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Windows 10 can now launch Android apps — but there's a catch

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10 users can now launch Android apps on a PC. 

Before you get too excited, Windows 10 can't natively run Android apps; instead, they can be mirrored onto a PC via the Your Phone app (via The Verge). You will now see a list of Android apps in the Your Phone app on PC and can launch them as you would on your phone. You can even operate them alongside other Windows 10 programs, as Microsoft notes in a blog post.

Your Phone acts as a bridge between your laptop and smartphone, so you can make and receive calls, get phone notifications, and read and respond to text messages on your PC. You can even drag files between the two devices. The app is pre-installed on Windows 10 PCs, so there is a good chance your laptop already has it. 

When you launch an app, it will pop up in a separate window so you can run multiple programs at one time and quickly switch between them with alt+tab support. You can also pin it to your Windows 10 taskbar or Start Menu in case you want to quickly access it again without jumping back into the Your Phone app. 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

There is some fine print Android users should be aware of before they try to run apps on a PC. For one, not all apps will work. Those that block the casting ability will give you a black screen, while others won't respond to the keyboard or mouse. Furthermore, the feature only works with Samsung devices so far, although phones from more brands could be added in the future.

And finally, if you want to give the Your Phone feature a go (and you own a compatible Samsung device), you need to be part of Microsoft's Windows Insider testing program. We'll keep you updated on all the latest info on this feature, including when it'll start rolling out to the wider public.