more powerful presumably failing everything else, it wouldn't be much fuss to run an android emulator within windows phone, or apple emulator on android etc. I'd have thought ultimately businesses in general are losing money and consumers losing choice/freedom with the current closed nature of these platforms, so in everyone's interest to harmonise things.

Biggles

February 12, 2014, 5:43 pm

Be surprised if it didn't happen, they're already on BBs

Bert

February 12, 2014, 10:05 pm

I get really annoyed with this talk of "oh, Android has 1,000,000 apps, that means it's automatically better". If 900,000 of those apps are clones of one another and the average user maybe goes through around 10 - 30 apps in a year, then what does it matter? It's just marketing talk that totally abandons the notion of quality, so stupid.

Evan

February 13, 2014, 1:57 pm

You make a fair point. My favourite example was of the thousands of spoof Blackberry Messenger apps that came out before BBM was actually released on Android

Evan

February 13, 2014, 2:12 pm

It could work ok for simple/asynchronous apps but the added software layer would add load and make the app slower. Not a problem for the likes of Tinder but certainly a problem for games.

Apps/programs run via emulators can need up to 10x the processing power of the original platform which can make even today's powerhouses struggle.

One way of solving this would be to have a unified architecture across platforms (see PS4/Xbox One/PC x86 architecture) which makes porting much much faster

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