The ability to easily run smartphone/tablet apps on PCs and laptops is something that many users have been longing for, and it seems that Microsoft may be working on implementing just that. Screenshots showcasing Android apps being run on Windows 11 have surfaced, giving insight into what this feature may look like.
Although Microsoft has previously stated that Windows 11 will support Android apps, the operating system launched without that feature. It’s likely that Microsoft is still piloting it and only allowing a select circle of users to try it out via the Dev channel of the Windows Insider Program. However, even upon completion, this is likely not going to be released as a mandatory part of a Windows Update. The leaked information suggests that Microsoft is instead planning to make it optional via the Microsoft Store.
Despite Microsoft’s urging to keep it confidential, leaked screenshots of the feature were posted on Bilibili, a Chinese social media platform. One of the screenshots shows the Windows 11 interface running Microsoft Store with an app called “Windows Subsystem for Android” available for download. The program will utilize the Intel Bridge technology in order to translate ARM code to x86.
This is similar to the Windows Subsystem for Linux which allows Windows users to run Linux binaries on their computers. This program was also recently made available by Microsoft and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. This allows for more streamlined and faster updates that don’t have to be tied to Windows Update.
The other screenshots give more of a glimpse into what Android on Windows 11 might entail. It appears that Microsoft may be trying to integrate the apps to the same extent as regular programs, allowing users to pin them to the taskbar, run multiple apps at once, and receive notifications.
One of the leaked screenshots shows the WeChat Android app. The app is pinned to the taskbar alongside Google Chrome, suggesting that this will be possible in the Windows Subsystem for Android program. Another screenshot clearly shows the ability to run several apps at once, resize them, and receive notifications on the taskbar.
Although these first screenshots look promising, it’s possible that both Microsoft and Intel still have a way to go before this feature can be released. There is no official launch date as of yet, but rumors point to the first half of 2022.