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Android apps finally available to Windows 11 insiders

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Microsoft promised Windows 11 will launch with Android Apps being part of its ever-expanding ecosystem, but due to one reason or another, this did not come to pass with the tech giant promising the apps will be rolled out in an update in the coming months.

Fast-forward a few weeks, and it looks like Microsoft is finally confident of rolling out the much-awaited feature to its Windows Insider Program.

The Windows Insider Program is an open software testing program from the company that allows users who own a valid licence of Windows, to test a pre-release build of the operating system and to also get updates earlier than other users in order to identify bugs before the update is rolled out to all users.

In a blog post on its website, Microsoft announced that a preview version of the Windows Subsystem for Android will be available to beta testers from 20th October, providing access to apps from the Amazon Appstore. The test program will be open to insiders with Intel, AMD and Qualcomm processors, to try out the Android apps on Windows 11.

To load the apps on your laptop or desktop computer, you will open the Microsoft Store, which will then list a variety of apps that then point toward the Amazon Appstore to load and install.

The apps will be able to run side by side with other Windows apps, as well as get functionalities native to Windows apps like being pinned to the Start menu or the taskbar.

Microsoft went further to announce that their partnership with Amazon and popular app developers have enabled them to curate 50 apps for the Windows Insiders to test and validate across a broad set of hardware. New apps will also be released through the Windows Insider Program updates in the coming months.

The 50 app catalogue will surely be expanded quickly before the official launch to the public, as Android apps exist in the millions across various app stores, including the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.

“To enable these types of experiences, we are introducing a new component on top of Windows 11 called Windows Subsystem for Android™, which powers the Amazon Appstore and its catalogue. The Subsystem includes the Linux kernel and the Android OS based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) version 11,” notes Microsoft on its blog.

“The Subsystem runs in a Hyper-V Virtual Machine, like the Windows Subsystem for Linux. It understands how to map the runtime and APIs of apps in the AOSP environment to the Windows graphic layer, the memory buffers, the input modes, the physical and virtual devices, and the sensors.”





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