If Microsoft’s Your Phone app now makes it possible to use multiple Android apps installed on your phone on your Windows 10 PC, Microsoft could be planning to make Android apps available on the OS without this Your Phone workaround. That’s according to Zac Bowden from Windows Central, who mentioned the potential Android app support on Windows 10 in a 2021 forecast post published yesterday.
Bowden believes that 2021 is going to be a very busy year for Microsoft, with the release of the first devices running Windows 10X, the launch of x86 64-bit app emulation on Windows 10 on ARM, as well as big updates for Windows 10 in the second half of 2021. "I'm also told that Microsoft is toying with bringing Android apps to the Microsoft Store on Windows 10. I don't know how far along this plan is or when it'll ship, but I'm told it may show up in the 2021 timeframe,” Bowden wrote.
The mention of Android app support on Windows 10 is quite surprising, especially after Microsoft announced a new initiative for Windows app developers at Build 2020 named "Project Reunion.” Going forward, the software giant wants to eliminate the distinction between legacy Win32 apps and the new UWP apps that debuted with Windows 10 and help developers to simply build “Windows apps” that combine the best of both worlds.
By bringing Android apps to the Windows 10 Microsoft Store, Windows developers would need to face some new competition from Android developers. As you may remember, Microsoft toyed with Android app emulation on Windows 10 Mobile many years ago with “Project Astoria,” though the initiative was ultimately scrapped. That was probably for good reasons, especially at a time when Microsoft was trying to convince developers to create new universal apps that could run on both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile.
Still, Microsoft could have good reasons to add Android apps to Windows 10. Even though the app situation improved on the Microsoft Store, it’s still missing lots of apps and games that the Google Play Store has. Moreover, now that Android apps are available on Chrome OS and iOS apps are usable on the new Apple Silicon Macs, maybe Windows 10 users are now really missing something from the mobile world.
Besides using Microsoft’s Your Phone app, there are already other ways to use Android apps on a Windows 10 PC such as the popular Bluestacks emulator. It remains to be seen if Microsoft will really go forward with its plans to bring Android apps to the Microsoft Store, and the company may actually want to be careful not to alienate its Windows developer community.
Would you like to have an easier way to use Android apps on Windows 10, and do you think bringing these apps on the Microsoft Store could make the OS more attractive? Let us know what you think in the comments below.