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Windows Phone will perhaps get Android apps

 
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MeowTseDong
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 31.Dec.2014 18:25    Post subject: Windows Phone will perhaps get Android apps   Reply with quote   

This is for you Michal Jerz who claim that Android app support will hurt native app support (which I agree).

http://www.ubergizmo.com/2014/12/windows-phone-android-support-confirm ed-rumor/
http://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-has-new-plans-close-windows-ap p-gap-android-support-still-possible

I personally don't believe this will happen because it will cancelled by Microsoft.
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Ketilk
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PostPosted: Thursday, 01.Jan.2015 04:12    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I think android support for windows phone is a good thing for windows phone owners, but I don't think windows phone will be any better by it. I see absolutely no reason to buy WP today and android apps will not fix that.

I have 4 android apps on my Jolla because I can, but it either gave me less reason to buy it or non at all. It definitely did not improve the chances of me buying it. I prefer native applications, and android compatibility may reduce the amount of applications that get good ports. Never having used a windows phone myself I don't know if there are any advantage of native WP apps that will disappear with an android runtime, but the android runtime on a non-android device will surely be less stable and/or less integrated than on an android OS. I see no reason why coding android apps using a non-android device as primary target. So if android support is 100% then I think non-android support will at best become 99.95% or something. And initially less.
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PostPosted: Thursday, 01.Jan.2015 13:48    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Foley reports this as a rumour about a plan B, or one of the possible options. Of course it is a theoretical possibility if you would want to look at everything that could be possible to close the app gap for WP. She reported it already beginning of 2014 mind you!

http://www.zdnet.com/article/would-and-should-microsoft-enable-android -apps-on-windows/ (feb 2014)
http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-hones-its-plans-to-try-to-close -the-app-gap/ (end dec 2014)

It could of course take away a reason not to buy a WP device, the fear that some casual app will not run on it. Same thing for Jolla and BB. Of course this is much less of a pain with WP then with those two.

Mind you, Android app experience on Jolla is not very good. Apps are slow and some things just dont work. Some even crash like Younited from F-secure.


Last edited by Kleuter on Thursday, 01.Jan.2015 15:24; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thursday, 01.Jan.2015 14:53    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

My speculation will be : MS comes with Android Runtime on WP , only when : they can introduce a new CEO in the Google board . After a short while will declare : Android being an outdated OS for oldtimer mobile devices . Then Google jumps down on the stockmarket and will be overtaken by a MS directed instance .

2015 will become a surprising new year

☺ Regards jApi NL
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Friday, 02.Jan.2015 19:21    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

This is for you Michal Jerz who claim that Android app support will hurt native app support

That's not exactly what I am saying.

Indeed, Android compatibility severely hurts native ecosystem IF LAUNCHED INSTANTLY when such a new platform comes out, like it happened on Jolla or BB10. In such case, the native ecosystem has no chance to emerge and strengthen, because from day one native developers have to compete with millions of existing, cheap or free, well established Android applications. And even then, after some native apps start coming, people get so much used to the already used Android versions that many of them don't bother to try native equivalents.

It would look much different on a platform where Android compatibility may appear after YEARS since launch, i.e. where hundreds of thousands of native applications have already been developed, developers already gained reputation, already sold tens of thousands of copies (i.e. earned enough to be willing to stay and continue developing for the platform), and so on. Of course, in such case the appearance of Android compatibility will also make it harder for native developers as it will certainly be a tough competition too, but not in any way comparable to the situation on BB10 or Jolla where millions of Android apps appeared BEFORE native applications could have even started coming out and where even now the app store consists in 95% of Android content and only in some (hard to find and distinguish) 5% of native apps.

Quote:

Mind you, Android app experience on Jolla is not very good. Apps are slow and some things just dont work. Some even crash like Younited from F-secure.

It is not a rule. As of BB 10.3.1, Android apps on BB10 run so well that in many cases it is REALLY hard to distinguish them from native apps. Take Navfree as an example - the Android version and native BB10 version are almost undistinguishable when it comes to both their look and performance. And it is now really a challenge to find an Android application that wouldn't work.
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Kleuter
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 29.Apr.2015 22:47    Post subject: Android apps on Windows Phone   Reply with quote   

Here it is.....

(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp will allow apps from rival Google Inc's Android system onto its own Windows phones later this year to attract users to its unpopular mobile devices, the company's operating systems chief said on Wednesday.

