Is Windows 11's Android Apps feature dead on arrival?

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 26, 2021
Updated • Jun 26, 2021
Windows 11 News

Microsoft lifted the veil on the next version of its Windows operating system this week. One of the main features of Windows 11 is support for Android applications. Microsoft did not reveal much about the support, only that the operating system would offer applications from Amazon's App Store.

A Microsoft employee revealed on Twitter that sideloading would be supported as well, but details on the process have not been revealed yet. Microsoft has not confirmed the fact officially yet.

Sideloading refers to the installation of applications directly, without using a Store to do so.

amazon app store windows 11

Amazon's App Store offers a large collection of Android apps and games, but not as much as Google Play, the store that is installed on pretty much all Android devices outside of China.

PC Magazine believes that the Microsoft's Android App Plan is doomed, but is that really the case? The main argument for the theory is that Amazon's App Store offering is not as extensive as that of Google Play. While it does offer apps and games that are not available on the Microsoft Store, it is not offering a complete catalog of Android apps. Major games like Genshin Impact or apps such as Signal or Slack, are not available in the Amazon App Store.

Developers and publishers could push their apps to the Store as integration in Windows 11 could reach a wider audience because of that, but the author does not think that this is going to happen. Microsoft's own Store has over a billion potential users, but many publishers of major applications have not released apps for the Store.

What PC Magazine fails to take into account is that applications and games don't need to be ported to be published on the Amazon App Store. The Android app does not need to be modified, and it takes just a couple of minutes to upload the application, add images and media, and text. Since it is a straightforward process, developers might be inclined to give it a try, especially since the uploaded apps and games have the potential of reaching Amazon's and Microsoft's customer base once Windows 11 is released.

Experienced users may sideload applications. Apps and games may be downloaded from third-party sources, e.g. the project's website on GitHub, to install them directly on a device. Whether it will be possible to install Google apps on Windows 11 remains to be seen.

Closing Words

Android apps on Windows 11 open up new possibilities for Microsoft and users of the operating system. Apps and games that are popular on Android but not available on the Microsoft Store may be installed, provided that they are offered on the Amazon App Store or can be sideloaded.

Whether the integration remains a niche feature or not depends largely on how it is presented to users. Microsoft could integrate search results in Windows Search, the Microsoft Store, or its search engine Bing, to highlight the availability of apps in Amazon's App Store that can be installed on the device.

If the App store is just installed but not highlighted, it is likely that it won't become very popular. In this case, Amazon's App Store on Windows 11 could be as dead on arrival as Windows 10's Microsoft Store.

Now You: what is your take on Android apps on Windows 11?

Is Windows 11's Android Apps feature dead on arrival?
Article Name
Is Windows 11's Android Apps feature dead on arrival?
Microsoft's upcoming operating system Windows 11 will support the installation of Android apps through Amazon's App Store and sideloading. How popular will it be?
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  1. fhg said on June 28, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    kewl. more malware.

  2. Shadow_Death said on June 28, 2021 at 5:48 am

    It’ll be DOA if it only supports Intel Processors.

  3. ULBoom said on June 28, 2021 at 1:14 am

    Maybe MS needs to replace some of their business development people. One complicated “deal” after another for features most users won’t even know exist and many others block.

    Whether this is really a data gathering collective side deal or what, IDK but Google paid Apple $4 billion or something this year to attend their party.

    Nothing left but tweaking for Big Bad Tech as they converge into one indistinguishable mass.

    1. Anonymous said on June 28, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      google pays more than 10 bllion to apple every year. that’s what apple fanboys refuse to accept because it hurts their delusion that apple is a privacy company not making money out of their data. that’s what apple told them to believe, so that’s what they believe. they make more than 10 billion every year out their data, but the truth hurts. amazon and microsoft sell ads, they can’t compete google, the ruler of ads worldwide, so it’s not surpising that they want to make more money from ads by working together. the truth is they all love money and ads make money.

  4. John the 6th said on June 27, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    It would be hilarious if Google did something like that too and bring windows software to Chrome OS with a partnership with Valve and Valve’s proton (wine).
    They already are working to bring Steam to Chrome OS anyway.
    Sure not every windows program would work properly, but the same applies for Microsoft too.
    They will never have anything serious without google services included.

  5. we're not gonna shake it said on June 27, 2021 at 6:42 am

    > “A Microsoft employee”, also known as Miguel de Icaza. The creator of Gnome, Mono and Xamarin.

    Yup, I guess GNU philosophy means nothing to some people. M$ wines and dines you and embraces you with cash. Just like the 60’s hippies who sold out and became yuppies, abandoning their philosophies.

  6. John Wold said on June 27, 2021 at 2:16 am

    “A Microsoft employee”, also known as Miguel de Icaza. The creator of Gnome, Mono and Xamarin.

  7. Alksen said on June 26, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    seriously… more option for developers “dead on arrival” lol….
    And yes, many will sideload them, there are still many games that people play and stream that are not for desktop and people won’t need some fishy emulator anymore since Windows will include one.
    Only because “but Amazon store has old apps” well, maybe since developers will now have a reason to actually care about apps, maybe they will update them better and amazon apps will not fall behind google playstore.

