You can now easily install Android apps on Windows 11 with new open source tool

Windows 11 preview build comes with native support for Windows
Subsystem for Android (WSA) which lets you run Android apps on
the desktop without third-party emulators. Right now, you can
download apps from the Amazon Appstore only as support for
other stores is not available.

Amazon’s Appstore is not as huge as the Play Store and only a
limited number of Android apps can be officially downloaded on
Windows 11. Thankfully, you can use the command-line tool to
install Android apps and even run the
Windows Subsystem for Android on non-Insider PCs, as well
as avoid using the WSA manager.

If you don’t want to use the command line (which can be tricky
for beginners), there’s an easier way to do it. A new app
called “WSA PacMan”, which is available on Github for review
and feedback, lets you install Android apps without opening the
command prompt or system settings.

As the name suggests, it’s a third-party open-source package
manager built specifically for Windows Subsystem for Android.
It acts as a GUI and it runs the ADB commands in the background
to install Android apps, and it also relies on the default port
so you don’t have to make any changes to the app or WSA itself.

Windows 11 Android subsystem

WSA PacMan is a GUI for the ADB commands and it relies on the
original WSA included in the OS, so you do need to set up WSA
for one time.

First, you will need a device that runs Windows 11 and supports
Android Subsystem for Linux. Second, make sure you’ve installed
or enabled Subsystem for Android and the debugging option is
turned on. Otherwise, the package manager won’t be able to
install apps on your device.

How to install Android apps with GUI

  1. Head to Github’s release
    page and download WSA PacMan.
  2. The PackMan app will automatically connect to WSA because
    it uses the default port 58526 for debugging.
    Android package manager
  3. As you can see in the above screenshot, WSA PacMan has a
    simple interface and you just need to locate the APK file that
    you want to run.

WSA installer

If you followed the steps correctly and selected the APK file,
you should see an installation wizard similar to the native
installer included in the operating system.

You can open installed apps as you would any other Windows app.
Apps installed by the package manager will show up in your
Start menu and they can be pinned to the taskbar.

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