Skip to main content

Windows 11 won't support Android apps at launch. Do you care?

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

The official launch of Windows 11 is just over two months away, but when the operating system ships, it won't support Android apps. Microsoft announced the change earlier this week, which led to frustration from many of our readers (and myself). Some were disappointed. Others were downright chapfallen; their jaws left agape at another delayed feature from Microsoft. On the flip side, some people didn't seem to mind the delay at all. With this week's poll, it's time to share how you feel about the delay of Android support on Windows 11.

Microsoft explained that support for Android apps is still on the way and that it will be in testing in the coming months. This didn't ease the concerns of our readers that likened the situation to Windows Phone and other canceled Microsoft services. Ironically, many compared this delay to Project Astoria, a previous effort from Microsoft to run Android apps on Windows. In the comments of our post about the delay, reader Fauzi Rofi said, "I knew it. Classic Microsoft over promised things they cannot deliver. They haven't changed after all."

Others didn't seem that bothered about the delay. ISO_117 said in the same comment section, "Good. Focus should be on making the base of windows 11 solid."

Culex316 didn't mind the delay as long as the feature works well eventually. "I don't get the whining," they said in the comment section of my editorial. "OK, it's delayed, I'd rather have that and give them time to get it right than to have a botched roll-out/release where the same people whining about the delay now would whine that Microsoft never took time to make it right."

What do you think about the delay of Android support on Windows 11? Are there any Android apps that you were looking forward to using on Windows 11 that you'll have to wait longer to use? Let us know in the poll above and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

68 Comments
  • First of all, holy smokes, I did not expect to see my user handle and comment quoted in a WC article, I seriously had to do a double-take. With that said, yes, I'm a bit disappointed but I would rather wait to have them do it right. I've already spent several years without Android apps on my Windows 10 laptop, what's another few months?
  • Out of curiousity what Android apps have made to you think they would be useful on a PC?
  • Games that are not available on PC.
  • I actually care. Android apps on Windows created hype and they r gonna be useful more useful for Windows tablet users, but i will wait for few months but MS plz don't give up on this like i did with Windows mobile, please
  • You are definitely in the minority brotha.
  • Yep, without the android apps win 11 is just win 10 with rounded edges and a dumbed down start menu moved to the center. Hardly worth upgrading hardware for it if there are no new features.
  • This is really the main point. Don't call it 11 if you're not going to have anything new. Android apps was pretty much it.
  • Sort of sad that the 'new' functionality of the new OS is emulating another OS. ;)
  • You already often have Web Apps that work well on tablets. Can work better as they're optimised for larger displays which Android apps often aren't.
  • I mean this is normal agile processes if you can't make a feature functional you bump it to the next release to have more time to work on it and make sure it's good to go. If this was something simple like adding apps to the OS I'd be annoyed but it's not. MS is adding an android emulation layer to the OS aka a virtualize android container that can still talk to native windows that is not something you can just do easily at the drop of a dime. Even though it's frustrating it's still better for them to bump it. On another note at least we get 64bit emulation on arm processors that's huge I think that is an unsung feature of win 11 that is being glossed over its going to open up so many possibilities.
  • Is that true? x64 emulation finally available on my SPX? That is a game changer for me. I'm upgrading today.
  • It's been in the Windows 10 Insider builds for some time now so yes it's coming in Windows 11. Agreed it's an important feature that's mostly been ignored because ARM on Windows has a reputation problem. PC users are happy to use outdated CPU architecture compared with Mac users who're enjoying the future.
  • I'm more made about how windows 11 has ditched the entire UI philosophy of windows 8.1. 🤬🤬
    Windows 11 looks like windows version of Android. Yuck.
    So I'm sticking with windows 10. Hopefully before windows 10 support ends we will have surface hololens for consumers run by windows 365
  • I too am a fan of the Windows 8.1 ui for tablets/touch. Windows 10 was a complete compromise and after thought renaming it tablet Mode. Windows 11 UI is Microsoft's way of saying they gave up on the concept entirely. I had hopes that their widgets panel offered an alternate solution to tiles but it doesn't even comes close. They barely consider their Surface Pros as tablets anymore and instead calling them 2-in-1s yet continue to not sell the keyboard together as one product but instead calling it a bundle. Consistency is not a concept that Microsoft understnads.
