For many months, we had been reporting that Microsoft was considering bringing Android apps to the Windows Phone ecosystem. And today, you can finally experience Android Apps on Windows 10 Mobile but be warned, it's not an easy process and can force you to re-flash your device, so move ahead cautiously.
In the image at the top of this post, one user has Periscope up and running on his Lumia 920.
For starters, not all devices are supported at this time and make sure you are running the latest version of Windows 10 Mobile. Knowing you could damage your device, if you want to try out Android apps, read below.
Here is the list of supported devices:
- Nokia Lumia 920
- Nokia Lumia 925
- Nokia Lumia 929 / Verizon Icon
- Nokia Lumia 830
- Nokia Lumia 930
- Nokia Lumia 1520
- Nokia Lumia 635 (1GB RAM variant)
- Nokia Lumia 730
- Nokia Lumia 820
- Nokia Lumia 435
- Nokia Lumia 928
If you have one of the above devices, here’s how to install the apps:
- Download Android SDK’s ADB and wconnect tool from here.
- Extract the files in the folder and Open the folder wconnect,then install IpOverUsbInstaller.msi and vcredist_x86.exe
- Open the Windows 10 Mobile’s Settings page ->Update & Security > For Developers and enable Developers Mode, as well as Device Discovery
- Open the extracted wconnect folder, open an elevated command prompt (Shift+right click > Open command window here)
- Then you’ll need to connect to the phone — (USB method is recommended):
- To Connect using USB, type wconnect.exe usb and hit enter
- Then it’ll ask for the pairing code, enter the code and hit enter
- Then navigate to the extracted adb folder and open an elevated command prompt
- To make sure that your device is connected, type adb devices and hit enter to show the list of devices that are connected
- Lastly, place the APK file that you want to install on the same directory (adb folder) and type in adb install APKNAME.apk (replace APKNAME with the APK file’s name)
- That's it, then you can install the APKs.
Couple of things to keep in mind, obtaining APKs may not be legal in your area, so keep that in mind, also, this is highly experimental at this time and many users are reporting that this is causing their devices to be frozen and forcing a complete re-flash of the device. Do not try this on anything other than a development device.
But what this will allow you to run some Android apps on your phone but at this time, if they depend on a Google service, not surprisingly, they will not be functional on a Windows 10 Mobile device. But, seeing as users are already getting some apps up and running, shows that for Android developers, bringing their apps over to Windows 10 Mobile is going to be a trivial task.
While this move may sound like Microsoft is giving up on native app development for Windows 10 Mobile, it does solve the bigger issue of not having enough high quality apps on its mobile devices.