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Microsoft announces Windows 11 will be able to run Android apps

Windows 11 Android App Store
Windows 11 Android App Store (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Windows 11 will support Android apps!
  • Android apps will come via the Amazon App Store.
  • Windows 11 launches this fall.

Microsoft has announced that Windows 11 will support Android apps via the Amazon App Store! These apps will be locally installed, meaning they will show up in the Taskbar and Start menu and not require your smartphone to function. All your favorite hits, from TikTok to Uber, will be available for your Windows-using convenience (if you're not already using many of these apps' web-based PC counterparts).

Not much is known about how it all works, but Microsoft is using Intel Bridge Technology, according to a press release.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft didn't go into much detail, but it's likely that Android apps on Windows 11 are powered by Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. These apps will be discoverable in the Microsoft Store.

While Amazon apps do not support Google Play, the long-term plan is to get even more Android stores into the Microsoft one. That could mean Samsung and even Google Play down the road as Amazon alone is not the end goal.

Alongside this news, Microsoft also unveiled a brand new Microsoft Store app, with a focus on being an open storefront for any app on Windows. This includes Win32, UWP, PWA, and now, Android apps. Windows 11 is expected to ship this fall, and that's when Android app support on Windows will be made available to the public.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

This Android news is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Windows 11 news from today. We learned it'll be a free upgrade for existing Windows users, it'll heavily feature Microsoft Teams (poor Skype), and it'll have a whole host of new productivity tools. With that being said, this Android development was not expected, so it's a welcome cherry on top of the already incredible operating system-flavored sundae.

However, even with all the announcements we did receive, it's worth noting that certain items weren't announced, such as a hard release date for Windows 11 that'll let people know exactly when they can grab the OS. And, lest we forget, there was also a lack of Surface Neo news, otherwise known as the most important item that could've possibly been addressed.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

108 Comments
  • I feel a bit let down from This Windows 11 event, can't pinpoint why. It just felt underwhelming.
  • Not sure what you expected. Maybe a product announcement along side the obvious?
  • Not surprising. I mean we did have tons of folks spoil the fun for us. The downside to following leaks
  • I ignored the leaks so I was impressed by today's reveal.
  • Will I use it? Almost definitely not. I'm not against it, it's just that all the applications I use on my PC are either not on Android/iOS, or I just need a web browser. Still, this is cool news for people that want to take advantage.
  • For me it's good as it means I can manage things like my team app and banking. Can see why some are not interested though.
  • It's useful on Mac OS with an A1 chip so I can see why they would offer this. Sometimes an app just works out better. And you also have to consider Surface and other 2 in 1s. Suddenly they're getting the Android ecosystem of apps on their tablets.
  • Mobile games.
    This should also give WinTabs a big boost.
  • In a word, wow! 👀
  • I'm excited for this, mainly due to some Android apps are better than their web counterparts, and some, like Duolingo, are updated on Android but not Windows.
  • Obviously Windows is coming back in the smartphone market. By the way Surface Neo coming this October.
  • I don't think this means what you think it means
  • Nah, not really. Not to mention Windows 11 is still the same desktop OS underneath, which will not be great on smartphone device.
  • Another is there are some apps that don't even have web counterparts like many home automation apps/services. So this will be handy if you want to control and manage smarthome without having to pull a smartphone or grab iPad or some Android tablet.
  • Does Neo meet the 9" requirement? 🤔
  • Neo needs full Android. Windows has no experiences for such a small screen.
  • You haven't been right about 1 single thing in 5 years. What makes you think anyone here would even begin to be ignorant enough to consider your broken record opinions? 🤔 🤔 🤔
  • 😂🤣 I'm not sure a greater truth has ever been told here!
  • Lol. It's amazing he even tries.
  • this guy has been commenting here for over 5 years. i dont know how he can keep up with this much hate. I cant wait for Neo with windows 11.
  • Five years? I would think it is going on 10. Whenever it first launched for Windows Phone!
