Microsoft will begin its Windows 11 rollout on October 5th, ushering in a new generation of computing (for compatible PCs, at least). But one of Windows 11’s most exciting features, Android app support, won’t ship with the new operating system. In fact, Android app support and the integrated Amazon Appstore may not arrive until sometime in 2022.
Is the lack of Android app support a big deal? Well, it’s a bit complicated. On the one hand, Windows 11 is shipping without the cutting-edge feature that sets it apart from Windows 10. It’s a bad look, especially when you consider that the M1 Mac successfully launched with iOS app support in 2020 (of course, getting Android apps to run on Intel and AMD machines is a bigger challenge than iOS on ARM).
But it’s not like every PC owner will gain access to Windows 11 on October 5th. Like all Windows updates, the free Windows 11 upgrade will slowly roll out to compatible systems and may take months to reach all eligible users. And if your computer doesn’t meet the operating system’s strict hardware requirements, then you won’t get to use Windows 11 until you buy a new PC. That leaves plenty of time to flesh out Android app support on Windows 11 … uh, hopefully.
My main concern here is actually the Microsoft Store, which is supposed to take a major role in Windows 11 despite years of neglect. Very few Windows users will use the Microsoft Store without something to draw them in, and Android apps are supposed to be that something. Other attractions, like integrated games stores, have failed to materialize (to be fair, Game Pass for PC is closely tied to the Microsoft Store).
Once people get used to downloading Android apps through the Microsoft Store (or its integrated Amazon Appstore, if you want to be precise), then they’ll be more inclined to use it for regular PC software. Doing so increases user security and makes automatic updates easier—two major perks for ordinary users. O
Hopefully Microsoft can get Android apps working on Windows 11 soon. Previews for the feature will arrive in Windows 11 Insider builds “over the coming months,” according to Microsoft. A general release date for Android app support remains unannounced.