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Android apps start arriving on Windows 11

Microsoft has started rolling out integrated Android app support to Windows 11 Insiders. The feature was one of the major additions announced during the initial unveiling of the operating system in June 2021.

However, it was not ready when Windows 11 began rolling out to PCs on 5 October 2021. A handful of Android apps are now available to Beta Channel users in the United States on eligible devices running Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors.

The current selection of apps includes mobile games such as Lords Mobile, June’s Journey, and Coin Master. It also features reading apps like Kindle and various kids’ content. The Android apps will be shown within the Windows Store itself, but when the user clicks to download them, Microsoft will direct them to the Amazon Appstore app for the installation.

Microsoft said running Android apps and games on Windows 11 will feel “familiar, effortless, and integrated”. You can easily run these apps side-by-side with the help of the new Snap Layouts feature, pin them to your Start menu or Taskbar, and interact with them via mouse, touch, or pen input,” the company said.

The Android apps are also integrated into the Alt +Tab task switcher and task view to let users quickly move back-and-forth between apps.

In addition, notifications from Android apps will be available in the Action Centre. Windows also shares its clipboard between native apps and Android apps. Microsoft explained Android app support in Windows 11 is enabled through a new component on top of Windows called Windows Subsystem for Android.

“The Subsystem includes the Linux kernel and the Android OS based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) version 11,” Microsoft said.

The subsystem is distributed through the Microsoft Store as part of the Amazon Appstore installation. That will allow users to stay updated as Microsoft adds support for more APIs, capabilities, and scenarios.

The apps are running in a Hyper-V Virtual Machine that understands how to map the runtime and APIs of apps in the AOSP environment to the Windows graphic layer, memory buffers, input modes, physical and virtual devices, and the sensors. Microsoft did not state when the feature would become available to users outside the US.

If you want to give it a try before that, you can set your region to the United States under the Settings app. You will also require a US-based Amazon account to download the apps.

Source: techcrunch

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