Microsoft announced today that Windows 11 beta users can now try out Android apps on their PC. But curiously, there are only 50 apps available.
If you’re a Windows Insider in the U.S. and have an Intel, AMD, or Qualcomm processor powering your device, you can grab your first Android app from the Microsoft Store. However, the store doesn’t host the apps and instead will link you out to the Amazon Appstore to download them. You’ll need an active Amazon account to get started.
Like on Chrome OS, Android apps can run simultaneously alongside Windows 11 apps in the platform’s varying Snap Layout modes. You can even pin them in the Start menu or taskbar. Android apps will offer push notifications in the Action Centre, similar to how the Your Phone app, which syncs between your Android phone and PC, collects alerts alongside Windows apps. Microsoft also enabled the ability to share your clipboard between apps, which should help make this built-in functionality appear seamless.
Since this has just entered the testing phase, the apps available to try are severely limited — a mere sprinkling of a fraction of the 600,000 Android apps offered in the Amazon Appstore, and only a crumb compared to Google Play’s 3 million apps. Some of the apps offered up by Microsoft I hadn’t heard of before.
“We have partnered with Amazon and popular app developers to curate 50 apps for Windows Insiders to test and validate across a broad set of hardware,” Microsoft said in its announcement, adding that it will continue to push through new apps in the coming months. Some of the app titles available include games like Lords Mobile and June’s Journey, reading apps like Kindle and Comics — both owned and operated by Amazon — and kids’ content like Khan Academy Kids and Lego Duplo World.
At the very least, the screenshots show full use of the added compatibility. We even see the Linux-based GIMP graphics app operating alongside a Windows app, Android app, and Progressive Web App.
Microsoft will only enable Android apps in the Beta Channel of Windows 11. It plans to bring preview access to the feature to its developer channels “down the road.” As for when the ability will get to the rest of Windows 11 users, well, we’ll just have to wait and see.