Microsoft just announced that Windows 11 is arriving as a free update on October 5. The company will begin rolling out the new operating system to eligible devices then, as well as start shipping new devices with Windows 11 pre-installed. One of the biggest, most impressive features of the OS isn’t part of that process, however.
Windows 11 isn’t arriving with Android app support. In a blog post announcing the release date, Windows GM Aaron Woodman wrote: “We look forward to continuing our journey to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store through our collaboration with Amazon and Intel; this will start with a preview for Windows Insiders over the coming months.”
We’ve reached out to Microsoft for clarification on the time frame. The post suggests that Insiders will be able to test the feature ahead of the general availability date. So far, Insiders have been able to test many of the promised features in Windows 11, but not Android app integration.
Translating an app to run on one OS to another isn’t an easy task — especially when you’re dealing with hundreds of disparate apps and developers. Microsoft is partnering with Amazon to bring apps available in its store to Windows. Critically, Android apps from the Google Play store aren’t included.
Once the feature arrives, Microsoft has said that users will be able to treat Android apps like any other program. That means you can snap them around the screen, drag the window to reposition, or pin them to your Taskbar.
Android apps will live in a dedicated area in the updated Microsoft Store once they’re available. Although the updated Microsoft Store doesn’t look too different, it features more revenue-sharing options for developers, support for a wider range of app types, and curated collections of apps.
While Android apps are rolling out to Windows Insiders over the coming months, we don’t know when they’ll release to the general public. As one of the more challenging features to implement, we suspect it will be a process of trial and error with Insiders before the feature is finalized.
It’s likely part of Microsoft’s “phased and measured” approach to the Windows 11 release. The OS will be available starting October 5, but Microsoft says that eligible upgrades won’t be done until mid-2022. In order to receive the update, you’ll need an eligible processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, UEFI secure boot, and a TPM 2.0 chip.