Beta Channel Insiders (only) can now test Android apps on Windows 11

Laurent Giret

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Today is the day: Microsoft has just announced the first public preview of Android apps on Windows 11, which is now available for Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel in the US. Dev Channel Insiders are currently not invited to the public preview, though the Windows Insider team said today that they’ll get access to Android apps at some point in the future.

To get started with the preview, you’ll need to have a Windows 11 PC in the Beta channel with the region set to the US, and you may also need to enable virtualization for your PC’s BIOS/UEFI. Once you’re ready, you can download the Amazon App Store from the Windows 11 Microsoft Store, which will install the Windows Subsystem for Android. This new Windows component will be updated via the Microsoft Store, and it works on PCs with Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors.

To download apps from the Amazon App Store, you’ll also need a US-based Amazon account. For now, Beta Channel Insiders can download 50 Android apps including Amazon’s Kindle app, as well as a selection of mobile games and apps for kids. Android apps on Windows 11 will behave like regular Windows apps, and you’ll be able to resize them, snap them, and even pin them to your Start Menu or Taskbar. Notifications will also show up in the Windows 11 Action Center, which is great for consistency.

Matchington Mansion (Windows Subsystem for Android), Word (Win32), Pinterest (PWA), and Gimp (Windows Subsystem for Linux) apps running side by side.

Because this is a first preview, there are also a couple of known issues to be aware of. The Windows Insider team provided the following list today:

[Microsoft Store]

  • The Microsoft Store does not display review ratings for Amazon Appstore apps.

[Amazon Appstore]

  • 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.

“We are partnering with Amazon in engaging the developer community, and we will have more details to share about early developer programs to publish Android apps to the Amazon Appstore,” Microsoft said today. It’s not clear yet when Android apps will be generally available on Windows 11, but Microsoft is starting today with a small selection of apps and it will listen to feedback from Insiders. Stay tuned to OnMSFT as we’ll go hands-on with Android apps on Windows 11 very soon.