What you need to know
- Microsoft recently expanded Android app support to Windows 11 Insiders in the Dev Channel.
- Roughly 50 apps are available for testing at the moment.
- Previously, testing Android app support on Windows 11 was limited to Beta Channel Insiders.
Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel can now test Android app support on Windows 11. Microsoft expanded its testing of Android apps to the Dev Channel earlier this week. Until November 4, 2021, only Insiders in the Beta Channel could try out Android apps on Windows 11. Microsoft added a brief update to its blog post on the subject that specifies that Dev Channel Insiders can now try out Android apps.
Since Android app support on Windows 11 is in its early stages, it is limited. Only around 50 apps are available for testing, and those apps are downloadable through the Amazon Appstore. At least for now, the Amazon Appstore will be the primary way that Android apps are available on Windows 11. Microsoft explains that more apps will come out for testing over the coming months.
If you're a more technical user, you can sideload Android apps on Windows 11. Some have even created tools for easily installing APKs onto Windows 11. Sideloading apps allows you to install many more apps onto a PCs, though there are still limitations.
Android apps on Windows 11 don't support Google Play services. As a result, some of the most well-known Android apps are unsupported on the OS. You can, however, run Google Play Store Android apps on Windows 11. This takes a bit more work but allows any Android app to run on your PC, including popular apps from Google and apps that rely on Google services.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
Well. I'm on the latest Dev build, I have the latest MS Store update - and still no android apps. The Amazon App Store and the Windows Subsystem for Android and not listed in the MS Store. My machine meets the minimum requirements. So, either it's not released for all Dev Build users or this just isn't accurate at all.
In some cases the feature is rolled out gradually server-side so that's probably the case... It should arrive in the next couple days normally.
Why the heck are the apps limited? Are they planning on individually validating every app in the Amazon app store? It's an Android subsystem, it should run Android apps (for the most part). The caveat should only be that the Amazon app store is the source. It does appear the side loading, or shoehorning in the Google Play store opens up the app situation, but why should that be needed?
"Why the heck are the apps limited? "Assuming they're collecting data e.g. crashes, issues, having a controlled initial set of 50 apps is a lot easier than 600,000+ random apps with many possibly being edge cases. When the team is confident that issues have been worked out they can open it up to more apps. That seems like a logical approach if your goal is stability and reliability.
I imagine it's because it's still in testing, and it's easier to troubleshoot 50 apps than thousands. I'm sure when it rolls out to everyone, you'll have unlimited access to the Amazon store (at least).
Well...it looks like the Windows Subsystem for Android requires virtualization on the CPU. That leaves out the ARM CPUs (at least when running through Parallels on Apple M1). In fact, nested virtualization on both Fusion (x86) and Parallels (x86) kills performance so bad that you can't use it.
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