With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft is bringing Android
mobile apps to the Microsoft Store. Microsoft will be
using the technology behind Windows Subsystem for Linux and
Windows 10 Mobile’s Project Astoria to enable Android apps to
work natively within the new operating system.
Microsoft’s apps store isn’t as popular as Google Play Store
and Apple Appstore, but it’s slowly getting better. Windows 11
aims to improve the situation by enabling support for two keys
features: unpackaged Win32 desktop programs and native-like
Android apps support.
The company is working on its own Android subsystem and
it was recently spotted in the Microsoft Store. Ahead of
the first public preview, Amazon’s Appstore has now appeared
in the Microsoft Store and it requires Windows 11 Build 22000
or newer, but the app store is currently not available for
Amazon is apparently working on its own App Store client for
Windows 11 and users will need to sign in with their Amazon
account to download apps. The files will be downloaded via the
Amazon AppStore only, and Microsoft Store will be used to
promote mobile apps in search results and not much else.
Android apps integration in Windows 11
During the developer conference, Microsoft said that it will
create a proxy native app that would manage the bridge between
the mobile and desktop models. These improvements will make the
app feel native and users will be able to install or uninstall
mobile apps from Settings or Control Panel.
For those unfamiliar, Windows Subsystem for Android is based on
Windows Subsystem for Linux, which uses Hyper-V and Linux
kernel to run Linux apps on the desktop alongside your Windows
Microsoft will be using “Intel Bridge Technology” to
translate Arm code. In a statement, Microsoft has confirmed the
feature will also work on AMD and ARM CPUs.
However, Windows 11’s Android integration won’t support the
Google Play ecosystem and Google Play services.
To make things easier for end-users, Microsoft is partnering
with Amazon’s, using the App Store found on Amazon-branded Fire
You’ll be able to search for Amazon mobile apps directly from
the Microsoft Store, which will fetch the results from Amazon’s
app catalog. To download your Android apps, you need to click
on “Get from Amazon App Store,” which will download and install
you’ll be able to sideload APKs manually, but apps based on
Google Play Store may not work properly.
In addition to Store listings,
Windows 11’s Android subsystem was also spotted on
Geekbench with some configurations listed under the
placeholder name “Qualcomm ARMv8”.
As you can see in the above screenshot, Microsoft has been
testing the Android subsystem on a wide range of systems, so
scores range drastically.
That’s all we know about Android apps on Windows 11 and we’ll
learn more about when the feature is out.