Windows 11 is to Microsoft computers what Android is to Google Pixel phones. Windows 11 is the latest operating system for Microsoft computers, having being released on the 5th of October, but Android is well known with smartphones. It is now possible for users to install Android apps on the new Windows 11. Here is our guide on How to Install Android Apps on Windows 11 Computer.
The new OS has been around for a while now, but the capability is yet to be active in Microsoft computers. Previously, when Microsoft Windows 11 in June, it said there was a deal about Windows 11 Android App support through a partnership with Amazon Appstore.
The good news is that those who are part of the Microsoft Windows Insiders Beta Channel can enjoy the functionality now. But remember, first, you have to be in the right group to enjoy it now. Others will have to wait until Microsoft releases it to the members of the public.
How to Get into the Windows Insider Program
If you desire to be part of the Windows Insider Program, it means that you will be among the first to see new technologies coming from Microsoft. You can also help to shape the future of technology. First, you need to register.
- Visit this link to register.
- Get your Microsoft account details handy, the one you use to log in to Microsoft services. You may also use your Azure Active Directory (AAD) account.
- You also need to accept the terms of the Program Agreement.
That’s all you need, and you will find yourself inside. This is how to get started.
- Ensure that your PC is a 22000.xxx series build and also ensure it has nothing less than 8 GB of RAM and a processor like Intel Core i3 8th Gen, AMD Ryzen 300, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c, or something higher than these.
- Verify to know what your build number is by pressing Win + R; after that, type winver in the text box that appears. A new window will open and show you your build number if it is lower than 22000. You need to take the following step.
- Go to Settings on your PC > Windows Update. This will update your PC so you can have the latest software.
- Make sure that your PC’s region is set in the United States. You can check this by going to Settings > Time & Language > Language & region.
- Next, you want to ensure that virtualization is enabled on the PC. That can be achieved by booting into your PC’s BIOS. Go to Task Manager > Performance. That’s how to know whether virtualization is enabled for your PC.
- Check if your Microsoft Store version 22110.1402.6.0 or higher. First, go to the Store’s app settings to find out.
On the other hand, ensure your Windows 11 machine is configured in the following manner:
- Ensure that your PC meets the following requirements. The requirements are a bit different from baseline requirements for the Windows 11 OS alone.
- Your Windows machine must be at least an Intel Core i3 8th gen, AMD Ryzen 3000 series, and it could be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c processor along with a minimum of 8 GB RAM and an SSD.
- Make sure you also have the virtual machine platform optional feature enabled before you start. Find it in the Turn Windows Features On or Off.
Android Subsystem on Windows 11
With this new development on Windows 11, users can now sideload APKs and also enable Google Play services. The Windows Subsystem is relatively new to many Windows operating system users. The new Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) comes through with the help of the Amazon Appstore. But users don’t need the AppStore in order to run the WSA.
The new WSA enables a number of pleasant things to happen on your machine: sideload many popular Android apps via ADB, enable Google Play Services, and how to use the Play Store.
What the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) Does
The WSA is a virtual machine that enables users to run Android binaries on Windows 11. It also allows easy translation between Android and Windows calls. It can be run on AMD and Qualcomm-based Windows or ARM devices as well.
How to Sideload APKs via ADB
The Amazon Appstore Preview presents a small selection of apps, but we recommend that you look in there and try your favorite apps.
It is easy to sideload Android Packages (APKs) into WSA on Windows 11 computers using ADB. Take note that the sideloaded APKs will behave in the same manner and have the same access to platform features as those downloaded through the Amazon Appstore.
Take a few steps to sideload APKs via ADB below:
- Visit this page and find the Android SDK Platform Tools release notes. Click on ‘Download SDK Platform-Tools for Windows.’
- Save the downloaded ZIP file to your drive and extract it to an easy location. You may create a folder called C:\ADBKit for easy reference.
- Open the WSA app from the Start menu and enable Developer Mode to enable the actual WSA hypervisor.
- If the Developer Mode is properly enabled, you will see it now allows connecting ADB to the WSA via an IP address.
- Open a command prompt, and change the directory to where you have unzipped the ADB tools you downloaded in step one.
- Connect to the running WSA by typing ADB connect localhost:58526. That should make it connect instantly. If it fails to connect, try to make the connection through the WSA Settings
- After the connection is established, start sideloading apps.
Example: How to Sideload Sweech
We take this one example to show you how you can sideload a file transfer app called Sweech.
- Download the Sweech APK from a good APK repository, and save it to the ADB tools directory, e.g., the one you created above C:\ADBKit.
- In the command prompt, execute ADB install sweech.apk. ADB will install the package so that you can view the app in the start menu.
- Repeat this process for any APK that you want to sideload.
What if I don’t like Sideloading Apps?
In this case, you may use third-party app stores such as Aurora or F-Droid. Aurora app store can be sideloaded and downloaded, while all further app installs can be directly performed and updated from within Aurora if it is available in the repository.
Android will always be Android, and Microsoft will always have its store. However, if you believe that you want the same Android apps on your Microsoft machine, especially the latest edition of Windows, you need to custom install WSA to make that happen. Though it will take some effort, having Google Play Store right there on your Windows 11 computer should be possible.