Home > News

Windows 11 Insider builds can natively run Android apps prior to official release

There's a bit of a catch with this new feature, which we think needs a little longer in the oven
Last Updated on December 1, 2023
Windows 11 can kind of run Android apps now 1
PC Guide is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More
You can trust PC Guide: Our team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate - which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

Running a Beta version of Windows 11? Great, due to your ongoing loyalty to the Windows Insider Program, you can now use Android apps on Microsoft’s latest operating system. The thing is, it’s probably not what you were expecting.

Credit: Microsoft

The Android app feature makes complete sense considering Microsofts flagship handset, the Surface Duo/Duo 2, runs the Google-owned operating system. Why wouldn’t it play nice alongside their newest operating system, Windows 11? Well, this is where things get weird, you can’t install apps from the Google Play Store.

The Amazon App Store is your destination for those lovely .APK files, which will most likely have everything you need such as TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and much more. The issue is it’s only just hit Windows 11 beta builds, so the Amazon App Store isn’t available to public builds just yet. There are also only 50 curated apps to test out at the time of writing, a significant decrease from the three million apps available on the Google Play Store and 600,000 available on the Amazon App Store.

Credit: Microsoft

The Windows Insider Blog goes on to say:

‘Running Android apps and games on Windows 11 will feel familiar, effortless, and integrated – just as you would expect. You can easily run these apps side-by-side with the help of the new Snap Layouts feature, pin them to your Start menu or Taskbar, and interact with them via mouse, touch, or pen input. Android apps are also integrated into Alt + Tab and Task view to help you quickly move back-and-forth between the apps that matter most to you. You can see notifications from Android apps notifications in the Action Center or share your clipboard between a Windows app and an Android app. We have built the experience with accessibility in mind; many Windows accessibility settings apply to Android apps and we are working with Amazon to deliver more improvements.’

Which Apps Can I Use Right Now?

Mobile games such as ‘Lords Mobile’, ‘June’s Journey’, and ‘Coin Master‘ will be present. There’s also a focus on reading apps such as ‘Kindle’, which will give you the full-fat Kindle reading experience (including Comics) on your Windows 11 PC. ‘Khan Academy Kids’ makes its way to Windows 11 also alongside popular ‘Lego Duplo World’, so there’s a big focus on child development too.

It looks like Windows and Amazon are playing their cards close to their chest whilst offering Windows 11 compatibility development kits to app creators and developers. It is 100% a work in progress but Windows 11 Beta users can try out the functionality by making their way to the Windows Insider Beta channel.

For all things Windows 11 related, bookmark and keep an eye on our News and Windows 11 hubs.

Christian 'Reggie' Waits' is a contributor to PC Guide, having written a wide array of how to and buying guide content.