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Amazon Appstore on Windows 11 off to a rocky start, based on feedback

Windows 11 Android Apps Amazon A
Windows 11 Android Apps Amazon A (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft recently launched support for the Amazon Appstore on Windows 11 in preview.
  • The feature is exclusive to the United States and has a set of minimum requirements that excludes some PCs.
  • Less than five percent of polled Windows Central readers frequently use the Amazon Appstore on Windows 11.

Windows 11 now supports Android apps through the Amazon Appstore. The feature is in preview and now includes over 1,000 apps, but it doesn't appear to be getting much use from the readers of Windows Central. In our weekend poll, less than five percent of polled participants said they frequently use the Amazon Appstore on Windows 11.

A variety of factors contributed to our readers not using the Amazon Appstore. Over 46% of voters can't use it at all because they are outside of the United States. Another 8.33% are excluded from the functionality because their PCs don't meet the minimum requirements.

Even those that can use the Amazon Appstore don't seem anxious to give it a try. Over 25% of voters said they don't use it at all and over 14% said they use the Amazon Appstore infrequently. Only 4.15% of participants said they frequently used apps from the Amazon Appstore.

The lack of interest is in part due to what's available through the Amazon Appstore. "There is nothing but games in it right now. For me no apps worth trying," said SDKevind in the comments section of our poll.

"I installed it and looked at the apps but there is nothing I will use currently on the Amazon Android App store," commented Johnny4.

Others opted to use alternatives to the Amazon Appstore, such as Bluestacks or sideloading applications. "I installed the Google Play Store and Google services and haven't opened the Amazon Appstore since," said Hanley Gibbons. "I found the Amazon Appstore to be utterly useless since it seemed like Kindle was the only app, and all the games are very very old and mostly targeted at kids."

Support for the Amazon Appstore on Windows 11 is still in its preview phase, so things could change. There's also a chance that the Amazon Appstore will only be one piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting Android apps on Windows PCs. Microsoft's Your Phone app allows people to sync apps from supported Android phones to Windows 11. It's also possible to sideload Android apps onto a PC.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