  • I think he might be right this time. This article is about android app so whats the different. Make everything android.
  • Why would anyone need a device the size of Neo running a mobile platform? 🤔
  • I have been right about nearly everything, most recently the canceling of 10X. What have I been wrong about?!
  • For one, you disagree with us about your birth being a positive thing. Lol 😂
  • He's got valid criticisms.
  • Well for starters you said MS would remove the MS Store in circa a year after MS removed the Store for businesses (which was hardly used), while in reality the Store (for consumers) is getting a nice upgrade. 😏
  • Why Windows 11 can run Android apps no reason to stick Android on the neo.
  • Those are the low rent Android apps, the good ones are on Google Play. Not to mention Android already works on dual screen devices and is touch based. No reason to force Windows 11 when Microsoft already created a better option.
  • No one in the world wants an Android tablet. Get real.
  • I do, have a Galaxy S7 LTE with keyboard cover and it is an excellent tablet, and fantastic value compared to a comparable ipad... I travel with it exclusively on business trips and when others see it they are impressed with it's speed and the quality of the display...
  • Yes me too, awesome tablet. Changing dex to Windows 11 maybe a good move though. Maybe someone should mention it to Samsung!
  • I think the numbers speak for themselves. How many Windows tablets are even available, let alone sell? Are they even 1% of the market?
  • Well Android tablets are doing rather poor as well aside from Samsung, which has a heavily skinned Android to make the tablet experience good enough. So atm only Ipads and Galaxy tablets are good as consumer tablets, and Surface Go 2 m3 if heavily tweaked too.
  • 0kay, you maybe right, but windows 11 should be able to raise that so called 1% .
  • I got the Samsung Tab A7 solely for mobile gaming. Unfortunately this Android app feature in Windows 11 will be useless to me since it relies on the Amazon store. Not a single mobile game I play is available on the Amazon store. So I will continue to use Android tablets.
  • Blame Google.
    They insist on getting their services and betaware on anything that accesses their store. Note that MS said they want to get other stores into Windows.
    The Amazon store is just the start. Also, don't forget the antitrust actions targetting Google.
    They might be able to deflect some of the pressure by supporting Windows.
    We'll see how things shape up by turkey day.
  • I guess that explains the pitiful sales of the Duo.
  • Looking forward to seeing if neo is still a thing. In a way I was kind of hoping Microsoft would use the play store and it meant that Windows 10 could be on the surface duo 2 but run all android apps but I will take this as a 2nd option.
  • "Does Neo meet the 9" requirement?"
    Surface Neo has two screens, 9-inches each, which totals 13.1-inches of screen real-estate when both are in use together.
  • My question is does the system recognize the total 13.1" for requirements, or does it view them separately? Not sure if that makes sense, but either way it sounds like Neo will meet requirements, and the fact that MS made the requirements 9" might not be a coincidence that this just happens to be the size of a single screen on MS's smallest windows device. Do you agree?
  • What bothers me with this requirement is that, UMPC are banned using Windows 11 devices which are typically smaller than 9-inches. Since 9-inches are like 10-inches which is average tablet size and smallest usable laptop size (netbook size). My guess, it has to do the removal of Tablet Mode where it has the behavior to run apps always on full-screen/maximized state and auto-Snapping if you open another app or opening content from one app to another, which Windows 10X does as well. Running windowed apps less than 9-inches or even on 9-inches don't make sense for many apps that have so much toolbars and such, especially many Win32 apps UI don't adapt well on small screens.
  • No Neo reference. Wouldn't Android apps on Windows fit perfectly for that device?
  • They would just use Android on Neo. No need to shoehorn Intel and Windows on that machine.
  • Who needs another Android tablet?
    I need an ultra portable Windows device. Android apps are just a nice add on.
  • its going to be windows 11 with android apps.
