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Android apps are now available under Windows 11 - initially only for Insiders

Android apps are now available under Windows 11 – initially only for Insiders

Microsoft has started the first preview of Android app integration in Windows 11. Unfortunately, users in the US participating in the “Windows Insider” beta program can use it.

Windows Insiders from the US now have the opportunity to test a few Android apps on Windows 11. The apps are installed from the new Microsoft Store, whose integrated Android part is powered by the Amazon App Store. There are no restrictions on the devices used. Applications should run equally on Intel, AMD and Qualcomm chips. Microsoft confirms it In a recent blog post.

Deep integration into the system is guaranteed

Other than that, Microsoft somehow didn’t port Android apps to the system, but rather integrated them reasonably well. With the help of the new “Snap Layouts” function, applications can be launched next to each other or pinned to the start menu or taskbar. Mouse, touch or stylus input can be selected for interaction.

Android apps are also integrated into Alt + Tab and Task View so you can quickly switch between apps. Notifications from Android apps appear in the Action Center and the clipboard also works for sharing between a Windows app and an Android app. Many of the accessibility settings in Windows already apply to Android apps. Microsoft promises to work with Amazon on further improvements.

However, in the first step, the selection is limited to 50 applications. These include games like Lords Mobile, June’s Journey, or Coin Master. Of course, the Kindle app from Amazon should not be missing, but the Khan Academy training program is also available. Kids should be happy with Lego Duplo World.

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Has anyone wondered about the existence of a Kindle since the beginning? (Source: Microsoft)

The Technology Behind Integration: Windows Subsystem for Android

Technically, the Android integration is based on the “new Windows subsystem for Android” that runs the Amazon app store and catalog. The subsystem includes a Linux kernel and an Android operating system based on the “Android Open Source Project” (AOSP) in version 11. It is distributed via the Microsoft Store as part of the Amazon App Store installation, the advantage of which is that it can be constantly updated.

The subsystem runs in a Hyper-V virtual machine, similar to the Windows subsystem for Linux. It can set runtime and APIs for applications in the Windows graphics layer’s AOSP environment, memory buffers, input patterns, physical and virtual devices, and sensors.

The Windows subsystem for Android is available for a full range of Windows processor types. ARM applications must be made executable on AMD and Intel machines using Intel Bridge Technology. Microsoft refers developers to Amazon, which will soon provide more details about early developer programs to release Android apps in the Amazon App Store. The partners want to provide tools for testing and debugging Android apps under Windows – they are currently in preview only.

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