  • I'm sick of love tiles tbh. It's time to move on from them. I'm digging regular icons. Granted there are some things I would like to change on the start menu as in more rows of icons and no suggestions /recent or less rows of them at least
  • I agree, during Windows 8 development it was the time when Windows Phone 7 introduced the concept of 'Live Tiles' that gave you an insight to what new content is present within that application. However, Live Tiles forced on users with Windows 8.x's "Start Screen" was not a good transition from Windows 7's interface which people still love more than Windows 8.x's colourful, square, flat interface. Live Tiles failed out of the gate as no valuable developers supported the feature. This didn't change with the release of Windows 10. I recall not being happy when Live Tiles made the cut for Windows 10 since the 'Metro Design' was flawed & I prefer 'Fluent Design' far more. I cannot get enough of Fluent Design & wish Microsoft would hurry with adding more of it to Windows 11 & Android! If Microsoft made a 'Surface Solo' (standard) smartphone with lots of Fluent Design I'd definitely be interested in acquiring one. I see Widgets following suite if they don't get developers on-board & the right widgets!
  • I can understand that, but the problem is, MS didn't make the Windows 11 Start Menu usable, if you use a Surface or other 2 in 1 in tablet mode. It's not very intuitive or makes sense to have in the center of the screen. There needs to be a different mode for table/touch UI.
  • Yes, totally agree with you. Even though the login bug in Windows 11 and the unsupported pc's no more in insider. I prefer Windows 10 since it was the best way to having windows on every type of device. Live tiles were amazing since they brought up-to-date stuff on my apps, which is very useful. I love the widget but I rather it stays the Windows way. Table mode and the modern design/wallpapers I love. Miss the taskbar and the clock calendar in 10. Also Cortona and it was much more customizable and fun. Android apps aren't' really a priority , if they do bring it I hope that this will last and Amazon and Microsoft will make sure this is even out and fully polished. Also like to see Windows Phone come back too
  • Who cares it's not sold with it, everyone buys a keyboard too. It's a tired point.
  • Windows 8.1 is nearly a decade old and was very unpopular. Get over yourself guys.
  • No kidding. They remind me of the server guys I used to work with who hated Windows 7 because their beloved NT-style widgets and window frames were gone. Win 8.1 was an abomination that occurred on Ballmer's watch. It made sense I suppose with Windows phone in the mix but MS screwed that up. It was sickening to see Apple go the way of 8.1 and ditch, with millions of colors, to their own god-awful flat icons. I'm glad to see 3D style and color back in both platforms.
  • Personally, not bothered by much but I'm also very curious of the possible use case with it. Well at least I can use Android apps natively on Windows without having to use Your Phone. In theory this should be faster than launching Your Phone and wait to establish remote connection to stream apps from my phone. Things like smart home apps, Amazon Kindle, manga apps, and some utility apps that only Android have or at least don't have Windows equivalent. I think if Android apps working well with Windows 11, this can be pretty useful for tablets where there is no tablet-optimized apps on Windows. Maybe some games on Android that don't have Windows version assuming they will work well, at least for board games, coop and few card tactic games.
  • I'm worried that they are launching Windows 11 too soon, kinda incomplete (design, apps, no new Outlook yet)... I think a March 2022 launch would be better.
  • That's because it's just Windows 10 with some tweaks to the UI. Look how win 10 changed over the years this is just another another part of the annual update process with a few min spec bump ups to force people to buy new hardware
  • Noone is forcing anyone to buy new hardware. If you really need Win 11, who knows why, and your current hardware doesn't support it, it's still your choice. Otherwise you have till 2025 (so far). By that point, the systems that don't support Win 11 will be 6-8 years old. The folks that will have no problem just staying on unsupported Win 10 at that point are the same ones running Win 7 now. That's about 36% of PCs out there BTW. Only people here care.
  • Is the voting given that you care about the launch of Windows 11 at all by its launch? I couldn't care less that Windows 11 launches without Android app support for now since I won't be using Windows 11 prolly for another two years from now.
  • To me it's another thing they committed to but can't deliver - yet, but will it ever happen at all?
