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Unofficially Install Android Apps on Windows 10 Preview

August 9, 2015 - Written By David Steele

Microsoft Windows 10 has been released into the wild and even received its first update. One of the more interesting features of Windows 10 is that Microsoft were toying with the idea of including out of the box support for Android applications so that the device has access to far greater numbers of applications than is otherwise available on the Windows Marketplace. Microsoft has also provided developers with alternative ways to design and create applications for the Windows 10 platform, but today’s article covers an unofficial way to install Android applications onto a Windows 10 smartphone. This is because some Android applications are entirely self contained whereas others require supporting libraries, typically available in the Google Play Services application. The self contained applications may be installed onto other operating systems such as BlackBerry, Sailfish and now the Windows 10 smartphone preview (from version 10166 or later). Users do need to jump through a number of hoops in order to get these applications running on their Windows 10 device and there are some risks involved: if you have a Windows 10 preview smartphone, it isn’t recommended that you try installing any Android applications onto the device, but it is possible. Also – downloading and installing Android APKs without permission is considered to be software piracy. Detailed instructions have been provided by WP Xbox.

In order to install applications onto the Windows 10 device, you’ll need to download both the Android ADB utility and a Wconnect tool. You need to make sure your device is in developer mode with device discovery enabled. Connect your Windows 10 smartphone device to your PC using with the USB connection or over a WiFi radio. The USB method is preferred as it is simpler. Open the wconnect folder and install “IpOverUsbInstaller.msi” and “vcredist_x86.exe,” before launching an elevated privilege command prompt with a shift and right click, selecting Open Command Prompt here. Type “adb devices” to pull up the list of devices connected to the computer. Place the APK to install into the same directory and type “adb install APKNAME.apk,” where APKNAME is the name of the APK you wish to install. Tap enter and wait for the ADB to do its thing. Once this has completed, you should see the Android application on your Windows 10 device.

There are a number of Window Phone 8 devices compatible with the Android application install system, including the Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 925, Lumia 929, Lumia 830, Lumia 930, Lumia 1520, the 1GB RAM version of the Lumia 635, Lumia 730, Lumia 820, Lumia 435 and Lumia 928. If you have one of these devices and you are running the preview version of Windows 10 for smartphones, and you accept the risk, you may find the video below easier to follow.