Microsoft has just unveiled Windows 11, showing off a redesigned operating system that’s more modern, better connected and better suited to the modern world – but there was a surprise addition, integrated Android apps.
That’s right, Panos Panay, chief product officer at Microsoft, confirmed that you’d be able to install Android apps directly on Windows 11, so you’ll be able to use a full range of apps from your phone, on your desktop.
The catch is that these apps are going to come from the Amazon Appstore. While that will give a full range of apps, including some premium apps, it’s not quite as good as offering direct access to the Google Play store. Anyone who has used a Fire tablet alongside an Android phone will know that there’s a difference and we guess that this is because Google would rather support ChromeOS than Windows.
The benefit it will bring to Windows is that you’ll be able to access a range of apps rather than, perhaps, relying on a web version – but it also means that some services won’t have to develop Windows apps, they can just offer the Android version instead.
Microsoft says that it is using Intel Bridge technology to make sure you have a great experience with Android apps seamlessly integrating into the Microsoft Store, so you’ll get all the details you’d expect when you’re browsing for apps.
You’ll be able to run the apps alongside Windows apps, so you can open up TikTok alongside that Excel spreadsheet you’re grinding through, as well as being able to take advantage of Windows 11’s Snap features to choose how you lay things out.
While that might not be of huge interest to desktop users, for those using Windows on a tablet, it might help boost the experience away from productivity, allowing access to a lot more casual apps and experiences.