The apps will be listed in the new Windows store, and can be pinned to the taskbar or tweaked alongside more traditional Windows apps. Microsoft is also partnering with Intel to use its ‘Intel Bridge’ technology to make this a reality, although Android applications still work with AMD and Arm-based systems.
Android apps on Windows 11 are an obvious response to Apple’s progress with its M1 chips and iOS apps running on macOS. While there are many web equivalents for mobile applications, they are often lackluster, and certain applications like Snapchat, Ring, Venmo, and Roomba, like most home automation applications are not available on the web.
So Microsoft is now bringing Android apps to Windows 11. The software giant unveiled its surprising addition to Windows 11 during its Windows special event last week. Android apps will run natively on Windows 11 and can be downloaded from Amazon’s Appstore through the new Windows store that is included with the operating system.
The Windows store that Microsoft showed up then features Ring, Yahoo, Uber and others, and we’ll likely see full access to Amazon’s Appstore. It’s not immediately clear how well many of the existing devices will support Android apps with Windows 11, as Microsoft is promoting its support for Intel Bridge technology as the preferred way to run those apps.
This surprise announcement follows Microsoft’s original plans to allow Windows developers to rework their existing Android apps for
Windows in 2015.
Project Astoria, as Microsoft labeled it, was a method to try to convince developers to port applications and make them easier to run. The plan ended in failure less than a year later, with Microsoft admitting that having “two cutting-edge technologies, and bringing mobile operating system code to Windows was unnecessary. ”
Microsoft has been ‘toying’ with the idea of running Android apps on Windows natively for years, and the company has been experimenting with the idea of presenting Android apps in the Windows store before the release of Windows 10. Instead, now, Microsoft went ahead in trying to convince developers to adopt its failed Universal Windows Platform.
Integrating the Android application directly into Windows is a significant shift, especially as the company has favored its phone as a method to bridge the gap between Android and Windows. Microsoft has been adopting Android as the mobile version of Windows for several years, and now those same mobile applications will run directly on Windows 11