Microsoft has made it possible for Windows 11 testers to check out Android apps. Today, beta testers of Windows 11 will be able to download a preview version of the Windows Subsystem for Android, which will give them access to apps from the Amazon Appstore. Android apps will run on Windows 11 for testers with Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors.
Apps can be downloaded via the Microsoft Store, which will display a selection of available apps before directing you to the Amazon Appstore to download and install them. Android apps can coexist with Windows apps, and they’re also integrated into Alt + Tab and Task view, as well as being pinned to the Start menu or taskbar.
The Android on Windows 11 team notes, “You can see notifications from Android apps in the Action Center or share your clipboard between a Windows program and an Android app.” “We created the experience with accessibility in mind; many Windows accessibility options extend to Android apps, and we’re working with Amazon to offer more improvements,” says the company.
Microsoft and Amazon have collaborated to create a list of 50 apps for Windows Insiders to test on Windows 11. Lords Mobile, June’s Journey, and Coin Master are just a few examples. There are other reading applications, such as Kindle, as well as children’s apps, such as Lego Duplo World or Khan Academy Kids.
Fifty apps is a small sample of the over 3 million apps available on the Google Play Store and over 600,000 on Amazon’s Appstore. It’s unclear how many Android apps will be available once Windows 11’s capability is widely available.
In Windows 11, Microsoft has included a subsystem that enables Android app support. The Linux kernel is included, as well as an Android operating system based on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) version 11. “Like the Windows Subsystem for Linux, the Subsystem operates in a Hyper-V Virtual Machine,” Microsoft’s Android apps on Windows 11 team explains. “It comprehends how to link the AOSP environment’s app runtime and APIs to the Windows graphic layer, memory buffers, input modes, real and virtual devices, and sensors.”
Microsoft has worked with Intel to enable Arm-only software to operate on AMD and Intel devices, and this subsystem supports AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm CPUs.
Today, Android apps are only available in the Windows 11 Beta Channel, and Microsoft claims it will extend the preview to Dev Channel users “down the road.” To access the Amazon Appstore, your Windows 11 PC must be set to the US region and be in the Beta Channel. It also requires a US-based Amazon account.