Microsoft has confirmed that it’s looking into ways of bringing
Android apps to the Microsoft Store on
During the Windows event, Panos Panay confirmed that this move
could help increase the number of apps currently available for
the platform. These Android apps will run native on desktop and
Microsoft is not talking about a new streaming or cloud-based
“Starting later this year, people will be able to discover
Android apps in the Microsoft Store and download them through
the Amazon Appstore,” Panos Panay said during the event.
This feature will be made available sometime later this year.
To enable Android apps support on Windows 11, Microsoft is
using the underlying engine of Windows Subsystem for Linux
(WSL). In addition to WSL, Windows 11 will also use Intel’s
Bridge technology to run Android apps.
Windows is not getting Google Play Services support, which
means apps like Play Store and Gmail that rely on Google Play
Services integration may not work.
Unsurprisingly, Android apps on Windows 11 can be pinned to the
taskbar and you can run them alongside traditional Windows
apps. Android apps will also support Windows snapping, task
view and other desktop features.
Android apps via Microsoft Store and Amazon App Store
Your Android favourite apps can be downloaded on Windows 10 via
both Microsoft Store and Amazon Appstore. Since Play Store
support is not possible, Microsoft has partnered with Amazon to
improve the quality of mobile apps.
Native Android support would be a big addition to Windows and
Microsoft said that it could provide a major boost for
developers. Devs can publish their mobile apps in the store to
reach users of both operating systems instead of maintaining
and developing two versions of their app.
Initially, these apps will be downloadable from the redesigned
Windows app store that’s included in the operating system.
Android in Windows ecosystem
If you’ve ever used a Windows Phone, you’re probably aware that
this is not the first time that Microsoft has looked at ways of
bringing Android apps to its ecosystem. Back in the days of
Windows Phone, Microsoft was working on “Project Astoria” to
address the app gap problem in Windows 10 Mobile
Store. The project was ultimately discontinued.
With Windows 11, Microsoft is trying to revive its Android
efforts and native Android support would be a big addition to
the Windows desktop platform.
Unfortunately, we don’t know if users can run mobile apps on
AMD or ARM platform as this implementation currently requires
Intel Bridge technology.
More details will be shared later this year.