  • Yes are you computer or 2 + 1 and Windows 11 mobile smartphone
  • Intel on such a machine would be a joke. Throw in Windows at 9", the inevitable $2,000 price tag, and you will have a device that will be laughed at. Microsoft will never launch the Neo. There just isn’t any reason for it.
  • OK I'm still watching the stream and until now, this was the only feature that I liked.
    BTW Laptop manufactures are like "Ah **** . . . here we go again!" and I'm talking about the new logo on the keyboard XD
  • Aha, so that's what WSLg is for! Put the Android Dalvik runtime on a small Linux distro, connect to WSLg to bridge to Windows over local RDP, and you have near-native Android performance on Windows. Native code could be an issue though. This would also allow Android apps to run on Windows on ARM because WSLg already runs on ARM devices.
  • Amazon web store? So the crappy out of date versions that run on Fire devices? Yay.
  • The alternative is somehow getting Google to play along but that won't happen or Microsoft making their own separate Android app store, but you don't want to make more work for developers to get their apps on yet another store/platform. I agree it's not ideal, but I think it's better to integrate it with an existing storefront.
  • Yep this is going to do two things Android app developers will see how many people using the apps on Windows and then they go make PWA and uwp apps. It's going to be interesting.
  • KJW23, I agree. It will be interesting to see the long-term effect of this. I suspect in the short term, it will mean more Android apps make it to the Amazon store, because that also means access to a billion Windows machines. Longer term though, it may indeed drive interest in UWP for a better native experience across all devices.
  • Why would they make a PWA or UWP version when they can just ignore Microsoft completely and their Android app is still compatible. All this does it cement that Windows will not be a target for developers. What is the point when you can just make an Android app?
  • Embrace, extend 2.0?
    Just wondering. 😇
  • They may now have a reason to improve the Amazon store, don't you think?
  • Hopefully you'll be able to sideload apps, since the Amazon play store isn't great.
  • Given the range Windows has, I'd assume the Amazon store will get a lot better as the user base increases substantially.
    That's just a guess, though...
  • If Windows numbers mattered for app stores, why did theirs fail so bad? This won’t change anything but guarantee no one will develop for Windows. Not that they were anyways.
  • This will likely fall on deaf ears but: The Windows store is optional.
    Not everybody needs to pay to get their apps before Windows users. MS recognizes this so they opened up the store to all comers.
  • So this is great that Windows 11 can run Android apps. I'm a little skeptical though. Is this run Android apps with limitations? Sure, they can use the Linux subsystem, but what about the Google Play APIs that nearly all Android apps need to function properly? If they do pull off running Android apps with minimal limitations, then this should put a big dent in Android tablet and Chrome PCs; and that is huge to make Windows 11 compete in the tablet market. It is good that they also made Windows 11 more energy efficient and faster. That will help Windows 11 run on low end tablets. I doubt though that I personally will run Android apps on my Surface Go 1. I have an iPhone, so don't have any workflows with Android apps. Native Android apps should be transitioning to PWA, but that will take time.
  • It uses amazon store so no google api required. I would imagine windows 10 will be the same experience as amazon and huawei products have with gms.
  • This feels like way too little, way too late. If Microsoft did this in Windows 10 Mobile life time with actually making a reasonably stable operating system it could cause miracles. Now, I am really not sure. People have already complained that they consider Store apps as too underpowered and this will just enforce that feeling now, as those apps are not any more powerful and even less consistent and desktop UI friendly.
  • Windows 11 mobile is now cafone.
    Especially when the person says my phone and didn't say Android is a big hit
  • This has real potential to become a terrific part of the Windows ecosystem. For my main application stack I can't see running an Android application but for certain things, say like a terrific RPN calculator, makes my PC even more useful to me. This feels like a camel's nose under the tent feature whose long term implications are much greater than they seem right now.
  • Agreed.
    There's a few really good ebook readers on Android besides the walled gardens and a lot of widget-class miniapps. There is value there. There is also a road for a MS Android for MS mobile gadgets line tbe Duo line.
