It is a very annoying topic in the Windows Phone community, the app gap Microsofts mobile operating system is said to have. From time to time there are appearing article on various websites discussing the reasons why Windows Phone doesn’t have such a high market share and in almost every article the app gap is mentioned as a reason for that. However Microsoft wants to do something about this situation they are facing with their mobile operating system which will be called Windows Mobile in the near future and therefor they are making it easier for Android and iOS App developers to import their apps to the Windows Ecosystem.
This will be a huge step since developers then will not have to write a completely new app for the Windows operating system but can simply import the code they do already have for the Android app and with a few changes, for example the missing Google Services, the can publish the app. This is planned to fill the Windows App Store with more apps, and more important, apps should then be released for Windows at the same day as they do for Android or iOS. This does bring some advantages for the user though there are disadvantages for small Windows developers and so on. However the controversy about this is another topic, what this article should be about is that thanks to a forum entry on the Chinese website Baidu it is now possible to sideload Android apps if you are running the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10149 or later.
Since Windows 10 Mobile is still in preview this process is a bit risky and you might wait for later Builds if you do not want to risk anything. It doesn’t work on all devices yet either, support for more devices will probably follow with later Builds as well.
Here is a list of devices which is currently supported to sideload Android apps:
|Nokia Lumia 435||Nokia Lumia 635||Nokia Lumia 730|
|Nokia Lumia 820||Nokia Lumia 830||Nokia Lumia 920|
|Nokia Lumia 925||Nokia Lumia 928||Nokia Lumia 929|
|Nokia Lumia 930||Nokia Lumia 1520|
So if you are lucky enough to own one of these devices you can follow the steps below in order to enable sideloading android apps on your Windows 10 Mobile device. But be aware that this is a risky process and you might brick your phone so be carful or just don’t do it.
Preparing the phone:
First you have to do is to enable the developer mode on your phone. Therefor you have to open the settings app –> Update & Security –> for developers –> check ‘Developer mode’ and enable Device discovery.
Preparing the Tools:
Next thing to do is, to download all the tools you will need during the process. There is on the one hand the Android ADB and the SDK and on the other hand such a connect tool. Both can be download from the links provided below:
-Download: Android ADB tool in the SDK
-Download: Connect Tool
Extract & Install:
After you have successfully downloaded the two archives you have to extract them. In the ‘wconnect’ folder you can find an ‘IpOverUsbInstaller.msi’ installer and a vcredist_x86.exe installer which you have both to install.
Open an elevated Command Prompt in order to prepare your phone for Android apps.
Connect your Phone:
The next step is to connect your phone to the PC whereas the preferred method is via USB. Once you have done this type the following in the Command Prompt and hit enter afterwards: “wconnect.exe usb”
The Command Prompt will then ask you for the pairing code, this one can be found in settings where you have also enabled the developer mode –> Settings –> Update & Security –> for developers;
Now you have to open the second folder which has been extracted, the platform-tools folder and open an elevated Command Prompt.
Check if device is connected and recognized:
If you have opened the Command Prompt you can type in ‘adb devices’ and hit enter afterwards. This will show you a list of connected devices and with this way you can be sure that your phone is connected and fully recognized by your PC.
Last but not Least:
You have to download some .apk file. APK files are Android apps and can be found all over the web, however be sure to not download apps which you would have to pay for in the Google Play Store because this would be piracy. Once you have downloaded an .apk you have to copy it in the platform-tools folder and type in the Command Prompt ‘adb install APKNAME.apk’ before you hit enter.
That’s it, That’s all:
You are ready to go, you are now all set download and install every app from the Google Play Store on your Windows 10 Mobile device.
Feel free to drop me a comment below with your opinion on the controversy of installing Android Apps on a Windows Mobile device. In case you do have any questions do not hesitate to drop me a comment below and I will try my best to help you out. Stay tuned for more information on the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build and Windows 10.