Microsoft is reportedly developing a way to bring Android apps to Windows devices with few or no code changes.
Windows Central detailed the effort, called ‘Project Latte,’ in a recent report. In short, app developers could package their Android apps with the MSIX Windows app package format, which “preserves the functionality of existing app packages and/or install files” according to Microsoft documentation.
Sources familiar with the project told Windows Central it could arrive as early as next year, perhaps as part of the fall 2021 Windows 10 update.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft attempted to bring Android apps to Windows Phones in the past with a project codenamed Astoria, but it never came to fruition. Although Project Latte is similar, it will likely make use of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), but Microsoft will need to provide an Android subsystem for the apps to run.
Further, it’s unlikely the project will get support for Play Services — Google typically doesn’t allow the software to be installed on anything other than native Android devices and Chrome OS. In other words, that means apps that depend on Play Services — in other words, many Android apps — will need updates to remove those dependencies so they work on Windows 10.
If Project Latte ships — and if developers get on board with it — it could open the gates for quite a few Android apps on Windows 10 and in a much better way than Microsoft’s current solution. Through the Your Phone app and a limited group of Samsung devices, some users can stream apps from their phone to their PC, but that’s not always a great experience.
It also could be an integral part of Microsoft’s Surface Neo plans. Although the folding tablet was delayed, it could be an ideal device to make use of the touch-friendly Android apps on offer while also supporting Windows 10 apps (albeit in a limited capacity).
Source: Windows Central