On the road to its launch, one of Windows 11’s hottest features was its ability to run Android apps. Unfortunately, the mod wasn’t quite ready in time for Microsoft to release the operating system, and as a result, it was redirected to the Windows Insider beta program. Last month, the company revealed that long-awaited Android app support would finally arrive in February along with a host of other improvements. We are now ready to move from beta testing to widespread availability as Windows 11 introduces the Amazon Appstore preview.
Microsoft announced earlier today that over 1,000 apps and games are now available for Windows 11, thanks to its partnership with Amazon – that’s a huge improvement from the 50 apps supported in previous tests. Users in the United States will be able to try the apps through the Amazon Appstore Preview if their systems meet the hardware requirements – at least 8GB of RAM, an SSD and a supported processor. Currently available apps include Amazon staples like Kindle and Audible, as well as popular games and productivity tools – you can enjoy Subway Surfers on your desktop at your leisure.
To get started, update the Microsoft Store (by going to Library > Get Updates), find your favorite apps or games, and download them through the Amazon Appstore. Applications are designed to work and feel like part of Windows, supporting standard input methods and window effects. The Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) that powers the Amazon Appstore runs in a Hyper-V virtual machine and interprets Android API calls so that they can access the corresponding systems in Windows: memories buffers, graphics layers, sensors and all other parts of your computer.
While mainstream Android support is the part of this update we’re paying the most attention to, Microsoft is also delivering a number of other new features. Notable additions include the ability to show weather information on the taskbar and clock information on the taskbar of external monitors, a button to mute and unmute the mic via the taskbar during Teams calls, and Notepad and Media Player apps updated with new designs.
Rock the old school or stay on the cutting edge?
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