Windows 11 shipped without the promised Android app support from the Amazon App Store, but Microsoft today announced the first preview of the feature for Windows Insiders in the Windows 11 Beta channel.
The first preview is only available to users in the United States,
and the is still not live at the time of writingdespite Microsoft’s blog post† †Updating: It’s live now. Microsoft notes that you may need to enable virtualization features on your PC for the apps to work.) The preview gives access to 50 Android apps, including games, educational apps, and the Kindle app. Microsoft will be releasing new apps to Windows Insiders on its favorite timeline: “in the coming months.”
Android apps running on Windows 11 don’t look like native Windows apps, but they do support basic integration with the rest of the operating system, including access to the Action Center for notifications and the clipboard. Microsoft also says that “many Windows accessibility settings apply to Android apps,” but it didn’t specify which ones.
The official system requirements for running Android apps are slightly higher than the already restrictive requirements for running Windows 11 in the first place. For starters, your PC needs 8 GB of RAM instead of the standard 4 GB and an SSD instead of a spinning hard drive. There’s also a processor requirement: an 8th Gen Intel Core i3 processor or newer, an AMD Ryzen 3000 series processor or newer, or the Qualcomm Snapdragon chips that power the small handful of ARM Windows devices. This appears to rule out 2000-series Ryzen chips and some slower Celeron and Pentium chips, though it’s not clear how or if Microsoft will enforce these additional requirements.
We’ve written about some of the fundamentals of the “Windows Subsystem for Android” and the Intel Bridge technology that works behind the scenes to make ARM Android apps run on x86-based Intel and AMD PCs. We’ll be revisiting the feature as it gets closer to a public release.
List image by Ron Amadeo