During Windows 11 event, Microsoft promised users will be able
to run their favourite mobile apps on desktop as the tech giant
will integrate the Android subsystem (similar to the Linux
subsystem) into the operating system. This will bring Android
apps to your desktop, Start and the taskbar.
Microsoft recently posted a Store listing for the Windows
subsystem for Android and the original listing suggested that
it would be possible to run Android apps on Xbox gaming
Microsoft has now quietly updated the Store page again to make
it clear that the upcoming operating system would support
Android apps on desktops only. It’s likely that the Store
incorrectly listed support for “Xbox”, possibly due to an error
in the Microsoft Store’s certification process.
Additionally, Microsoft has also updated the minimum
requirements for the Android subsystem.
As per the updated requirements, Windows 11 Build 22000.63 or
newer is now required to run mobile apps. At the moment,
Windows Insiders are testing
Windows 11 Build 22000.176 and Build 22449.1000, so there’s
a possibility that Android apps support could also arrive on
Windows 11 version 21H2 next year.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft may not publish the entire
Android Subsystem for Windows in the Microsoft Store. Instead,
this Store app could be used to update or improve some
components of the Android subsystem. Or the company could
publish updates to WSA via Windows Update, similar to the way
it updates WSL in the operating system.
How Android apps integration could function in Windows 11
For those unaware, Windows 11’s Android feature is powered by
Intel Bridge Technology, but the apps can be installed on AMD
and ARM PCs as well.
According to Microsoft officials, Windows 11’s Android
subsystem will fill the gap between the existing Windows app
model and the upcoming Android app model.
Windows 11’s Android integration also uses a virtual machine
that will provide support for Android Open Source Project, and
Google Play services won’t be required. Microsoft has partnered
with Amazon to bring Appstore apps to the Microsoft Store and
populate Windows 11’s Android section.
For those unaware, Amazon’s FireOS is also based on AOSP.
The Amazon Appstore integration in the Microsoft Store won’t be
as straightforward as you might imagine. That’s because the
Microsoft Store will require you to sign in to your Amazon
account to download apps. If you don’t have an Amazon account,
you’ll need to register before you can download mobile apps
from the Store.
Windows 11 Android
apps support has been delayed for production devices and it
is expected to arrive in the stable channels in early 2022.
At the moment, it’s not yet clear if users will be required to
install a standalone Amazon Appstore from the Microsoft Store
to download Android apps.