Why Windows 11 still can’t run all Android apps
One of the big new features of Windows 11 was supposed to be the ability to run Android apps. However, that was a long time ago.
This feature was not available when Windows 11 launched in October 2021 and has since remained exclusive to the US. Within a few months. Japan was next on the list before the 22H2 update expanded coverage to include the UK, France, Germany and many more.
If you live in one of these countries, you might be excited to finally play with Android apps on your desktop. They are fully integrated into Windows 11, allowing you to pin them to the taskbar or use them with multitasking features.
However, that excitement will almost certainly fade once you see what apps are actually available. There’s a reason for this, as we’ll explain, but you shouldn’t lose hope of getting the apps you really need.
Why can’t Windows 11 run all Android apps?
Unfortunately, Windows 11 doesn’t use the Android app store that many expected: the Google Play Store.
Instead, you’ll have to contend with the Amazon Appstore like you would on Amazon Fire tablets.
The Windows 11 version of the Appstore recently expanded to include over 20,000 apps, but that pales in comparison to the over 2.6 million (according to Statista) you’ll find in the Play Store.
Obviously, such numbers are largely irrelevant, since no one needs even 200,000 apps. The main problem is that among these 200,000 people there are several serious absentees. Many messaging, online banking, and smart home apps just don’t exist. And when it comes to high-profile games, the choice is tiny.
Jim Martin / Foundry
Since you’re reading this, you’ve probably already searched for an app that’s not on the Amazon Appstore, tried to figure out why, and found this article. Previously, the only solution to this problem was an emulator program such as BlueStacks, but now there is another way.
How You Can Still Run All Android Apps on Windows 11
Support for Android apps in Windows 11 depends on the Windows Subsystem for Android, which can be modified to run all Google Play Store apps.
As you can imagine, this workaround is complex and not officially supported by Microsoft. But if everything goes well, you will only need to do this once.
This method has changed several times since the launch of Windows 11, but we tested it and can confirm that it worked at the time of writing. To give it a try, read How to access the Google Play Store on Windows 11.
It works on both 64-bit and ARM-based devices, which is the case for most Windows 11 compatible devices. Go to Settings > System > About and check System Type to make sure.
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