During the June 2021 Windows 11 event, Microsoft confirmed that Android apps will be coming to Windows 11 and users will be able to test mobile apps on the desktop operating system.
With Windows 11, Microsoft brings the Amazon Appstore to its Microsoft Store.
Within the redesigned app store, users will have access to an extensive catalog of Android apps, which will be powered by Amazon’s Appstore. Amazon has already confirmed that its Appstore will support Android App Bundles (AAB), the standard next-generation Android app format that will eventually replace the current APK format.
As a result, Windows 11 users can access almost all popular Android apps directly from the native Microsoft Store.
How Android Apps Work in Windows 11
To help users run their favorite Android apps on Windows 11, Microsoft says it will use the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), which is similar to the Linux Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
Windows 11 will also ship with new virtual machine technology to address compatibility issues with the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is an open source software stack.
Thanks to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), Windows 11 does not require Google Play Services support and most applications will work fine on the desktop operating system.
Android application compatibility
During the event, Microsoft officials confirmed that Android apps will work on Intel, AMD and Qualcomm (ARM) devices.
Not much is known about how Microsoft will support Android apps on AMD systems, but the company has already confirmed that they will use Intel’s Bridge technology feature on all Intel PCs.
Intel Bridge technology is a run-time post compiler to allow non-compiled applications to run natively on x86-based devices, such as Android-based mobile applications, to run on those devices. Intel believes it is important to provide this capability and has designed Intel Bridge technology to support all x86 platforms.
Intel Bridge technology is not restricted to Intel CPUs, so it can be used to run mobile applications on AMD CPUs, but Microsoft says that Bridge technology is not required for AMD or ARM CPUs.
Android app download
The Amazon Appstore is not as big as its competition and not all applications are available, but Microsoft says that users can easily download the APK files.
A Microsoft engineer recently confirmed on Twitter that users can download apps on Windows 11, but it’s unclear how the download process will work.
When can you test Android apps on your PC?
Microsoft plans to release the first preview of Android apps later this year and more details will be shared soon.