  • The reason I don't care is that Microsoft seems committed to make Android apps on Windows a reality. Delaying software features is the hallmark of the industry and I'm used to it by now. I think this delay speaks to the way "Your Phone" app ran Android apps in the past and how it runs them today. In the past, if I opened the messages app through "Your Phone" and clicked a link, it opened in the desktop browser. Today it opens in the phone browser through the "Your Phone" app. The old behavior required that some things like URLs from certain apps be intercepted but the current behavior doesn't anymore. I think Android apps on Windows allows users to run them like Windows apps, like the old "Your Phone" experience, and preserve an unadulterated phone behavior and experience. This reduces compatibility headaches and makes Windows more useful in one fell swoop. Who knows, this could be Microsoft trying to get into the phone OS business through the backdoor.
  • So far they do seem to be focusing their efforts towards supporting other platforms and regulating their own platform as brain farts. Explains why Windows is becoming a beta test instead of functioning as a cohesive fully thought out Operating System. The fact that they gave up on their own Phone platform and destroyed any chance of having a functioning ecosystem, is telling on how they have no direction or real plan to get back into the phone OS business.
  • Nope, I'll be on Windows 10 so makes no difference to me.
  • I really don't care, but it'll be nice when it does.
  • It would have been a nice additional feature and would have given the ARM-based processors in the Surface Pro X a bit more kick but it's not really a problem for your average PC user. Having to wait for something like this will not destroy the OS. Windows 11, so far, has been a really great experience.
  • The Surface Pro X would be the most obvious platform to have Android apps natively run in Windows. Why the effort in making Windows On Arm work isn't a priority is an engineering embarrassment considering how well Apple's Mac OSX runs on their version of Arm. Apple's best move with OSX is to have their iOS/iPadOs run on their platform natively, without any need to rewrite code, giving devs time to figure out changes to scale their UI to work on larger screens if they want.
  • Note that all iPhone/iPad apps don't show up in the Mac store. Not sure what the criteria is, but was wanting to check it out and looked for the Starbucks app. It's not there. Might be the author has to enable it.
  • Microsoft can't even support their own products on their own platform. Why would they be expected to support third party products to work on their platform? Case in point, try installing Bing Wallpaper in S Mode and see what happens. Then try setting up Bing Wallpaper to run on Android using their Microsoft Launcher and see how easy it is. It's retarded.
  • I don't really care about android apps on a laptop device, but if there's even a remote chance of Windows 11 showing up on the duo in the next year or two, it's going to need access to an an android store to succeed. Maybe (hopefully) by then, the tsunami of global anti-trust/anti-monopoly government law suits and legislation that Apple and Google are fighting will have worn them down and independent app stores will be freely available to download on any operating system (I can see a lot of new android app stores popping up in the next couple of years, but I think iOS will fight to the end before allowing their app store to fragment).
  • Android apps? Don't care in the least...
  • Daniel cares. Otherwise he'll need to keep reaching for his phone to pre-condition his car.
  • Yeah but he probably has a Samsung device so Android apps are covered by the Your Phone app
  • Did anyone actually believe there will be support on release after the preview builds didn't have it? Project Astoria all over again...
  • In reality I think the Main reason for Android app on the Microsoft store is that when the day comes 2024 or 2025 When Microsoft comes out with a surface ar hololens there will be lots on Android apps that can run on it. Let alone all the phone ar apps that will be there already.
    It's them trying to mitigate the customer fear of having to lose everything if they come from Android to the Microsoft hardware / software / ecosystem.
    Microsoft can say hay don't worry just come to the Microsoft Hardware software ecosystem and still enjoy your Android apps. I think that's a long-term idea
  • I'm disappointed but I want them to get the integration right so I get why it won't be there at launch
  • Microsoft really needs to stop announcing features that are not ready for prime. It’s not doing them any favors till it’s baked and good to go. It just feels like it will be another windows 10 with out android subsystem. Better look till Windows 12 guys at this point lol jk.
  • I just want Windows phone and not Windows 11, Winodws 10 with live tiles and a modern design with the wallpapers of 11
  • You and six other people.
