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Windows 11’s first major update adds Android apps, taskbar upgrades, and more

Windows 11 Android Apps

One of the best Windows 11 features is support for Android apps, but that feature is still in the works. If you want to use Android apps on a Windows 11 PC today, you have to join the Windows 11 Insider beta program to start testing the feature. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t the Google Play store experience from your smartphone. Microsoft and Google haven’t partnered to bring the full Android app experience to Windows devices yet. But the former is still interested in letting you run some of the popular Android apps on your desktop or laptop. And the good news is a Windows 11 public beta is coming soon.

How to run Android apps on PC right now

Getting Windows 11 to run Android apps right now is fairly challenging. After becoming an Insider, you’ll have to be on the Beta Channel. Then you will have to select the United States as your home country. This will give you access to the Amazon Appstore experience. But the beta program will limit you to running a specific number of Android apps on your Windows 11 device.

There’s one other way to get your Android fix on Windows 11. This one doesn’t require a public beta, as it’s not an officially supported method. You can get the full Google Play store experience unofficially. But this is hardly an ideal solution, as neither Microsoft nor Google condones it.

Finally, there is an official way to get Android apps from the Google Play store. But only games. That’s the Google Play Games initiative for Windows 11. A public beta started rolling out a few days ago, but only in three countries.

Windows 11 Android Apps
The Amazon Kindle Android app running on Windows 11. Image source: Microsoft

Windows 11 update brings public beta for Android apps

Thankfully, there’s more good news for Windows 11 users. Microsoft announced that it will roll out an update next month to enable a public beta version of Android apps on Windows.

Microsoft dropped the news at the end of a blog post highlighting the growing importance of Windows in the current computing landscape.

Microsoft’s Windows chief Panos Panay recapped how the pandemic impacted everything about daily life, including the use of computers. Against that backdrop, the use of Windows devices surged as more people found themselves working and studying from home. In turn, this provided a significant boost to Windows PC sales, despite the ongoing supply chain issues. And Windows 11 adoption skyrocketed.

Sadly, Panay did not offer more details about the Android apps public beta for Windows 11. We have no idea when the software update will drop and how many Android apps will be supported. However, this is still an excellent development for Windows 11 users who own Android gadgets.

The Windows 11 update will also bring a few taskbar improvements (call mute and unmute, easier window sharing, and weather widget) and two redesigned apps (Notepad and Media Player).

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.