With the unveiling of Microsoft’s big new Windows operating system, Windows 11, last week undoubtedly one of the biggest surprises was not just that the new OS will be supporting Android apps, but rather that Microsoft chose the Amazon storefront in which to do so and not Google’s far bigger Android storefront.
Regardless of the reasons for doing so, the biggest problem is that while Amazon’s Android store does still support most of the traditional apps that we are used to, there are many smaller apps and even some bigger apps in countries like South Africa which traditionally don’t support Amazon products, meaning that there are still going to be a lot of apps that won’t work and not everyone will be able to get the full benefit of being able to use the same app across both their PC and phone.
According to a report by Android Police though Windows 11 will support the ability to run sideloaded Android apps (apps not downloaded through the official store) and allow people to install APK files on the operating system. That could be potentially risky from a security and piracy perspective, but Microsoft says it will share more details in the future of how this could be done in a safe and secure manner:
Customers will be able to discover Android apps on the Microsoft Store and acquire them through the Amazon Appstore. We’ll have more to share at a later date.
Considering Windows has always allowed you to install software outside of the Microsoft store, this functionality shouldn’t surprise you. If the software will still run the same way, nothing is stopping companies from letting users download the required APK files from their sites to install on their PCs, though it’s likely Micorosft may prevent some level of integration to its OS from apps that aren’t downloaded from its official store.
It will be interesting to see if developers circumvent the traditional app store approach as a result or put in the effort to ensure their apps are always available in all the required storefronts. Either way, I still think getting Android apps to run on Windows is a massive victory for both the company and users.
Last Updated: June 29, 2021