Windows 11 will run Android apps — but not yet

windows 11 event - android
(Image credit: Microsoft)

During the Windows 11 livestream event this summer that announced the new features in Windows, Microsoft was eager to show off TikTok working alongside Excel.

It's not that TikTok is making an app for Windows. Instead, Microsoft planned to allow Android apps to work natively within Windows 11. Furthermore, Android Apps would be available via the Amazon App store which will be integrated into the Microsoft Store. 

That was the idea in the summer, at least, but now that Windows 11 is here — you can read our Windows 11 review — that Android support remains unavailable. Microsoft is continuing to beta-test the feature and will offer it at a later date. It's possible that Android app support won't arrive until early next year, though.

When it does show up, you'll be able to integrate Android apps in either Start menu or task bar. Apps like TikTok would be available to 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 June livestream.

Microsoft is using Intel Bridge Technology, detailed in a press release released minutes this summer, 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 was initially uncertain if Android apps would be able to work on PCs and laptops with AMD chips. But in a subsequent 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 is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. 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.