Microsoft released the highly anticipated Windows 11 feature update with a public preview of Android apps on the desktop in February 2022. The easiest way to run Android apps on Windows 11 is via the Amazon App Store, but the app store isn’t available for everyone running the OS.
The Amazon App Store, which is offered via the Microsoft Store, is currently exclusive to users in the United States. In other words, if you want to run Android apps on Windows 11, you will need to manually download Android APKs from a third-party site and sideload apps using the terminal.
At that time, Microsoft promised that it was working on bringing this feature to more users worldwide. During the Build 2022, Microsoft finally confirmed that the feature is still on track to launch outside the United States. Additionally, Android on Windows 11 will be updated to Android 12.1 with support for new features.
Microsoft is planning to launch the app store in five additional countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan. An ETA as to when this is supposed to happen is not available and we also don’t know when the integration will expand to more markets.
Remember that Android apps can be smoothly installed using the terminal and the overall experience is apparently better than the Amazon App Store. In fact, Amazon Store currently comes with only 1,000 apps and games.
New features coming to Android
Microsoft is also working on a big update for Windows Subsystem for Android. This update is already rolling out to users in either the Dev or Beta channels.
First and foremost, WSA now runs Android 12.1 otherwise known as Android 12L. This should allow WSA to make use of the new Android features. Additionally, Microsoft has enabled advanced networking features, which allow Android apps to connect to other devices on the same network as your desktop.
The other devices can be your smart camera or a speaker.
Likewise, Microsoft is promising better integration between Android and Windows 11 in the next version. For example, you can see what Android apps are using your microphone, location, etc. As you might have noticed, Windows 11 lets you monitor mic or location usage for native apps via the taskbar. The same feature is coming to Android apps.