    Google has a tough choice ahead.
  • Very exciting announcement. I have had a play about with the leaked version on my Surface pro 5 with intel M3 chip and I have to say its a very smooth experience.
  • So if you bought paid app through Google Play, you're SOL.
  • TBF, you were SOL when you didn't even have the option.
  • You can thank Google for that which tries to play monopoly with its Play Store.
  • This is a good addition. Moves windows into the runs everything "one ring to rule them all". This will be great for things like venmo and other banking apps that even with a PWA do not allow for some actions to be performed as there is no availability on the web.
  • Do you think the Duo 2 will move to the Amazon app store too then?
  • Unfortunately those apps including venom are not available on Amazon App Store.
  • Probably not but is probably going to be running Windows 11 mobile PWA and UWP any Android app address the app Gap.
  • Catastrophic Mistake.
    1) When people clamour for Android apps on Windows. They are thinking about Playstore apps whereas these particular apps are via Amazon. Microsoft has now have to do a crap tonne of re-working the APIs - all that was done with the WM10 integration. 2)Large scale attack vector introduced, android based malware is prolific due to android fragmentation, unpatched devices which number in the millions. 3) Who in their right bleeding mind will now want to develop a Windows app if they can now code an android app and ios app - thus targeting every platform? Especially the developer support fiasco that is still on going for many current developers. 4)If Microsoft insists of continuing down this path of long term idiocy then they have no choice but to take over the AOSP repo and throw every damn thing they have done to unify the kernal down the toilet. Google sure as hell ain't giving them any access to playstore apps on a silver platter. 5) No Android app scales properly on large screen displays - that's the biggest flaw that's hampering Chrome O/S. 6) Windows 11 is primarily a desktop operating system which uses large displays, as mentioned in point 5 android apps are ill suited for large displays. This is the most idiotic decision ever. Yes, it's "cheap" to use android apps to bridge the app gap but it's a short term fix for a problem Microsoft created and now have turned in classic Microsoft fashion into a every EXPENSIVE PROBLEM. All this reeks of two things idiotic office politics and appeasement for those who clamour for android apps on windows and at the same time don't want to support the devs via the store. They'd rather use an unoptimised APK. In regards to the former, which company in their right mind starves dev support? Unless it's for an ulterior motive -> starve dev support -> stifle native app support so the moronic notion of android apps can be pushed. Or are we talking about complete and utter rank incompetence? I think not.
  • We do realize these lunch in Windows 11 mobile. That's why they have support for Android apps please use logic next time. Two things will happen more developers design PWA or Android app developers start building uwg apps.
  • You keep referencing an OS that doesn't exist. You know that right? Or did I miss something?
  • ^^^this^^^ I'm in total agreement with your sentiments.
  • Fascinating to me that people miss the point. Everything about W11 is bringing the OS up to market parity. Simple as that. It looks more like OSX and ChromeOS and will run Android/ARM based apps, just to name a few things re: parity
  • @Monte Constable1 I'm all to aware. Market Parity at what cost? You know more and more websites require ajax.google.apis or whatever to run now? That includes public sector and the tax payer funded Transport for london. Who are paying google for api use to display tfl's own damned logistical data. I don't work my arse off for idiots to use my tax money on stupidity lol. I am against frivolous, inane, meaningless waste and ceding control of the web to any single corporation. Enabling Android apps by extension enables Google a major foot into the enterprise space. Yes, I'm aware about the Amazon partnership. It will take Amazon few years to bolster their app catalogue. Plus Amazon is not as ubiquitous in the enterprise compared to Google. Either way it's another mistake. You first increase the size of the pie (increasing the number of mobile ecosystems) then share. If you share a pie as is, it won't be long until all you have left is crumbs. Lastly, appeasement never works.