The move marks a radical shift in strategy for the world's biggest software company, which still dominates the personal computer market but has failed to get any real traction on tablets and phones, partly because of a lack of apps.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/29/us-microsoft-windows-idUSKBN 0NK1UZ20150429
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Thursday, 30.Apr.2015 00:59    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Microsoft Corp will allow apps from rival Google Inc's Android system onto its own Windows phones later this year to attract users to its unpopular mobile devices

... which will help them just as little as it did on all the remaining platforms which implemented ACL.

It is really naive to believe that anyone who was originally planning to buy an Android phone, thanks to ACL will buy a Windows Phone instead in order to run the same apps on it, just slower and only part of them, due to Alien Dalvik's partial compatibility and limited performance.

BlackBerry already knows that ACL didn't make ANY Android users switch to BB10, Jolla knows it, too.

Those who wanted to have a Windows Phone already bought it. Those who want to run Android apps simply buy an Android phone.

P.S. WP sales must be really cr*ppy if Microsoft was forced to do such a thing (officially support apps of its biggest competitor). In case of other platforms, it was kind of understandable that they were LAUNCHED with ACL as they obviously could not have any native apps at launch so ACL was substituting for them, but adding ACL to Windows Phone after SO MANY YEARS of its presence on the market simply shows that this platform is an utter failure.
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Kleuter
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PostPosted: Thursday, 30.Apr.2015 22:48    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Gonna be interesting.... I think Jolla started out with this ACL, maybe that is why they talked about it so much. Now BB has it, MS will have it. It may become sort of a standard feature for the smaller OS'es. Jolla may currently have the poorest compatibility. I don't have first hand experience of BB, gut going on the comments here I understand it is better then that of Jolla. So if you want something else (meaning not Android or Apple) Jolla may be the least attractive option....

I'll be interested to see how Tizen will be doing as the expand their store and introduce a flagship device worldwide.
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PostPosted: Friday, 01.May.2015 10:58    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I have never tried any android application that didn't work on Jolla. Most of them seems to work as intended(without having tried them on real android), although they seems like they are not worth using because they offer nothing interesting.

I have a train ticket application, that although works, seems to not be able to remember my payment details so isn't as swift to use as I would wish it too. I have only used it once, and failed to buy ticket in time(so I had to pay double) once.

Of every app I have installed on my phone, that single app is the only android app that seems worth installing. Other than that only native applications from either openrepos, or jolla harbour seems worth using. Jolla harbour is a joke, but openrepos is not. What openrepos need is some sort of community QA. A sandbox to figure out which types of access it use would be good(although probably is possible to detect the sandbox and change the behaviour based on that).

Even on a small platform like Jolla android compatibility is not needed. Even if they restrict the effort of developers who does not want to use openrepos. WP has much larger amount of stuff in their store, so I assume this will just be a huge waste of time. It will give WP no advantage, and probably will make companies and individuals less likely to make a native version available.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Friday, 01.May.2015 15:37    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

I have never tried any android application that didn't work on Jolla.

If you check the ACL documentation (which obviously isn't available for the Jolla but you may use the BB10 one as reference) you'll see that a number of Android APIs isn't supported. So applications using them obviously won't work (or even install), or will work only partially. Some other APIs map Android functions to native BB10 functions (which probably works in a similar way on the Jolla), e.g. Google maps are automatically replaced by BlackBerry maps - sometimes it works fine, sometimes it doesn't.

Certain types of applications (due to lack of support for APIs or system/filesystem functions they use) won't even install. For example, Total Commander file manager installs and works fine, but installation of any of its plugins fails. You can't install e.g. Live Wallpapers (due to no support) and many other things. I have some older version of Androzic installed and working fine, but the most recent version won't even install.

Secondly, neither Jolla nor BB10 support Google Play Services, whereas quite a large (and growing) number of Android applications require them. Such apps won't even start without Play Services installed as it is a dependency. Of course, there are unofficial ways to (quite easily) install (hacked/tweaked) Google Play Services on both the Jolla and BB10, but it probably isn't legal and it's not something that every average user will be able or willing to do.

Thirdly, BB10's ACL only supports Android 4.2, and Jolla's ACL even less - 4.1.2 IIRC. So all APIs newer than that are NOT supported. The number of applications requiring Android 5 is still quite limited now, but it will be growing.

