What's new

Android apps on a Surface

oion

Well-Known Member
I am new here, and I say this with the utmost respect as I mean no harm to anyone. But in my humble opinion

1) It seems as if he/she (the original poster) was in the research phase of purchasing a tablet and wanted to know about the possibility / or the lack there of of being able to run android apps on the surface line of tablets.

2)The original poster assumption about the lack of apps (or the lack of quality apps) in the windows store/ on the windows platform is correct. The truth off the matter is that the windows store is woefully (maybe a little strong) lacking apps/ quality apps (as compared to other eco systems).

3) I am assuming that there are possible many potential surface/windows 8 tablet customers who may share the same concerns as the original poster. A concern of if their choice of apps is available or are of the same quality on windows 8 as it is on other competing platforms.


Those things being said, it does no good to the surface/windows 8 tablet community to chastise those who maybe interested (but may have some reservation) in purchasing a windows 8 tablet, as it may end in the results of pushing away potential windows tablet user and giving them a possible flawed or incorrect viewpoint of my/our chosen eco system.

The only way to grow our user base is not only to highlight the capabilities of the surface/win 8 tablets, but to also help with possible solutions or work arounds to issues (real or perceived) of those who ask of it.
That being said, the poster question is important to me as I was in the process of evaluating something similar (even going so far as to consider the possibility in owning an iPad mini or an equivalent android device to partner with my surface pro). Which is why, I decided to open this post and add my voice to the op of those who are looking for possible solutions or work arounds to this app situation.
Except those concerns are not valid and merely parroting highly skewed public media perceptions by non-users. The reason why the mentality is invalid is because, quite simply, no one will ever install all the apps available in any store. The only valid concern is whether the app store has all the particular apps a user wants/needs. For example, if you regularly use an SSH/SFTP/SCP client app on Android but find it doesn't exist for either iOS/Win8, that's a legitimate issue for the purchase decision.

The mentality of "not enough apps" is no different than believing Trader Joe's is inferior to Costco (U.S.-only analogy, sorry).

Users who are genuinely happy with their Surfaces also recognize that those complaints are quite often irrelevant when looking at the web browser. One of the most common complaints was/is lack of things like Facebook or Youtube apps. But those work perfectly fine in IE, and despite the rest of us saying so, the misconception that you need an app to access those services is still popular--hence the frustration around here.

The only appropriate approach for this is to do an app search ahead of time and ask if there are similar apps for a particular function you want. So few potential buyers try to even do that, and those people who choose only to parrot the popular misconception aren't the type of users who should be buying a Surface anyway, so I don't think that's a loss. We shouldn't worry about "growing" the user base, only correcting misconceptions and offering insights/alternatives to real issues (in other words, list the apps you want)--and the correct target user will hopefully catch on and then join the fold, so to speak.
 

oion

Well-Known Member
Sorry it took me so long to come back to you guys. Anyway, I had a whole response wrote out for you guys. I just happen to run across a blog that I follow that illustrates the issue that I am trying to highlight on the windows 8 platform (lack of high quality apps).

http://winsupersite.com/cloud/sad-state-amazon-apps-windows
By the way, that's a pretty terrible blog post. If you're pinning your hopes and opinions on that, I'm disappointed: "There's no search" for the Kindle app? That eliminates the author from any competency status--Windows 8 has its own built-in search charm that searches the app when it's open. Universal search, that's kind of the point. Every single person who claims to have any familiarity with Windows 8 should know this by now. It's now been well over a year since Windows 8 has been out.

Kindle app. I don't have it so I can't comment on how good/bad it is. If there's missing functionality compared to its platform parallels, then yes, that's entirely Amazon's fault. But dude, you CAN search in it.

Audible. I don't have an account/subscription/whatever for that, so I can't say. Again, any buggy mess is entirely Amazon's/Audible's fault.

Cloud Player. What? Amazon Cloud Player streams perfectly fine in IE on Surface. Null and void.

Instant Video. Again, what? Amazon instant video and prime video stream fine in IE on Surface. Null and void.

One missing thing is Unbox offline viewing. But from what I heard, Amazon is allowing downloads of normally streaming shows for offline viewing on the Kindle, which I believe has pissed off publishers. Haven't followed that bit of news, though.

