Would you run apps made for Android if they were able to run on Windows Phone in some sort of virtual machine or sandbox?
This possibility has resurfaced on numerous occasions every time Windows Phone market share comes up and discussion about how to save the platform or get more apps on it begins all over again. Each time I hear or read about it I reiterate my opinion about this – no thanks.
The latest iteration of this dialog has come around based on a story from Neowin’s Brad Sams from earlier today. Although nothing official from Microsoft has been confirmed sources have told Sams that experimentation with the concept continues inside the company. I guess that in and of itself is not out of the norm though as companies are always trying new ideas and services that never see the light of day outside of their offices/labs.
So why do I say no thanks to the idea of Android apps on Windows Phone?
In March of 2014 Gordon Kelly writing for Forbes talked about a report that showed 97% of mobile malware was on Android devices.
Android malware rose from 238 threats in 2012 to 804 new threats in 2013. What was the combined total of new threats for Apple iOS, BlackBerry OS and Microsoft Windows Phone in that time? Zero. The remaining 3% came from Nokia’s axed Symbian platform.
As Kelly points out these threats come from unregulated third party app stores but how safe is the review process for the official Google Play store itself?
Well according to a report from TechCrunch last week, Sarah Perez confirmed that Google has only just started reviewing submissions manually a couple of months ago. Prior to that app submission and approval was an automated process without real human eyeballs looking at the app. This meant that something malicious could make it out onto handsets and would have to be discovered in order to initiate a cleanup and removal of it from the Google Play store.
I think it is great Google has begun using a more hands on process to screen apps for malware and viruses and it should help clean things up. Will they go back and check the over 1.43 million apps that are in the store as of January 2015 as well? I hope so.
As a Windows Phone user I have no interest in seeing these apps on my device unless there is a 99.9%, nothing is 100% I get that, level of confidence that they are safe to be used.
Anything less than that is unacceptable. I choose to use Windows Phone because it not only offers me integration across the Microsoft ecosystem but it is also a safe platform.
How about you? Would you be OK with Android apps on Windows Phone?