    Seriously, even new Telegram app is meant to be sideloaded because google play store one is censoring many groups and channels without Telegram doing anything so they released an app outside google power so groups and channels won’t get blocked anymore.
    So yes, there is business in the sideloading of apps, Aurora store and fdroid are also examples of it.

    And we are talking about windows where people will make sure sideloading will be made easier and all that.

    Why is there a necessity for this type of clickbait article? I don’t know. I am sure many people will use it, and I am sure many developers won’t make apps for Windows or upload them to Microsoft store directly not to think partnering with Amazon is a decent idea since Microsoft will focus on the emulator and how to see if apps are good or not.

  8. chillax said on June 26, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    Paid apps don’t transfer licence between the Play Store and Amazon store and there is no way I’m buying again all my apps just for the privilege of running them once in a while on desktop.

  9. The Senior Editor said on June 26, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    > what is your take on Android apps on Windows 11?

    I don’t care, as I don’t care about Windows 11.

    Perhaps I’ll be more interested in 2025, but for now, YAWN.

    Please report more on real stuff that matters.

  10. Mavoy said on June 26, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    Uh. The first app I thought when it was first announced was Shazam. I’m not huge Apple guy but there’s simply no competition to their ID system and heck, sometimes I don’t have a phone by hand or it’s not charged or something like this. I’d love to shazam from desktop, since I’m an old school guy who is still mostly working on it.

    Nah, obviously, Shazam app isn’t available in Amazon store. Instagram is, though they’re apparently thinking of adding posting on web app, at least. There’s Podcast Addict, and I like this app more than any other podcast solution. But I don’t see my favourite weather app, Weawow. So for now, the results are mixed.

    Sideloading apps would be welcome, but I’m not sure if they’d allow that. There’s a piracy risk, or that’s how they would call it, at least.

  11. JonSnow said on June 26, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    so I heard you need to logon to Amazon app store to install Android apps, lol that means you now have Amazon and MS tracking you at all time. lol Why just not get rid of Windows App store and install Google Play and get it over with, I mean really.

  12. Derek said on June 26, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Quite a few apps will need changes to work on Amazon/Windows devices. Google supplies various apis with their products that would need to be replaced. I do hope many companies try though.

    1. Damian said on July 6, 2021 at 6:05 am

      Google services is the biggest hurdle here. Developers that depend on Google’s APIs and Play Services for a lot of functionality will have to rework their apps heavily. Push notifications support, for example, would have to be reimplemented to not use Google’s services

  13. Rixster said on June 26, 2021 at 11:35 am

    This feature is hardly appealing to me. It is a nice extra nothing more.

  14. Yash said on June 26, 2021 at 10:52 am

    When I first heard of Android apps support, I was excited, less so when it turns out Amazon Store would be the default.
    I don’t see a point in tying Windows to a single store when sideloading will be possible.
    Personally I’m not too keen on using Amazon Store and so sideloading would be what I would do.

    PC Mag article sums up the modern society. Freak out without even seeing the full picture.

  15. llamas in paradise said on June 26, 2021 at 10:44 am

    Ugh.. what happened to the latest news link? Full screen previews of the story? It looks down right ugly. I hope this is some type of display issue on my end, but I don’t like the change.

  16. Dumbledalf said on June 26, 2021 at 10:10 am

    It depends on how well they implement this. If they do a better job than emulators at making playing games work on Windows 11, it will be a success. So far emulators allow you to create custom keys so it feels more native, some even started adding some of these buttons by default.

    If that doesn’t happen, then this feature can only be used for Windows 11 tablets.

    1. a rich snob said on June 26, 2021 at 3:52 pm

      IDK, but I reckon that most folks who use Android emulators don’t have much money to spend.

      I imagine MS wants to target folks with money, but as to how yet, IDK.

      Regardless, when I want to play Android games on my TV, I use my Nvidia Shield, or I just cast my phone to my Xbox.

      If 11 can do the same or better than that, then I might be interested.

  17. beemeup5 said on June 26, 2021 at 9:56 am

    If you can sideload any apk file then there is hope yet.

    The new store feels just as DOA as the old store. Stop trying Microsoft, the store ain’t happening.

  18. Anonymous said on June 26, 2021 at 9:03 am

    It will be dead on arrival because no one will be able to install 11. Their new system requirements are ridiculous. Hopefully the back lash is hard they revert it all. Especially internet and account requirement for home edition.

  19. Mike said on June 26, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Microsoft, you are never going to take over the phone and tablet market. Stop trying to shoehorn this stuff into your desktop OS. Did you learn nothing from Windows 8?

  20. is1cent enuff said on June 26, 2021 at 8:40 am

    welp cross platform virus maker would be happy for this feature.
    i mean even google play store alone cant manage to filter those out of “whatever number here(feel free to fill the number, i put a billion)” app in there.

  21. Khai said on June 26, 2021 at 8:18 am

    and just as persons have put Google apps on a Kindle, they’ll find away to put the Google Store on 11…

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