Project Latte by Microsoft aims to bring Android apps to Windows and the Microsoft Store
Just the other day, we reported Microsoft was considering adding Android apps to Windows in 2021. Today, more details about the initiative have come to light, giving us a better idea of how everything will work.
Internally referred to as Latte, the project will allow app developers to bring their Android apps to Windows 10 with little to no code changes, according to Windows Central. Developers would submit them through the Microsoft Store packaged as MSIX. The project will reportedly be powered by Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). However, Microsoft will allegedly need to provide its own Android subsystem for Android apps to run.
Importantly, Project Latte is said to lack support for Google Play Services, so apps that require any API provided by Play Services will need to be updated to ensure proper functionality on Windows 10. Without Play Services support, apps could potentially not work properly or have poor functionality (like no push notifications). Apps will likely need to be recompiled for x86 unless Microsoft is implementing some kind of compatibility layer or emulation.
Windows users can currently run Android apps on their PCs via the Your Phone app. Unfortunately, the service is currently limited to Samsung users, and it’s simply mirroring your phone’s screen rather than a native solution. So while it’s a decent solution, offering users native options without the need for a specific smartphone could provide users with a much-improved experience and potentially boost the Windows platform. Crucially, it would put Windows on a collision course with Google’s Chrome OS, which can run Android apps and Linux packages.
Microsoft currently supports multiple apps platforms, including PWA, UWP, Win32, and Linux. The addition of Android apps, if it happens, could well and truly make Windows a universal operating system. Windows Central claims Microsoft is hoping to announce Project Latte next year and could make it available as part of the fall 2021 release of Windows 10.