Microsoft is now allowing Windows 11 Insiders on the Release Preview channel test android apps, which have been available in preview on the Dev and Beta channels for a few months now. The public preview is still limited to Windows Insiders in the US, but it’s likely the last step before Microsoft rolls out Android apps to all Windows 11 users in an update coming next month.
To bring Android apps to Windows 11, Microsoft partnered with Intel to create the Windows Subsystem for Android, and it also partnered with Amazon to integrate the company’s Amazon App Store with the Microsoft Store on Windows. 11. Windows Insiders can only play with about 50 apps at the moment, but these apps behave like normal Windows apps and integrate with Alt+Tab, Task View, and Notification Center.
To get started with Android apps on your Windows 11 PC, your PC’s region must be set to United States and you may also need to enable virtualization for your PC’s BIOS/UEFI. Next, you will need to download the Amazon App Store from the Microsoft Store, which will also include the Windows Subsystem for Android which the operating system needs to run Android apps. You can get more details on the setup process in our in-depth guide.
While the announcement of the arrival of Android applications on Windows 11 surprised many last year, the selection of applications has remained quite limited since the start of public preview last year. Running the Windows Subsystem for Android can also be quite taxing, and it’s probably not something the majority of Windows 11 users will use every day.
While Microsoft has partnered with Amazon to bring the company’s Android App Store to Windows 11, Google is also working to bring Android games to Windows 10 and Windows 11, and the solution won’t require the Windows subsystem of Microsoft for Android. A limited Google Play Games beta launched earlier this week in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan, and it will be interesting to see how this separate Google initiative coexists with the Amazon App Store.
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