Here's a big point people like you seem to be missing: Any particular missing apps or poor app quality from large vendors like Amazon is absolutely not the fault of Windows 8 or Surface. Don't bother trying to imply that the Windows 8/RT platform itself is poor because third party developers haven't decided to develop for it yet/ever. And because Amazon is a direct competitor against Microsoft's Surface, why should Amazon make a really awesome app for Win8 when they want to sell their Kindles? iTunes is rather crap on PCs from what I hear, not that I've ever used it, but why would Apple want to make a great port to a competitor's platform anyway? All of them would rather you buy their own platforms. Thus the real question comes down to this: If you're desperate enough to want certain apps not available on a given platform, why don't you properly buy into that platform?

Again, the whole "not enough apps" complaint is a red herring, and is not valid. If you have a vast iTunes collection or Unbox collection that can't be used on an RT device, then only that is valid--get a different device. Consider that the happy Surface users found the apps they want--or good alternatives--and use the web browser effectively along with Office. If you (general) are not in that category, then get a different device.

This isn't rocket science.
 

acemd

New Member
) It is my understanding that Paul is a respected member of the Microsoft community with hundreds (if not thousands) of readers.

2) I am sorry, maybe it is because of how you use your surface/windows 8 machine. But because you don't use the kindle app, it is very hard for you to understand the viewpoint of those that do. Also for those of us who are trying to replace multiple device with one, it is very upsetting/discouraging to find out that a choice app is not available (or is lacking as compared to other ecosystem) hence the op original question

3) I am not a moderator of this board but from looking at the views that this post has received it seems to me others maybe also interested in this very question.

My friend you are fighting the good fight and please don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY SURFACE PRO. But just like any other ecosystem (android, apple, etc.) there are definitely some warts in Microsoft ecosystem and to deny that does no one no good. Microsoft has too many competitors coming from to many angles, and cannot fight all of them all the time. If Microsoft is to win it is going to be due to the growth of people who migrate over to Microsoft devices and services. To do that we have to not only highlight the capabilities of the surface/Microsoft but also help those who seek our help in making the surface ( as in the case of this board ) meet their specific needs.

Another poster already highlighted an example of a genre of apps that are not available in the windows 8 store. Here are some links for your consideration, Please note the difference.

Apple
Amazon.com: Kindle for iPad - Read Kindle eBooks on your iPad


Windows 8
Kindle for Windows 8: Read eBooks on Your Windows 8 Device - No Kindle Device Required
 

acemd

New Member
Genymotion, android emulator with easy installer for Windows (and more OS) .
I am assuming that you use this. How does using this compare to android apps on android devices and in regards to the original posters question

"Will they access the GPS and other services on the Surface?"

Can you tell us about your experience. Also how does this compare with bluestacks
 

acemd

New Member
Oion,

I am sorry but your argument is flawed, but first let me say that I for one am not blaming MS and to those who use the "lack of (quality) apps" argument (as I understand it) are not either. We are just making a statement of fact and not assigning blame to MS. It is apparent that individual 3rd party venders are to blame. I do however think ( though I could be wrong) that one cannot stream HD quality videos from amazon prime through IE 11 ( could be wrong) so it not null and void.


But that being said your argument falls on it face (about buying into another platform or switching to another ecosystem) when you look at how you (and other with your view point), MS advertisement, pro MS store clerks, etc. Continually argue that MS has enough apps or as the surface commercial says one device to suit everything in you life ( or something like that). You cant blame Johnny or Sussie Q for wanting a similar/superior app experience on their surface devices.

Your argument about getting different devices is also flawed, and runs contrary to what I believe MS is trying to achieve with the surface line of devices. Furthermore whether you admit it or not MS need those same people that you would advise to getting another devices to help grow the ecosystem.
 

macmee

Active Member
Oion,

I am sorry but your argument is flawed, but first let me say that I for one am not blaming MS and to those who use the "lack of (quality) apps" argument (as I understand it) are not either. We are just making a statement of fact and not assigning blame to MS. It is apparent that individual 3rd party venders are to blame. I do however think ( though I could be wrong) that one cannot stream HD quality videos from amazon prime through IE 11 ( could be wrong) so it not null and void.


But that being said your argument falls on it face (about buying into another platform or switching to another ecosystem) when you look at how you (and other with your view point), MS advertisement, pro MS store clerks, etc. Continually argue that MS has enough apps or as the surface commercial says one device to suit everything in you life ( or something like that). You cant blame Johnny or Sussie Q for wanting a similar/superior app experience on their surface devices.

Your argument about getting different devices is also flawed, and runs contrary to what I believe MS is trying to achieve with the surface line of devices. Furthermore whether you admit it or not MS need those same people that you would advise to getting another devices to help grow the ecosystem.
I see it from both of your perspectives:

iOS has far more apps of excellent quality.

