After more than a year of testing, Android on PCs is ready for prime time
When Windows 11 launched a little over a year ago, Android app support was one of the biggest draws for Android enthusiasts like us. Microsoft promised that you could run Android apps as if they were native programs on your Windows computer. However, the Windows subsystem for Android (WSA), which is responsible for app support, remained available only to Windows Insiders in some markets, with limited functionality. That is finally about to change as Android support enters its stable phase.
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Microsoft’s Cory Hendrixson announced that WSA is now available to everyone in 31 markets, with just over 50,000 apps to keep you busy. Microsoft’s solution with WSA relies on the relatively limited Amazon Appstore for access to software, but it means you don’t need a standalone Android emulator for your PC – plus you have tons of processing power at your disposal.
With this shift, you don’t need to be a Windows Insider with a Windows 11 beta to start using Android apps. Make sure your computer meets the minimum requirements to run WSA, then follow our guide to installing the Windows Subsystem for Android and Amazon Appstore on your computer. If WSA isn’t available in your area, there are ways to install it manually (yes, PowerShell), which now work on any compatible computer running Windows 11 – because you don’t have to be an Insider.
Note that some functionality still hasn’t arrived, including support for picture-in-picture (PIP), hardware DRM, USB, direct Bluetooth access and Android widgets – support for more of these should be coming soon. Esper senior editor Mishaal Rahman also points out that an Android 13 update is in the cards for WSA.