Android apps are now available on Windows 11 in the Beta channel
After documentation for the Windows Subsystem for Android was spotted on Microsoft’s website earlier today, the company has now officially announced that Android apps are now available on Windows 11 if you’re a Windows Insider. Oddly enough, you’ll need to be enrolled in the Beta channel, not the Dev channel, in order to access the initial preview for Android apps on Windows 11. Microsoft says it wants to test this feature first on versions of Windows 11 that are already available to the public, suggesting that the feature will arrive separately from a typical feature update when it does roll out to the general public.
If you want to try out Android apps on Windows 11, you’re going to need a few system requirements in addition to the base requirements for Windows 11. According to the Windows 11 feature requirements posted by Microsoft, you’ll need a PC with at least 8GB of RAM, an SSD drive, and 8th-generation Intel Core i3, AMD Ryzen 3000, or Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c processor or higher. These aren’t basic requirements for running Windows 11, but you’ll need to meet them for Android apps.
Another requirement, at least for now, is that your PC’s region is set to the United States, and to access the Amazon Appstore, you’ll also need to US-based Amazon account.
Aside from that, all you need to have virtualization enabled in your PC’s BIOS/UEFI, and be part of the Windows Insider Beta channel. Microsoft’s blog post is supposed to include a link to begin setting up Android app support, but it’s not actually live yet. However, all you need to do is download the Windows Subsystem for Android from the Microsoft Store, and you should soon see the Amazon Appstore show up in your Start menu.
Once you install the Amazon Appstore from the Microsoft Store, you’ll automatically get the Windows Subsystem for Android, which is what allows these apps to run. Initially, only 50 apps from the Amazon Appstore will be available, including games like Lords Mobile, the Kindle app, and children’s content with apps like Khan Academy Kids. More apps will be available over the coming months, though. Microsoft isn’t saying whether you can install Android apps from outside the Store just yet.
The launch does come with some known issues, such as the Microsoft Store not showing ratings for Amazon Appstore apps and performance variations when running multiple apps at the same time. Here’s the full list of known issues:
Known issues with Android apps on Windows 11
- The Microsoft Store does not display review ratings for Amazon Appstore apps.
- If you are experiencing Amazon App Store sign in problems turn your Ad Blocker off.
- Accessibility options are not yet enabled when using the Amazon Appstore.
[Windows Subsystem for Android]
- Network access issues on Cellular LTE on ARM64.
- May see display visual artifacts on certain applications on ARM64.
- Performance may vary when running multiple concurrent Apps.
- There are known camera issues on certain apps.
- Apps coming out of modern standby will encounter issues.
If you’re in the Dev channel of the Windows Insider program, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to get access to Android apps. Microsoft says it plans to bring the feature to those users “down the road” but not today.
Android apps were initially expected to launch alongside Windows 11, but a full launch has been delayed indefinitely. We’re currently expecting sometime in 2022, but we’ll have to wait and see how the test period goes.