Android apps on Windows 11 are coming to five new countries
Microsoft is bringing the Windows Subsystem for Android – which allows users to run Android apps on Windows 11 – to five new markets later this year, the company announced at Build. Currently only available in the United States, WSA will launch in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom before the end of the year.
The Windows Subsystem for Android was announced right alongside Windows 11 during an event on June 24th. 2021, but it didn’t officially launch until earlier this year. Microsoft partnered with Amazon to make the Amazon Appstore available on Windows 11, bringing over most of the apps available on Amazon’s platform into Windows 11.
While Android apps are officially only available in the United States, it’s relatively easy to install the Windows Subsystem for Android if you’re in a different country. If you change your region settings in Windows, you can easily get it from the Microsoft Store. The bigger challenge is getting the Amazon Appstore itself to work outside of the United States, since it only works with US-based Amazon accounts. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to sideload Android apps on Windows 11, so you don’t actually need the Amazon Appstore if you’re willing to tinker a bit.
Still, this announcement means Android apps will be more easily accessible to more users, which should mean higher adoption overall. If the platform grows in popularity, more apps will likely come over, making the platform as a whole more useful. That’s a win for both Microsoft and Amazon, which sells its Fire tablets with the Amazon Appstore installed instead of the Google Play Store.
Among its announcements at Build today, Microsoft also mentioned that the Windows Subsystem for Android now runs version 12.1 of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is the equivalent of Android 12L. This isn’t completely new, however, since this update was rolled out to Windows Insiders just last week. In addition to an updated version of Android, the latest version of WSA also includes better integration with Windows, including support for advanced networking capabilities, improved notifications, and more.