Skip to main content

Windows 11 will run Android apps — here’s how

windows 11 event - android
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Editors' Note: Intel and Microsoft have provided a statement to Tom's Guide with further clarification. The statement can be found below.

During the Windows 11 livestream event, Microsoft was eager to show off TikTok working alongside Excel.

It's not that TikTok is making an app for Windows. Instead, Microsoft will enable Android apps to work natively within Windows 11. It's slightly convoluted — at least, at this point — but Android Apps will be available via the Amazon App store which will be integrated into the Microsoft Store. 

Android Apps can be integrated to either Start menu or task bar. Apps like TikTok can also be snapped to the side, making it possible to type away in Microsoft Word while watching the latest duets.

"These integrated apps, what it does, it brings you into Windows from the most professional editing apps all the way through to the most casual apps you can think of when you lean back on the couch," said Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft during the livestream.

Microsoft is using Intel Bridge Technology, detailed in a press release released minutes after the Windows 11 live event, to allow non-native apps to run natively on x86 processors. 

"Intel Bridge Technology is a runtime post-compiler that enables applications to run natively on x86-based devices, including running those applications on Windows," per the release. "Intel’s multi-architecture XPU strategy provides the right engines for the right workloads by integrating leading CPU cores, graphics technology, artificial intelligence accelerators, image processors and more, in a single, verified solution."

Given that this is Intel technology, it's uncertain if Android apps will be able to work on PCs and laptops with AMD chips. 

Update: In a statement to Tom's Guide, an Intel spokesperson said:

"Intel believes it is important to provide this capability and has designed Intel Bridge technology to support all x86 platforms.

A broad range of Intel-based platforms are expected to support Windows 11: 8th Gen and newer Intel Core processors, as well as Intel Pentium processors and Intel Celeron processors from the 'Apollo Lake' generation and newer. We’ll have more details to share about Intel Bridge Technology at a later date."

And in a statement to Tom's Guide, Microsoft spokesperson said: 

"We are excited to bring Android apps to Windows through our partnership with Amazon and Intel — we’ll have more to share at a later date."

Imad Khan

Imad Khan is news editor at Tom’s Guide, helping direct the day’s breaking coverage. Prior to working at the site, Imad was a full-time freelancer, with bylines at the New York Times, the Washington Post and ESPN. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.