Windows 11 Android Apps feature is now available in the US

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The public preview of Android apps for Windows 11 is now available in the US, allowing users to run Android apps natively on the Windows desktop.

Microsoft began testing Android apps on Windows 11 in October 2021, with Insiders running “beta” preview builds. The feature allows users to run apps provided through the Amazon App Store.

Although the Android apps available are primarily aimed at young children, there is also a small selection of games and productivity apps for adults.

Amazon Windows 11 App Store
Amazon Windows 11 App Store
Source: BleepingComputer

The feature relies on a new platform called Windows Subsystem for Android that runs Android apps in a virtual machine for compatibility with the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and hardware input devices.

While Microsoft only officially supports apps installed from the Amazon App Store, developers and power users have already created ways to install the Google Play Store and different methods to download apps in Windows 11.

Sideloaded Retro Bowl in Windows 11
Sideloaded Retro Bowl in Windows 11

The Amazon App Store and Windows Subsystem for Android are provided through the Microsoft Store. To get started with Android apps in Windows 11 today, you must first launch the Microsoft Store app and go to Library > Get updates to make sure you are using the latest version.

Once the Microsoft Store is updated, you can then install the Amazon App Store app, which will also install the Windows Subsystem for Android.

Windows Subsystem for Android installed via the Microsoft Store
Windows Subsystem for Android installed via the Microsoft Store
Source: BleepingComputer

System requirements for Android apps are similar to what users should be using Windows 11, requiring at least 8GB of RAM, an SSD, and a supported processor (8th Gen Intel® Core™ i3, AMD Ryzen™ 3000, Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 8c or higher).

Other new Windows 11 features launched today

In addition to Android apps on Windows 11 functionality, Microsoft is also releasing redesigned versions of Notepad and Windows Media Player.

The new media player has been optimized for better accessibility support, and Notepad includes Windows 11 design features, dark mode, and emoji support.

New Notepad for Windows 11
New Notepad for Windows 11

Emoji support in Windows 11’s new Notepad may cause strange results when viewing text files saved with other tools, such as the command prompt’s more command or in other text applications that do not support Unicode.

Emojis not displaying correctly in console
Emojis not displaying correctly in console

You can download both the new Notepad and Windows Media Player by going to Windows Update and manually checking for updates.

Faster updates for Windows 11

With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft has moved to an annual feature update cadence, which means users will only have to worry about one major update per year.

However, Microsoft does not plan to wait for feature updates to introduce new features and will use other update mechanisms to deliver features as they become available.

“As today’s release shows, we’re committed to delivering experiences in Windows 11 that enrich and inspire people’s lives. Over time, you’ll see us more frequently releasing new features in Windows 11 for end users in addition to our annual update”, Microsoft promised in today’s announcement.

“We will leverage the variety of update mechanisms we have in place, including Microsoft Store maintenance and updates. Our goal is to provide continuous innovation, giving you the best experiences throughout. of the year.”

Microsoft will now use new update methods called Windows Feature Experience Pack (via Windows Update) and Web Experience Pack (via Microsoft Store) to install or modify Windows 11 features outside of Patch Tuesday updates and the Annual Feature Update.

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