It is no secret that Microsoft is preparing a set of tools that will allow developers and users to easily port Android apps over to Windows 10 Mobile. However, the software giant is not yet ready to share Project Astoria – as it is called – with the world. That has not stopped it from being leaked and allowing people to see just how powerful this tool will be.
The leak reveals that Project Astoria is similar to the Android emulator in BB10, and allows people to sideload apps into Windows 10 Mobile smartphones with little issue. The only issue so far is that it is unable to run Google Play apps, or apps that require access to Google Play. This is only a minor problem, and it is understood that the leaked version of Project Astoria is a very early build that may not have all the features.
Whether this ability to sideload apps will hurt the number of Windows 10 Mobile native apps is still unknown. For most developers, it would make sense to continue to develop for Android – as it can later also be ported over to Windows 10. However, sideloading APKs is not necessarily a benefit for developers as many users do so illegally without buying the app. Although it might not count as the users on Windows 10 Mobile never had access to those apps in the first place.
It is understood that Microsoft is not happy about the leak, but is making the best of the situation. The company is now collecting usage data about Project Astoria; and those who are running it should be aware that Microsoft is paying attention to what it is being used for.