Microsoft now allows Windows 11 testers to try Android apps. A preview version of the Windows Subsystem for Android will be available today for Windows 11 beta testers, providing access to applications from the Amazon Appstore. Testers with Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors will all be able to try Android apps on Windows 11.
Apps can be loaded through the Microsoft Store, which lists a variety of apps that then point to the Amazon Appstore to be loaded and installed. Android apps can run side-by-side with other Windows apps, and they’re also built into Alt + Tab and the Task view, and you can pin them to the Start menu or taskbar.
“You can see notifications from Android app notifications in Action Center or share your clipboard between a Windows app and an Android app,” Android explains on the Windows 11 team. “We built the experience in thinking about accessibility; many Windows accessibility settings apply to Android apps and we are working with Amazon to make more improvements.
Microsoft has partnered with Amazon to organize 50 apps for Windows Insiders to test on Windows 11. These include mobile games like Lords Mobile, June trip, and Master of the coins. There are also reading apps like Kindle and apps for kids like Lego Duplo World or Khan Academy Kids.
Fifty Apps is a small selection of the over 3 million apps available on the Google Play Store, and even over 600,000 on the Amazon Appstore. It’s unclear how many Android apps will be available once this feature rolls out widely for Windows 11.
Microsoft built a subsystem in Windows 11 to enable support for Android apps. It includes the Linux kernel and an Android operating system based on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) version 11. “The subsystem runs in a Hyper-V virtual machine, like the Windows Subsystem for Linux”, explains the Microsoft Android Applications team on Windows 11. “It understands how to map runtime and APIs of applications in the AOSP environment to the Windows graphics layer, memory buffers, input modes, physical and virtual devices and sensors. “
This subsystem supports AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm chips, and Microsoft has partnered with Intel to enable Arm-only applications to run on AMD and Intel devices.
Microsoft is only enabling Android apps in the Windows 11 beta channel today, and the company has announced plans to release the preview to developer channel users “later.” Your Windows 11 PC will need to be configured for the US region, in the beta channel, and it also requires a US based Amazon account to access the Amazon Appstore.