What you need to know
- Windows 11 was announced on Thursday with new design elements and features.
- The new update will bring official, native support for Android apps.
- These apps will be discoverable through the Amazon app store on Windows 11.
Windows 11 is coming. The big new update was announced during a live stream on Thursday morning with tons of new features and design changes. One of the biggest additions coming to the platform is official support for Android apps on Windows.
Soon, users will be able to find popular Android apps directly from the Microsoft Store and download them via the Amazon Appstore. You likely won't find the entire Android app catalog through Amazon's fairly limited store, but out of the roughly 500,000 apps, you'll find popular ones like TikTok and Spotify. Nonetheless, this move represents an important step for Microsoft and Windows.
The experience will be powered by Intel Bridge technology which is a runtime post-compiler that will allow these apps to run natively on Windows machines. There wasn't too much information given about what the app experience will be like, and there are plenty of questions that we have about how well it will work, but Microsoft says it will have "more to share about this experience in the coming months."
Bringing Android apps to Windows isn't a completely new idea. It's been rumored for some time that Microsoft was working to bring this functionality, and it's already been present in some shape or form. With the Microsoft Your Phone app, Windows machines can essentially stream many Android apps directly from the best Android phones, particularly if you have a Samsung device like a Galaxy S21.
Other Windows 11 announcements include better gaming support, Microsoft Teams integration, and widgets, which seem to be the new big thing for 2021. You can read all about the changes coming to Windows 11 over at Windows Central.