Windows 8 has a far better web browser with flash.

Both have their benefits in certain scenarios. It is futile to debate over which is ultimately superior because neither are. Let your personal preferences guide your own decisions, not the decisions of others.
 

oion

Well-Known Member
) It is my understanding that Paul is a respected member of the Microsoft community with hundreds (if not thousands) of readers.

2) I am sorry, maybe it is because of how you use your surface/windows 8 machine. But because you don't use the kindle app, it is very hard for you to understand the viewpoint of those that do. Also for those of us who are trying to replace multiple device with one, it is very upsetting/discouraging to find out that a choice app is not available (or is lacking as compared to other ecosystem) hence the op original question

3) I am not a moderator of this board but from looking at the views that this post has received it seems to me others maybe also interested in this very question.

My friend you are fighting the good fight and please don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY SURFACE PRO. But just like any other ecosystem (android, apple, etc.) there are definitely some warts in Microsoft ecosystem and to deny that does no one no good. Microsoft has too many competitors coming from to many angles, and cannot fight all of them all the time. If Microsoft is to win it is going to be due to the growth of people who migrate over to Microsoft devices and services. To do that we have to not only highlight the capabilities of the surface/Microsoft but also help those who seek our help in making the surface ( as in the case of this board ) meet their specific needs.

Another poster already highlighted an example of a genre of apps that are not available in the windows 8 store. Here are some links for your consideration, Please note the difference.

Apple
Amazon.com: Kindle for iPad - Read Kindle eBooks on your iPad


Windows 8
Kindle for Windows 8: Read eBooks on Your Windows 8 Device - No Kindle Device Required
Ha, I missed that it was Paul Thurrot. That's actually even more disappointing to me. The search charm should work for the app--Nook also earned a bunch of negative reviews for lacking the ability to search your library, but those were from people who didn't know how to use the search charm. I expect Paul should. And there is an in-text search. Unless that was added today after Paul wrote that, which is highly unlikely. Such basics.

I don't understand your paragraph about the Kindle app. The app does exist. It's not as polished as the Nook app, but that's hardly "not available" in relation to the "not enough apps" argument. Users basically need to continue to push Amazon for more development. Some of the missing functions do not appear to be a big deal to me, like the "read personal documents;" there are multiple PDF/ebook readers, and you can even use Nook for non-DRM imports. Sure, I understand how frustrating it is when a given app isn't as fleshed out as other ports, like how Angry Birds was half a year or more behind iOS/Android counterparts for released content. But I never once thought the Windows 8/RT ecosystem was lacking in the broader sense because of that, instead putting the blame squarely on Rovio.

Yes, the app store doesn't have as many as other ecosystems, but my point still stands that it's not the highest priority for the Surface target user. How many hits this thread has gotten ultimately does not matter at all; if people want Android apps specifically, especially against the walled-garden setup of RT, they should be getting an Android device. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's bad advice to hack a device to make it work for someone when the device does not fit their use case. Microsoft Office is a much bigger deal, worth on average at least triple digits per annum, yet that's almost never a talking point--Microsoft wants people to be productive on these things too. Rather than complain about lack of apps and trying to hack, it's much better to drum up conversation with the developers and across more public fora about porting specific apps to the Win8/RT platform.

Rather than looking at the number of hits a single thread gets on this unofficial enthusiast forum, it's far more telling to see the aggregate hundreds of thousands of RT user reviews at the 4-plus average. What is the target user? Like I said, if you're that keen on "growing" the community, that's who you should be aiming at, not trying to shoehorn Android apps on a different platform. Merely doing the hackery side-loading business does not tell developers that there's an actual market for apps on Win8/RT.

I am assuming that you use this. How does using this compare to android apps on android devices and in regards to the original posters question

"Will they access the GPS and other services on the Surface?"

Can you tell us about your experience. Also how does this compare with bluestacks
It's irrelevant, along with BlueStacks. Neither will run on an RT device. No GPS on Surface. That's honestly the entire gist of this thread--the Surface RT is a more specialized device than the Pro line, being a controlled walled-garden for the pure Win8 tablet experience. If someone asked whether they could run Android apps on the Pro machine, with these hacks, there wouldn't be any comments to the contrary, because desktop x86 software are similarly uncontrolled third party.

The fact that OP never listed the apps he wanted to use simply means it's impossible to give any real advice beyond "get an Android."
 

Name Taken

Active Member
I am assuming that you use this. How does using this compare to android apps on android devices and in regards to the original posters question

"Will they access the GPS and other services on the Surface?"

