After abandoning Project Astoria, Microsoft has been looking into ways of bringing Android apps to Windows 10 and it has already enabled streaming support via the Your Phone app for select Samsung phones.
Microsoft’s latest idea is “Project Latte”, which aims to help developers package their mobile app as an MSIX and enable native support for the Android subsystem. The project is built on top of the Windows Subsystem for Linux and it will initially support apps published by developers in the Windows Store.
If the idea is implemented it could help address the infamous “app gap” problem of the Windows Store and also improve the Store experience on Windows 10 ARM and Windows 10X.
We’d heard whispers as far back as early October last year that Microsoft was working on a successor to Project Astoria, but we still don’t have any tangible evidence to back that up.
However, the project is still on track and it’s apparently not cancelled. In fact, the first preview of this feature could be released in the second half of this year. To offer native Android app compatibility, Microsoft also plans to replace Google APIs with Windows APIs wherever possible.
Unlike Project Astoria, Project Late and the associated Linux-based sub-system will be a little more advanced with support for Windows 10 features.
It will allow end-users to sideload Android apps on their desktop. To do so, you would need to open Developer Settings and enable developer mode, and then deploy the desired app.
However, apps like Gmail, Photos and Play Store, which rely completely on Google Play Services integration, won’t work on Windows 10.
Android apps compatibility on Windows 10
Most APK files are expected to work without modification and little effort would be needed to bring Android apps to the desktop operating system.
However, some apps won’t run properly, owing to screen resolution issues, lack of Google Play services, and crashes when using the keyboard.
Project Latte is currently expected to go live in the preview builds later this year and it could change the Windows Store picture in a big way.