34 Comments
  • Please put a graph in these articles that show the poll results! Thank you!
  • The poll results are included in the article and are indicated visually by bars.
  • Which may be blocked, depending on how corporate policies handles javascript, which is why websites should avoid using it.
  • Meh, get over it.
  • I opened it up - and other than the Kindle app, saw a bunch of silly looking games that I have zero interest in. If there were a broader swath of apps on there, I would probably use it. (Sorry mean to post this on the main level)
  • What a totally flawed analysis. To say that 4.15 % of poll participants use the Amazon App Store apps frequently is true to the poll, but it is not really analyzing the actual usage. Just eliminating the non-U.S. respondants and those that aren't even capable of using it brings the percentage of frequent users to over 9%. Segmenting out frequency by usage type (developers) also lowers the total. How many of the votes that weren't flagged as non-U.S. or incompatible were actually from non-U.S. and incompatible respondants. There's really no way to know. Lastly, the term "frequently" will have a different meaning for each respondant (multiple times per day, daily, weekly). There should have been more specification around that term. Regadless, the frequent users would probably still have been 20% or less, but the insights could have been much more relevant. I understand this wasn't a scientific poll and I typically enjoy the polls Windows Central displays, but this one is a complete mess.
  • Even worse: at one moment they talk about using the Amazon App Store (which would usually be barely because you only install your apps once), and another moment they talk about using apps from the appstore... Big difference!! In that case the question should have been, do you frequently use Android apps on your Windows PC that you've installed from the Amazon App Store?
  • This is the correct take. Other than installing Kindle, I haven't been to their site other than at poll time to see what has changed.
  • I think regardless of how you interpret the data, the people that voted in the poll do not use the feature much. Even among those that can use it, less than 10% say they use it frequently.
  • Exactly, and remember, this is only us tech nerds answering the poll. Do you even think a typical normal user knows they can install the Amazon app store and run Android apps on their PC? I'm sure they just swiped that annoying notification off the screen as quickly as they do their update notifications.
  • Almost half of those for whom it's available say they use it. Not that they have used it, but that they do use it. That's not at all bad for a new feature for which you have to jump through a couple hoops to get to.
  • This is a tricky survey to interpret, because the current iteration of the Amazon store is so limited in terms of which apps are available for Windows, and the Store is only available to certain insiders. Feedback that stems from the limited selection aren't really actionable for MS, not because they can't encourage some apps to appear there, but because that feedback really says more about the test itself, rather than the Amazon store experience. Most apps on Google Play COULD be made available on Amazon with negligible effort by the developer (Kindle Fire runs Android, so for most apps, it's little more than the effort to resubmit), but there hasn't been much of a reason to in the past. That could change with Windows supporting the same Amazon store and access to hundreds of millions of Windows 11 users. For that reason, I think the better questions are: 1. What do we think of the Store experience itself (independent of the apps)?
    2. Which apps should MS and Amazon work to get added to the Amazon store?
  • The Amazon Appstore is no longer limited to Insiders on Windows 11. It is, however, limited by region and some other factors.
  • Thanks for the correction, Sean. I confess I'm losing track of which advances in Windows 11 are in general release and which are for insiders. I'll have to look for it on my Win 11 laptop next time I fire it up (on my main Win 10 desktop PC as I write this). I do still think those 2 open-ended questions would yield interesting information.
  • Why climb the mountain of convincing thousands of developers to post on Amazon when changing to Google store would eliminate the problem for all concerned? Or figure out a way to get those developers to post their apps on MS Store instead and master their own destiny.
  • I doubt Google is remotely interested in this move. It wouldn't surprise me if they did eventually let you publish Android apps directly to the Microsoft store, but we're in early days still.
  • @It'sborken Google play store apps require Google's Mobile Suite to operate. So, bundling that into W11 is not happening as it opens up Windows to Google's greedy paws as well as introducing a massive attack vector. No, aosp is not an option either as that means throwing everything that has been done to unify the kernel, all win32 and uwa apis in the rubbish heap (decades of experience, code and everything else) just for the sake of android app interoperability. So the Amazon app store with the user flexibility of sideloading is all that's left. The best option really is WoA and Microsoft should re-add the telephony stack and compile it as a flashable image for arm devices. The modding community will do the rest.
  • Play store, as if Android apps are only about games?
  • I use it for the Kindle app. That's all that interested me. And it's very nice to have a proper Kindle app for my Surface for the first time since the old Windows 8 app was pulled.
  • For me, the more important bit than having install-able Android apps in Windows would be simply being able to access Android apps from devices I already own and use. I'd be fine with the ability to run Androids apps off your Android device via Your Phone. Anything I would really need would be available via that path. You can even pin the apps to the start menu/taskbar and run multiple Android apps at once this way. The two problems being that the experience is mostly limited to Samsung phones and you may not always have your phone and an appropriate wireless network available to enable the experience. It can be funky on public wireless networks such as a coffee shop.
  • What is the purpose of this article, to show to Microsoft that we don't want Android support? Personally I don't use the app store, but I do use Android, it's also relatively easy to sideload any app and in particular the app I need for work, I just wish this had been available a few years ago, when I moved from the UK where a life without apps was perfectly possible, to the USA, where I had to get an Android phone to do my banking, flight bookings and a whole host of other things, most of which wasn't possible on my Windows Phone.
  • Right, "would you use it" and "have you used it" and "do you use it" are all different questions, all interesting in their own ways.
  • The article reflects what people said in the poll and in the comments. I'm not going to ignore folks because it shows "Microsoft that we don't want Android support." I want Android support on Windows and I'm glad that it's here, but I'm just collecting responses from people.
  • As mentioned elsewhere in the comments, the interpretation of the survey needs to control for the fact that many users can't access the Amazon Store. A little more than half of respondents have no access, so we should take the remaining usage statistics and roughly double them: Out of those who can access the Amazon Store, roughly:
    - half say they don't use (haven't used?) it
    - 30% say they use it infrequently
    - 8% use it frequently And this is within the first few weeks of availability, right? In my mind that's not a bad showing, particularly given the handful of hoops you have to jump through to get it working. We also need to give people time to work Android on Windows into their workflows. And wasn't this always going to be a niche feature? And wouldn't the numbers be higher if this were the Google Play Store, and not Amazon? Of course we should also consider that WC users are more Windows-engaged and probably more technically savvy than others, so I guess points off there.
  • Sounds look a good opportunity to follow up in six months and/or a year to see if the figures go up or not as the feature is more established and known.
  • That's a good idea. It'll be interesting to see the changes in behavior.
  • Probably because it’s not that interesting. In 2014-2015 when apps were the rage and app gap mattered? Sure.
  • Most people won't be using Android apps on their computer/tablet PC but there are niche scenarios where it could be "useful". One example is using the Eero app to check the network settings and perform updates. Eero does not have a web interface for it's networking solution only an app
  • I think Samsung Health is (or at least was) another example. Dyson is another.
  • I'm going to file this under "Duh". I have never met a person who commented "I sure would like to run Android apps on my PC". Never. Once again, Windows 11 sucks.
  • At the moment, the Amazon store is still in beta and the programs there just don't interest me. Maybe when all the apps are present will I take interest. Now, if this was windows 11 running on a snapdragon phone with an emulator running In The background I would be interested, but windows 11 has no interface for a phone and is just horrible with the current setup.
  • I use Your Phone's app interface all the time even with mouse and keyboard and I find it useful. It's not perfect but it's better than nothing, and quite convenient for the odd Google app that doesn't have a corresponding website or Windows app.
  • I am enjoying the preview of the Amazon app store that is only because of Kindle Reader and the comixology app. I can have a larger screen for my digital comics and can take with me since you can download. No worries about having to have internet to read them through the browser when you are on the go. Another thing is I don't have to carry multiple devices when traveling.
  • I have no use for android apps on my pc. If I need to use android apps, i'll just nox or bluestacks and use the tablet versions - that's only a very rare occurrence. I already have signal and whatsapp desktop clients. So don't need those android apps either. I'm not going to be playing mobile games either. I'd rather play games like Icarus, GTA 5 online or any of the hundreds of games on steam, epic. Also with xcloud streaming, why would anyone want to play mobile games on a PC or Laptop anyway?