Can you tell us about your experience. Also how does this compare with bluestacks
This video should answers the OP's question.

[video=youtube;50PR7ocy_IU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50PR7ocy_IU[/video]

I have been using Genymotion for about half a year now and it is far superior to BlueStacks. It gives you the full stock Android experience with the addition of ADB and root.
 

oion

Well-Known Member
Oion,

I am sorry but your argument is flawed, but first let me say that I for one am not blaming MS and to those who use the "lack of (quality) apps" argument (as I understand it) are not either. We are just making a statement of fact and not assigning blame to MS. It is apparent that individual 3rd party venders are to blame. I do however think ( though I could be wrong) that one cannot stream HD quality videos from amazon prime through IE 11 ( could be wrong) so it not null and void.


But that being said your argument falls on it face (about buying into another platform or switching to another ecosystem) when you look at how you (and other with your view point), MS advertisement, pro MS store clerks, etc. Continually argue that MS has enough apps or as the surface commercial says one device to suit everything in you life ( or something like that). You cant blame Johnny or Sussie Q for wanting a similar/superior app experience on their surface devices.

Your argument about getting different devices is also flawed, and runs contrary to what I believe MS is trying to achieve with the surface line of devices. Furthermore whether you admit it or not MS need those same people that you would advise to getting another devices to help grow the ecosystem.
I streamed HD Thor from Amazon Prime before.

MS advertisement has been picked apart in all other quarters around here already. Everyone agrees the first generation advertising is crap. Second gen advertising is better. But smart consumers shouldn't be relying on only advertisement to make their decisions. I would argue rather that the Surface products aren't appropriate for the average "Johnny/Sussie Q" who are unable to look beyond that.

You're still missing the point about my advice in getting other devices--it's entirely about use cases. Maybe my experience on a different tech forum years ago in a completely different tech culture is vastly different from now (where now, I've never seen such stupid brainless brand fandom before for technology), but IMO good advice about devices is entirely pinned on use cases. In my experience on that different forum, it wasn't uncommon to advise newcomers to use other brands and specific devices compared to what we were using because we wanted to genuinely help that user. What Microsoft wants to achieve, what you or I want for the Surface line, is completely irrelevant to what the OP wants. What the OP wants (which he didn't expound upon, again), isn't necessarily what the Surface can fulfill. There is no worse advice than to push a beloved device that you happen own onto someone for whom it does not fit, and that person ends up hating it because it's not appropriate for him/her.

Let me put it another way, the way I see it:

Surface RT/2 has Microsoft Office for free. The app store does not have as many apps in quantity compared to iOS/Android ecosystems. The IE browser is very capable though not necessarily 100% compatible with everything (as is true for all browsers anyway).

Therefore, the appropriate target user should be someone who appreciates those facts for what they are.

What happens when the appropriate target user gets their hands on a device fitting their use case?

They will like it. They will add positive user reviews.

As more positive user reviews and word-of-mouth information is shared, there is more potential market.

As more target users buy in with generally positive experiences, there is greater market share.

With greater market share, more developers will take notice and see untapped potential. --> More apps.

With more apps, the target audience base becomes broader and starts to include users who place higher priority on apps.

Win.

Look, I think trying to get the more hardcore iPad/Android users into the Surface audience at this stage is pointless. Arguing that there should be more apps in the store is utterly futile--from the developer's point of view, what do they have to gain in spending resources on an iffy platform, especially with all these dramatically spun rumors of "oooooo Windows RT gonna die"? Although it would be nice to continually nag developers to get more apps into the Metro store, those with already a strong desktop presence are probably going to take their time anyway, and we can't expect Amazon/Apple/Google--the big competitors--to happily join hands either. The app store is still being grown, but my point is that given this stage of device maturity, it'd be better for Microsoft to concentrate on getting the devices into the right hands first. IMO.
 
Last edited:

Dahnark

Member
I am assuming that you use this. How does using this compare to android apps on android devices and in regards to the original posters question

"Will they access the GPS and other services on the Surface?"

Can you tell us about your experience. Also how does this compare with bluestacks
I used it for Tapatalk, flipboard, hangouts, etc. I dont know if it can work fine with gps but it is probable that yes
 
Search tags for this page
android app on surface 2
android apps for surface 2

android apps on surface

android apps on surface 2

android apps on surface rt
android apps surface 2
android on surface 2
can i download an android app on surface 2

surface 2 android apps

surface rt apps

Members online

Top