Microsoft is now letting Windows 11 Insiders on the Release Preview channel test Android apps, which have been available in preview on the Dev and Beta channel for a couple of months now. The public preview is still restricted to Windows Insiders in the US, but it’s likely the last step before Microsoft brings Android apps to all Windows 11 users in an update coming next month.
To bring Android apps to Windows 11, Microsoft has teamed up with Intel to create the Windows Subsystem for Android, and it has 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 roughly 50 apps for now, but these apps behave like regular Windows apps and integrate with Alt + Tab, Task View, and the Notifications Center.
To get started with Android apps on your Windows 11 PC, your PCs’ region must be set to the U.S and you also may need to enable virtualization for your PC’s BIOS/UEFI. Then, you’ll need to download the Amazon App Store from the Microsoft Store, which will also the Windows Subsystem for Android that the OS requires for running Android apps. You can get more details about how the setup process in our detailed guide.
If the news of Android apps coming to Windows 11 surprised many last year, the app selection has remained quite limited since the public preview began 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 are going to use every day.
While Microsoft has teamed up with Amazon to bring the company's Android App Store on Windows 11, Google is also working on bringing Android games on both Windows 10 and Windows 11, and the solution won't require Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Android. A limited Google Play Games on beta launched earlier this week in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan, and it will be interesting to see how this separate initiative from Google will coexist with the Amazon App Store.