  • "2)Large scale attack vector introduced, android based malware is prolific due to android fragmentation, unpatched devices which number in the millions.", MS seems pretty good with security the last few years, I think they will have found a solution for this. Maybe only letting Android apps install through the Store at default. "3) Who in their right bleeding mind will now want to develop a Windows app if they can now code an android app and ios app - thus targeting every platform?", but its Android without Google API's so that makes it more interesting (especially if .NET can be used). It should also be noted that WPF+UWP still get nice stuff like WinUI updates. There is also Xamarin which is nice too for c# + .NET programmers as MS own multiplatform solution (heck this might give Xamarin a boost since it will allow them to focus more on Android now). Finally there is Unity (though mostly for games) which is also multiplatform and c#. (There might be even more c# stuff I am missing here.) "5) No Android app scales properly on large screen displays - that's the biggest flaw that's hampering Chrome O/S.", yeah but Windows users are not dependent on Android apps for a desktop & productivity experience unlike with ChromeOS, they just need Android apps to fill some gaps. And if W11 Android apps become more mainstream, these things likely will have improved. "6) Windows 11 is primarily a desktop operating system which uses large displays, as mentioned in point 5 android apps are ill suited for large displays.", I would change desktop operating system to mostly a 'laptop OS'. Lots of 14" inch Windows laptops these days, I think stuff like Android banking apps will make sense on them.
  • "3) Who in their right bleeding mind will now want to develop a Windows app if they can now code an android app and ios app - thus targeting every platform?" This has happened before. I am sure most here are too young to remember it. In late 1993/early 1994 or so, IBM gave OS/2 the ability to PERFECTLY run Windows 3.1 apps. This was quite an astonishing technical feat, and the tech press praised it at the time. However, all OS/2 native app development - and granted, there was not that much anyways - ceased very soon afterwards. Then Windows 95 came along, with 32 bit apps. OS/2 could never hope to run those. Thus, OS/2 is now a toenote - not even a footnote - in computer history. Today, we have Windows that can run Linux apps and Android apps. We have Microsoft (desperately trying) to sell Android phones. Indeed, why bother to target Windows? Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it. The folks at Google must be laughing their asses off.
  • Except the important detail you two here blink over is that its Android without Google Play Services, so its not affiliated to Google but more to Amazon at the moment (and to smaller degree to independent/open-source stores like F-droid).
  • Plus OS/2 Warp was just starting and had a small install base and few native apps. Running w3.1 apps gave them the apps but killed the market for native Warp apps. They effectively turned the OS into a corporate integration tool as far as the market was concerned. Then they had to contend with W95 and especially NT, which hit them square in the enterprise market. The MS strategy here is to bring in lightweight Android apps and widgets to make for a better integration for Android phone users. A lot of Android apps are niche/specialty apps with smalluser bases (say, small local bank apps) that make little sense on a desktop. Also, MS has tried to get Windows a robust roster of lightweight apps as widgets without much success; apks can fill that gap easily now with the new window snapping and memory features.
  • They so much don't pack for this event it's just my dropping insane
    Windows 11 X Windows 11 SE Windows 11 mobile. By the way it was time to talk about Windows 11 this is going to be like 2015 again lol it's going to be crazy this October
  • "Not much is known about how it all works, but Microsoft is using Intel Bridge Technology, according to a press release." I hope this means Windows on ARM is supported?
  • It will run native on ARM devices and do not need the Intel Bridge. The purpose of the Intel Bridge is to translate code from ARM to x86.
  • Does this mean Duo 2 will run Windows 11? I hope.
  • No. That would be a joke.
  • Probably not but a Neo Mini might. 😏
  • No, that would absolutely ruin the mobile experience on Duo, which is already struggling a bit.
  • New Photos app looks nice. Hopefully it won't be as much of a resource hog as it is today.
  • Clever to partner with Amazon. Saves Microsoft the hassle of licensing Google's GMS.
  • They wouldn’t have the option for GMS. I am sure Google only allows it on Android devices.
