Google undermines Android app support in Windows

Google Apps

Killjoy! Microsoft and Google have never been the best of friends, what with the two tech giants competing in a number of overlapping spaces like apps, operating systems, cloud, gaming, and search.

There were days of infamy when Microsoft ran the Scroogled campaign against the search engine giant, and there were years of anxiety when the Android maker made a conscious decision not to bring its suite of apps to the fledgling Windows 8 platform.

Speaking of apps, Microsoft is now making a play to cater to Android users baking in support for these applications in Windows 11.

But mere two weeks after Redmond announced this new workaround, Google has snapped back by unveiling a new app distribution model for developers that is going to cauterize any future applications from showing up to Windows users.

Come August 2021, Android developers will be required to use the new Android App Bundle to publish apps to the Google Play Store.

The big idea behind this change is modular app development that will help developers manage releases more efficiently. They will also be able to benefit from small app installs, customize feature delivery, speed up engineering velocity, have faster build times, and enable Google Play Instant experiences.

Overall, a net positive for Android developers.

Better yet, according to Google, developers will not need to refactor their code to start benefiting from a smaller app that makes use of this new proprietary app distribution model. One that is only offered through Google Play.

And this is where trouble begins for Microsoft.

The company’s new efforts focus on the use of the APK model, which is now being replaced with Android App Bundle moving forward. What this means is that alternate stores like the one Amazon maintains will no longer be able to sideload the latest popular Android apps.

Considering the fact that the Windows 11 Android app support comes via the Amazon App Store through a seemingly complicated unpackaging method, this brings Microsoft back to the proverbial drawing board.

Existing Android apps like TikTok, Instagram, Clubhouse and more will still be available to Windows 11 users, because Android App Bundle only effects future app distribution.

But really, what a way to play spoilsport, Google!