Microsoft has been working on a solution that will allow Windows 10 users to run android apps natively on their PC. This project is codenamed “Latte.” The android apps will allegedly use the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) as a compatibility layer [This is because android uses a Linux kernel]. On top of that, Microsoft also needs to have an Android Subsystem for running applications natively on Windows.
Microsoft has been at the forefront of making Windows 10- A universal operating system. This is obvious with the release and continuous updates to the Windows subsystem for Linux (WSL). Also, with the support of many app platforms such as PWA, UWP and Win32 and now Android, Windows Store will not be limited to a handful of Windows applications.
How will this work?
To keep things simple, android developers will need to make little or no changes to their written code. All they need to do is repack their code in MSIX format (a package format for Windows applications) and submit their apps to the Windows Store.
Once the app is available in the Windows Store, users can download and install these android apps as they would for any other Windows app.
For those who want to delve into some technical details-Microsoft will most likely use the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) to get the Android subsystem and Android runtime for converting the bytecode to a native Windows app.
Possible challenges to Project Latte
All this seems cool, but Project Latte still has a fair share of problems. Some of the potential obstacles are:
- Google does not allow Play Services to run on anything other than Android phones and Chrome OS. This means that developers will need to remove the Play Services dependencies from their apps to make them compliant with Windows. Most apps will run smoothly without play services, and Microsoft can replace some of the default Google apps, such as Maps, Calendar, Gmail, with their own alternatives.
- Secondly, experience may not be as expected. This is because Android apps are mainly intended for phone and tablet-sized displays. So developers may need to change their codebase to support larger screens.
Wait… I can already run android apps on Windows 10. So what’s new?
It’s true that today users can stream android apps on their PCs using the Your Phone app pre-built into Windows 10. But there’s a catch- The Your Phone app currently only supports a handful of Samsung devices and that too with little reliability.
Being able to install android apps natively would be a much better experience than streaming or emulating them on your Windows PC regardless of which phone you have—and that’s what Project Latte aims for.
When can I run Android apps on my PC?
According to Windows Central, Project Latte is expected to ship with Windows 10’s Fall 2021 (21H2) update. Nothing has been confirmed for now, however. We should wait to see whether Project Latte sees the light or gets canceled, as was the fate of a similar project called Project Astoria (for porting Android apps to Windows 10 Mobile).
Meanwhile, what are your thoughts on using android apps on your PC? Let me know in the comments below.