Lastly, it is about performance and power efficiency. Many Android applications running in ACL make the phone literally HOT and eat battery like crazy. For example, the official Android client of Polish "Demotywatory" (Demotivators) online service (a gallery with user-uploadable funny pictures) EMPTIES the battery within less than 2 hours of browing and the phone gets so hot that even the Gorilla glass of the display is warm, which is really strange given that all the app does is showing pictures. It behaves so only in ACL, whereas on a "real" Android phone (Nexus 4) it works OK. Because of that, I've made a simple native version for my own use and after the same 2 hours of browsing battery usage is some 2-4% and the device is as cold as if nothing whatsoever was running on it.

When I'm in the mountains where I use Android versions of mapping applications like Androzic or OziExplorer (they allow using maps made by myself from paper maps with all hiking trails, walking times, etc.) I need to launch them every time I want to check the map and then close them, or else if I kept them running then after an hour or two the battery would be empty. And it doesn't even help to turn off their "Run in background" permission so that they freeze when minimized to an Active Frame - battery consumption is still huge, so I think it must be the ACL itself.

Summing up the above, I think it is fully justified to say that compatibility is still quite limited and that performance is still an issue.

Quote:

Jolla harbour is a joke

That's because they still don't allow almost ANY Qt libs / QML imports. You can't upload there any applications using e.g. QtPositioning or QtLocation (such apps would be rejected), so there CAN'T be any applications there using any of such Qt libs / QML imports. Lack of support for majority of Qt libs only allows simple, nearly useless apps to be offered there. Amazing, isn't it?

Quote:

but openrepos is not

Openrepos is not, but it will never attract commercial developers. And without the possibility to monetize apps there will never be any decent number of them.

Quote:

WP has much larger amount of stuff in their store, so I assume this will just be a huge waste of time. It will give WP no advantage, and probably will make companies and individuals less likely to make a native version available.

Fully agreed. ACL itself won't make anyone buy Windows Phones, just like it didn't on BB10 or the Jolla. At the same time, it will make development of native apps much less profitable (there will always be a free or cheaper Android equivalent of any given native app) and less discoverable (the app store will get flooded with TONS of Android junk just like it did on BB10), so there will be LESS of native apps coming out after ACL appears than now.

It's just amazing that companies like Jolla or even Microsoft don't learn anything from what BlackBerry already went through and then had to invest a lot of effort to recover from this cr*p.

Quote:

I think Jolla started out with this ACL, maybe that is why they talked about it so much. Now BB has it,

The Jolla came out in December 2013. BlackBerry had ACL already on the Playbook, i.e. since 2012 or so.

Quote:

It may become sort of a standard feature for the smaller OS'es.

As neither on BB10 nor on the Jolla ACL drove any additional phone sales, it would be really interesting to understand why anyone else would be willing to have it.

Tizen doesn't seem to be rapidly conquering the world with its ACL, either. And their biggest mistake was to get rid of Qt, which additionally scared all Qt developers away from it. If the choice on Tizen is to either develop in HTML5 or spend time on learning its custom native APIs from scratch, then majority of developers prefer to spend that time on developing for other platforms in Qt that they already know well.
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PostPosted: Saturday, 02.May.2015 05:52    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I don't think the Windows implementation (can't say phone because apps will run on phones, tablets, and desktops) is a simple ACL. From my reading of it, it looks like MS will provide a mechanism to port the apps into native Windows universal apps.

The big question will obviously be if developers will take the effort to port the apps. If the early blackberry implementation (i.e. going back to the Playbook) is any indication - and that just required repackaging an app - I would say it's an uphill battle.
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Michal Jerz
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PostPosted: Saturday, 02.May.2015 14:35    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Many Android applications rely on Google-specific APIs or services, e.g. Google Play services. I'm afraid there's no easy way to just port them to a platform that lacks those APIs/services. At least that functionality would need to be completely rewritten. The same for apps using native code, not just Java.

So Microsoft's "mechanism" will probably only work for simple apps (made in pure Java, not using any native code or any unique APIs), whereas apps more advanced than that will still need to be manually ported, just like now. Which will result in a flood of simple apps (that no one really needs), not the advanced, wanted ones.

And you are right... if hardly any Android developers bothered to even just repackage their Android apps for the Playbook and early BB10 releases (before direct support for .APK's was introduced) it is doubtful that they will make the effort to PORT their apps to WP.

With over 1 billion potential customers on Android itself, I guess that every developer prefers to spend time on improving discoverability of his apps to Android users rather than porting his apps to platforms with less than 1% of Android users.

So in this regard I think that ACL would actually be a BETTER choice as it wouldn't require any porting.
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