  • I'm curious to see how this plays out over the long-term. This is with Amazon. So basically (if I understand correctly), the apps on the Kindle Fire, which does not work with Google Play. This is AOSP Android, not Google's Android. It's certainly a simple play to put an app on both Google Play and on Amazon's store. And the fact that the Amazon store will soon also make the app available to a billion Windows users must surely be a win for the Amazon store (but by how much, we can't know yet). Hopefully this will become more standard for developers now that it's Kindle + Windows (I am now thinking about adding our apps to Amazon, where I didn't think it was worth the effort before). Are banking apps in the Amazon store? I don't think they are. That's what I'd most like so I could deposit checks from my PC without using my phone. EA games, like the popular Plants vs. Zombies franchise, are mostly not available on the Amazon Store. Only some of the Angry Birds games are on the Kindle Fire. Etc. Still, even if the Amazon store is incomplete compared with Google Play, this is a big win and a path to ultimately reducing the dependence on Google for Microsoft's mobile efforts. That's a good thing. And if users actually use the Android apps on Windows, that could accelerate developers' move to PWA, rather than expend extra effort for Android and iOS dedicated apps.
  • I think so too. While I do understand concerns of some here the fact that it is not Google Android makes this more subtle and more interesting in the long run (while in the short run its a small but still nice boost giving a some extra apps).
  • I know many people feel Android on Windows is useless (including Dan), but this may be just enough to get me to ditch an iPad in favor of a Surface. There are only 1 or 2 apps on iOS (or Android) that I use that are not on Windows and would not be ideal as PWAs. For everything else, the Surface would work just fine for me as a tablet.
  • @Jedah have you tried bluestacks? Or Nox (if you want an alternative ) both enable you to run android apps on Windows today. Plus they pretty are much tablet optimised as they use the tablet version of an android o/s.
  • Bluestacks lagged pretty bad for me on an i7 8th gen processor and scaled poorly in portrait. Nox wasn't bad, but interface elements seemed small and there was slight lag. Usable, but I'd love to see what a more native solution looks like.
  • I see, I presume you tried configuring the settings for either? Bluestacks - it's often set pretty low in terms of CPU use by default. Nox - UI scaling adjusted via settings? Sometimes you may have to force it using Windows display scaling. In regards to Native scaling, don't hold your breath Android apps do not scale properly on large displays as they have always been primarily phone focused. You would be better off using Your Phone lol. Scuse the pun, Your Phone app + your phone.
  • Just the other day I was looking to see if Comixology had a Windows 10 app for offline reading. Apparently they used to buy don't anymore? Being able to run the Android version on my Surface Go could be a reasonable alternative. Of course, running in on a Surface Neo running Windows 11 in October would potentially be even better. Just saying...
  • Ironically enough the official tik tok app was released yesterday.
    It a pwa but still nice to see.
  • I don't see the point of PWAs in their current form. TikTok for example has SIX Edge browser processes running when it's open - may as well just use the website. The recently-updated Twitter is the same, the previous version of that didn't run any Edge processes if I remember correctly
  • I still believe that technically iOS apps can also run on Windows 10 already just like Android apps. It's just a matter of licensing why Microsoft had not been putting much effort in it and is hiding it as a possibility.
  • It may come later but for now MS has been trying to get iOS developers to port their apps by making it much easier. They still would have to support two versions and the small developers can't afford it. Most can barely afford iOS and Android.
  • Android apps is the most exciting announcement, but only Amazon apps makes it much less exciting. I'll be curious to see if we can sideload apps, and if Google Play eventually comes over.
  • For now I would not get my hopes on Google Play apps unless its by 3rd party hacks (G-Apps, Micro-G). But that being said, is it really needed if you have access to Amazon apps, Windows app & programs and PWAs? Especially since this will undoubtedly result in Amazon Store getting more apps. Would also not surprise me if stuff like F-droid will work on W11 too. I can only see some mobile games really missing but at the same time Steam, Gog, Origin, Uplay and Epicgames etc etc make up for that if not more.