A lot of excitement was generated by the announcement that Windows 11 would be supporting Android apps, but when will this actually become available? It's a burning question, and one we are all dying to know the answer to.
With that in mind, here is what we know about the expected release date for Windows 11, and when Android app support will become available. We'll also cover what's expected to be available in terms of Android apps.
When can I run Android Apps on Windows 11?
Microsoft has officially announced the release date for Windows 11. On August 31st, it was confirmed in a blog post by Aaron Woodman that Windows 11 will be released on October 5th. From this point, Eligible Windows 10 PCs will be able to upgrade to the new OS. New PCs will start to be available with Windows 11 pre-loaded.
Microsoft had previously confirmed that upgrading from Windows 10 would become available from 2022, and rolled out across the first half of the year. So this marks a slight change of tack. The expectation is that all eligible Windows 10 devices will be offered the upgrade by mid-2022. There is also a beta version available for testing right now. However, one big omission, is the absence of access to Android apps.
In relation to Android apps, a key point in the blog states the following:
We look forward to continuing our journey to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store through our collaboration with Amazon and Intel; this will start with a preview for Windows Insiders over the coming months.
This makes it seem pretty clear that Android apps will not be available on Windows 11 at launch. This may be a feature that is still being worked on, hence the promise to offer it as a preview to Insiders in the coming months. So it may be a while yet, before this feature is widely available to Windows 11 users.
What apps will be available?
The question of what apps will actually be available is also an interesting one. We know that Microsoft will be providing Android support via the Amazon Appstore. So this means that pretty much all the apps that are available on there, will become available on Windows 11. That amounts to around 500,000 apps.
These include most of the most popular apps that people use. But it's still a long way from the roughly 3.5 million apps available directly through Google Play. One additional feature expected to land, is the ability to side-load APK files. This may open up a much wider selection of apps for users, including some that aren't available via Amazon.
It's certainly an enticing prospect. While it is disappointing that such an important feature will be missing at launch, we hopefully won't be waiting for too much longer. As ever, stay tuned for the latest updates.