  • I'm frustrated, especially since Beta users haven't been given access to even basic Android application integration. I desperately need the Android Instagram application so I can use the messaging & other parts properly. I don't own a Windows tablet & lacking this makes me glad I refrained from buying one earlier in the year. I need Instagram so much because the PWA / Instagram Website is rubbish for basically everything. A proper Facebook & Twitter application would be nice but aren't as needed as Instagram. Having Google's Assistant would be really good too considering I have basic investments into Google's Smart Home Technology. Basically, without Android applications even in the Beta Channel, that I have been a part of since Windows 11 was accessible through it, makes my Windows experience on my desktop & any future Windows 11 tablet investments far harder to justify. My father recently bought an Acer Chromebook 2-in-1 which definitely gives Windows 11 a run for its money, so no Android applications means Google has a massive leg up over Microsoft! I hope Microsoft gives Beta users access to Android application integration even in a basic form before Windows 11 is released to the Stable Channel.
  • With the 11 start menu being so lackluster. They've taken away the only reason to upgrade to 11. I absolutely loathe the 11 start menu. Now, if you can allow me to turn off the recommended and use the entire space for apps and give me back folders. I'll be satisfied. Part of me wishes they would allow the use of tabs on the start menu.
  • Personally I do not mind. I'm not that much in a hurry for Android apps on my Surface. Considering Windows 10 completely ruined the Tablet experience on their "tablet first devices" in Windows 10, unless they make more strides towards a Windows 8.1 tablet experience when in that mode to begin with, I don't really care. Because Windows 10 tablet mode was so lacking, I now have an iPad Pro and a Fire HD 10 that I switch between often. Before that with my Surface Pro 3 and Windows 8.1, I strictly used my Surface Pro as my tablet. Having Android apps back then would have been amazing. Now, I just don't really use my Surface as a tablet unless it's for work as it's light and easy for clients to sign documentation on and for myself for writing. I have always been one for, ship it when it's ready. Not ship it now, patch it later. I am so sick and tired of that mentality. Ship it now, patch it later has plagued the entire software industry. Let's wait for them to actually get it right before everyone gets it and then completely dismisses it because it's severely flawed. I do need to give Windows 11 more attention in tablet mode on my Surface Book as a lot of this is based on Windows 10 and a very short period of trying it out with the keyboard disconnected on Windows 11. A few month delay or more won't bother me as long as they don't can the project entirely.
  • Microsoft needs to give Windows more attention in tablet mode. At least the Start menu.
  • Nope, nice but not needed
  • I'm disappointed. Finally it's a Microsoft mojo: promise but not deliver.
    Regarding w11, i'm in bêta and dev channels and i'm not confident about release. There's still lot of ux issues (specially about windows, setting preferences). Performance is very poor on my desktop (i5 8700 32Gb). I cross m'y fingers because w11 is a nice move but currently it's disappointing
  • Still, Windows is the most capable one...
    Mac, Android, iOS are close systems, they don't have driver hosting services and Apple products are always over simplified.
  • Don't really care. It's a welcome feature but not a MUST have feature.
    YouTube app? Why not web + extension?
    Phone games? Why not XPA + xCloud?
    Popular SNS? Windows has them.
  • Can't be bothered. Please bring back Microsoft Mobile apps. Lol...
  • I am more upset that there has been not dev or beta testing for this, it tells me that it might not come at all. if we were going to test this maybe I would not mind that they are getting it ready for us but without any testing we might not see this at all. So now I would like to see windows 11 on the Surface Duo or bring us back the tablet... they had amazing devices with crap OS, the Duo Software was so bad it was useless as my dailly driver , and we never so the other device the tablet. I want windows not android, but android add are not a bad thing.
    sorry for my rant
  • I'm fine with that. I'm not going to be an early adopter since my current and well-running computer will not be eligible for upgrade due to its old Gen 3 Core i7 processor. I don't think I'll need to replace it any time soon. Hopefully it will be well tweaked by the time I need a new computer
  • There's no question that it's the most interesting new feature of the OS, so I'm disappointed because I was really looking forward to playing with it and learning how it works, but being included at launch isn't necessarily a dealbreaker. At this point I'm more interested in knowing when it will launch for insiders so I can finally try it out. Does it resolve any of the problems with using Windows tablets as tablets? Are drawing apps useful with a Surface pen? Does it open up any new productivity workflows on laptops and desktops that I hadn't considered before? It's such an interesting move that I'm just eager to dig in and give it a try.
