Windows 11 will let you dodge the Amazon Appstore to sideload Android apps

Windows 11 Android App Collection
Windows 11 Android App Collection (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • A Microsoft engineer says it's possible to sideload Android apps on Windows 11.
  • The ability to download apps is a new feature coming to Windows 11 but is potentially hindered by the limitations of the Amazon Appstore.
  • Windows 11 is expected to launch later this year.

Windows 11 may not be limited to the Amazon Appstore in order to install Android apps. A Microsoft engineer confirmed to a user on Twitter that it'll be possible to sideload Android apps onto Windows 11.

While distinguished engineer Miguel de Icaza notes on his account that he doesn't speak for Microsoft, his response appears to be a ringing declaration that sideloading Android apps is possible. This means users won't be limited to the Android apps found on the Amazon Appstore as long as they have the APK file.

When Microsoft announced Android app support in Windows 11, it came with the caveat that apps would be downloaded from the Microsoft Store via the Amazon Appstore. The main concern is the number of available apps, roughly 500,000 versus around 3.5 million on the Google Play Store. That leaves out some of the more popular apps like Snapchat, which are not available on the Amazon Appstore. Of course, you can always use the Your Phone app to essentially stream apps from some of the best Android phones, but it isn't the same as the more native experience that Microsoft has planned for Windows 11.

Still, it's good to know that it's possible to circumvent the Amazon Appstore and sideload Android apps onto Windows 11, even if it leaves us with more questions and concerns than before, especially when it comes to security. Microsoft says that it will have more to say about the Android app experience "in the coming months," so it may be some time before we have all our questions answered. Nonetheless, we've reached out to Microsoft for clarification on sideloading Android apps but did not immediately receive a response.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.