Windows 11 is finally getting Android apps via a public preview next month. The preview will also include updates to the taskbar and improvements to Media Player and Notepad. These features are currently available in the Insider Program (opens in new tab) Dev Channel but will soon be available for all Windows 11 users to try out. Android app support is particularly noteworthy because the feature was missing when Microsoft’s latest operating system launched, as noted in our Windows 11 review.
Windows chief Panos Panay talked about the upcoming preview in a blog post (opens in new tab), saying: “Next month we’re bringing new experiences to Windows that include a public preview of how you can use Android apps on Windows 11 through the Microsoft Store and our partnerships with Amazon and Intel, taskbar improvements with call mute and unmute, easier window sharing and bringing weather to the taskbar, plus the introduction of two new redesigned apps, Notepad and Media Player.”
This isn't the first preview of Android apps running on Windows 11, of course. Microsoft rolled out a preview of a select group of Android apps running on Windows 11 shortly after the OS launched in October 2021. At the time, only Window Insider Program members could install and try out a limited amount of apps from Amazon’s Appstore. And it wasn’t a straightforward process either, as we confirmed ourselves.
Since then, Microsoft has introduced Windows 11 updates both big and small via its Insider Program. This includes a new design for Task Manager and volume bar. Android app support will be among the biggest updates yet, so next month's public preview will be a significant step forward for Microsoft's new operating system.
It’s good seeing Microsoft release incremental Windows 11 improvements outside of major public updates. This is likely to continue as the company works to streamline Windows 11’s overall presentation and functionality. We’ll be sure to keep you updated when the Android apps support preview goes live sometime next month.