  • Personally, I couldn't give iota about android apps coming to W11 as I can already use android apps using bluestacks or Nox. My concerns remain about the security aspect as the malware attack vector introduced by android apps is mind boggling huge due to the number of insecure and unpatched Android devices out there. As well as the major ramifications to native Windows app development - I've already seen one app (sound cloud) turned into crappy web wrapper from a decent windows store app. The same with the audible app, for awhile it was the UWP app that was using the WM10 package (as evident by the package directory name) but now... it's been stuck in update limbo for awhile - powershell, sfc scannow etc yield no success to date. Never the less I'm curious what Android apps do people really want to use on a desktop PC? The other question is will the average joe understand the difference between Google Play Store Android apps and Androids apps via the Amazon store. Since Microsoft is notoriously inept when it comes to marketing and communication about services and features. Xbox is the exception not the norm.
  • How do unpatched devices make apps run on a completely different device less secure? Even those unpatched devices don’t really have security issues in reality. In theory, maybe, but actually targeting and exploiting them is quite hard since there so many different devices and Android versions.
  • It's a nice to have but the YouTube app is the only app I'd like to use on my PC and that's unlikely to be available. Many Android Apps have better Web Apps you should be using on a PC.
  • I use 'My Tube', great app and no ads too... I agree regarding the Web apps, I have installed several of these on my PC using Edge... I have a Note 20 Ultra and Surface Duo so can run Android apps via 'your phone' but never feel the need to do this...
  • I don't know if I'd use Android apps but would like the chance to find out and am wondering if this will actually happen. In the past Microsoft has promised things that haven't panned out. I have a Samsung phone and can use Android apps already so not a big problem anyway.
  • No, I don't. But is super important for MS to have it ready for their tablet devices, otherwise they will have no nothing because nobody wants to expend much money developing native apps for the Windows platform, it doesn't pay off.
  • No. The new settings app alone plus how well Windows 11 now behaves on my Surface Pro 7's touch screen was worth the switch to 11. I guess no one remembers how buggy 10 was and remained for a long time. I haven't experienced the weird taskbar/start menu glitch so I'm giving .178 a thumbs-up. Geekbench and Cinebench numbers are back to nearly where they were under 10 - under earlier dev releases my Surface pro 7 just wasn't performing at where I was used to. I admit the start menu needs a lot of work. I should have the choice whether "recommendations" shows or not - I don't need to see them. The new 3D icons should "pop" in dark mode as well as light mode and they don't. Otherwise, the other ideas implemented aren't bad at all and in fact, are pretty useful.
  • WC: "Do you care?!?!"
    Me: "Do pigs fly? Couldn't care less. Take your time. I'm getting Windows 11 for Windows. Not to play android on it. Having android support is a nice to have, but not mandatory for my needs. As long as I get my rounded corners at launch, I'm good."
  • No. I have Android apps on my PC using Samsung phone and My phone app and/or using Dex. Since Android is mainly about touch applications, Android apps in a PC are just for playing and not for serious use.
  • I care that it won't be ready at launch from my personal interest perspective because I'm looking forward to really trying them out (I'd love a good Kindle App on my Surface Pros and Surface Book 3). Also, bigger picture I think that from a marketing perspective (though there are certainly questions about how well they'll work or how useful they'll be) that Android Apps on Windows its one of those features of the new OS that's very easy to communicate to the mainstream (non-techie) user base for whom some of the other new features may simply go unnoticed or may not elicit at least a mild curiosity if not excitement like Microsoft say, "Now With Windows 11 you can use Android apps on you Windows 11, laptop, 2-in-1, convertible, tablet or desktop!" Rolling it will, at some undisclosed point in the future, unassociated with the launch, takes a lot of steam out of whatever excitement that feature would be able to muster. Sadly in Microsoft fashion it will likely "silently roll out" with an obscure (to mainstream users) blog post and Microsoft will rely on the tech media to articulate the feature to the masses. There will likely be some alert on the OS that will elicit some curiosty by some but without that be launch day messaging there is no unified approach to "tell the story." I do get it. If its not ready. Get it right. Then launch it I agree. But the sad consequence of not having it ready for launch is the above. Oh well. It's coming and I'm looking forward to it. :-)
  • I've survived without Android Apps on Windows for the last... however long Android has existed for. I'm sure I'll survive a little while longer. I didn't mean for this to be a reply, just imagine this was its own comment.