Android in its current form has a lot of apps to offer. Arguably, the platform is home to more apps than any other, so it would make sense for users to aspire to use these apps on their Windows 10 Mobile device. At the moment, there are several ways to run Android apps on the desktop, but no on the mobile version of Windows. Microsoft is trying to coax developers to port their Android and iOS apps over without having to do a ton of coding for them to work.
That’s all good, but it is going to take a while before developers gravitate towards this new plan, so until then, we recommend using a tool called Project Astoria.
Before we go any further, we should point out that at the moment, Project Astoria only supports just a few devices.
The list includes:
- Nokia Lumia 920
- Nokia Lumia 925
- Nokia Lumia 929 (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
Furthermore, the whole thing can brick your handset, so if you are not a person who loves to live dangerously, please do not attempt this and then come back to us with complaints of despair.
OK, so if you have one or more of the devices listed above, then let us get down to the nitty-gritty of installing Android apps on your Windows 10 Mobile device.
Install Android apps on Windows 10 Mobile
You will need to download Android SDK’s ADB tool and wconnect from this location. Worry not, it is virus and malware free, but be sure to give a scan nonetheless. The site may not load if you use Internet Explorer. If you do visit it, you will be asked to “update to a modern browser”! Using Firefox, Chrome or Opera is what they recommend.
Anyway, next, make sure to unzip both files, and from there, open the wconnect folder and install IpOverUsbInstaller.msi and vcredist_x86.exe. Fire up your Windows 10 Mobile device and navigate to Update & Security > For Developers, and then permit Developers Mode, along with Device Discovery.
Visit the extracted wconnect folder and create an elevated command prompt. Shift+right click > Open command window here.
Here’s where things begin to get tricky.
It is now time to connect the phone to the computer. This can be done via a USB connection, or over Wi-Fi. We recommend doing it via a USB connection for better and faster connectivity.
Once connected, a pairing code will be provided, just type it in when asked and you’ll be good to tango. Now, it is time to navigate to the extracted ADB folder and create an elevated command prompt.
Place the APK file you want to install on your device in the same ADB folder directory. Type APKNAME.apk in ADB to locate the app you need to install. Bear in mind to replace APKNAME with the name of the file. For example, it should look like facebook.apk.
Sit back and watch the magic. When finished, users should be able to install Android apps on their Windows 10 Mobile handset.
Here’s a video for those who might find this writing difficult to understand:
UPDATE: Project Astoria may be delayed.