Are you on Windows 11 yet, or are you happy with being a luddite on Windows 10? You’d be forgiven for thinking that Windows 11 is nothing more than a reskin of Windows 10, but there are a number of new and cool features still. One of it though has yet to be released, despite being shown off during its launch—Android apps on Windows.
I mean sure, there’s already ways to get Android apps to run natively on Windows 11 without emulators like Bluestacks, but you’ll still need to jump through some hoops to get it to work. But actual Android app support as advertised by Microsoft only arrived onto Windows 11 in October via early access Windows Insider builds. According to Microsoft Chief Product Officer for Windows Panos Panay though, Android app support will finally arrive on Windows 11 soon, in the form of a public preview. This likely means that it’ll still be in beta, but you can get the feature running without a Windows Insider build.
As a quick recap, Android app support for Windows 11 won’t use the Google Play store. Instead, if you’d like to download and use Android apps on Windows 11, you’ll need to use the Amazon App Store which in turn you’ll need to download from the Microsoft Store. It’s also worth mentioning that this includes having to install an Android subsystem onto your PC, though according to Amazon’s FAQ page this will happen automatically when you install the Amazon App Store.
Other new features coming to the next Windows 11 update include the new Notepad app complete with dark mode that we first saw in December when it arrived in Windows Insiders builds. On top of dark mode, the new Notepad also allows for multilevel undo and comes with a better search function. Another Windows classic getting a revamp is the Media Player, which finally gets rid of Groove Music and supports both audio and video. There’s also going to be improvements to the taskbar, the return of the weather widget and easier window sharing too.
But Panay’s post had more than just what’s coming to Windows 11 users. It was also almost like a retrospective piece, looking back at the last two years spent in a pandemic and how things have changed, with the PC now more important as ever. He notes that since 2020, they’ve seen a sixfold increase in communication apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Meanwhile, there’s been a 70% increase in streamed content across Hulu, YouTube and Netflix on Windows alone, while gamers played 35% more games every month. Twice as many people as before are also shopping via their PCs.
As for when we can expect these new features, well there’s no word just yet on when exactly, but it should be arriving some time next month. If you’re keen on these new features, be sure to check out for any updates your PC has via the Settings app.
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