Android on Home windows 11: Is it well worth the effort?

For just about a decade, Microsoft product planners were chasing a dream of working Android apps on Home windows. Remaining June, as a part of the announcement of Home windows 11, the corporate went public with its intentions. And as of February 2022, the ones plans have coalesced right into a delivery function.

After putting in the Home windows Subsystem for Android on a number of check PCs, I will verify that it really works as marketed. However as with Home windows 11 itself, device necessities (and geographical restrictions) imply that many customers are not able to check the brand new function for themselves.

If you are amongst those that can set up and run the vital bits, be ready to be underwhelmed through the extraordinarily restricted number of apps. There is excellent explanation why for the shortage, although; the Android-on-Home windows function (which continues to be formally in Preview) does not use Google’s model of Android, nor does it permit get entry to to the giant choice of apps within the Google Play Retailer.

As an alternative, the Home windows Subsystem for Android runs a virtualized construct of Android that is in response to the Android Open Supply Undertaking, with apps delivered by means of the Amazon Appstore.


The Amazon Appstore has the Kindle app, however no longer a lot else. 


Despite the fact that there are greater than 1,000 apps within the Amazon Appstore, the vast majority are video games. The one two marquee apps to be had are, naturally, from Amazon: the Kindle app, for studying ebooks bought from Amazon, and the Audible app, for paying attention to audiobooks. On a Home windows 11-powered pill just like the

Surface Pro X


Surface Pro 8

, working both app permits you to use your expensive computer as though it have been an

Amazon Fire tablet


Which is … no longer precisely a compelling proposition for would-be consumers.

Additionally: Need to run Android apps on Home windows 11? You wish to have 8GB RAM however must have 16GB, says Microsoft

The Amazon Appstore did not inventory any of the apps I robotically use on Android gadgets. I could not in finding any house automation utilities for controlling the lights, thermostat, and different good house options I take advantage of each day. There have been no song products and services (no longer even Amazon Tune), no finance gear, and just a smattering of news-related apps: one for the Wall Boulevard Magazine, any other for Jeff Bezos’s Washington Put up, but any other for the sports-focused Bleacher Record. I used to be stunned to peer an app for the debatable far-right cable community Newsmax.

What are you able to be expecting in the event you permit this option by yourself PC? I have were given the main points right here.

Will my PC run the Home windows Subsystem for Android?

Now not each and every PC can make the most of this option. For now, the Home windows Subsystem for Android is a U.S.-only function, even though that may certainly alternate in next updates. As well as, your PC will have to meet the next device necessities:

  • Home windows 11 model 22000.0 or upper, any version
  • Microsoft Retailer model 22202.1402.0 or later
  • Structure: X64 or Arm64
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 eighth Gen or later, AMD Ryzen 3000 or later, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c or later
  • Reminiscence: No less than 8GB of RAM (16GB is really helpful)
  • Garage: A solid-state power
  • Virtualization: Enabled in {hardware}

You do not want to chase down the specifications on your device to peer in case your software is suitable. As with Home windows 11, an automatic compatibility checker is to be had. Open this make stronger web page: Install mobile apps and the Amazon Appstore. Click on the Get The Amazon Appstore hyperlink, which is able to urged you to open the Microsoft Retailer app and in finding the Amazon Appstore web page. Scroll down to test the compatibility main points.


The compatibility segment of this Retailer record will warn you to compatibility problems. 

Because the above screenshot displays, I used to be not able to put in the vital parts on a

Surface Go 2

; its eighth Gen Intel M3 processor is excellent sufficient to run Home windows 11, but it surely does not meet the upper compatibility bar for the Android subsystem.

I used to be additionally not able to put in the Android bits in a Hyper-V digital device, even after enabling nested virtualization. The compatibility checker complained that the digital laborious disk wasn’t a solid-state power and refused to finish the set up.

I used to be extra a success on various Dell laptops and Floor gadgets, together with the Arm-powered Floor Professional X, which treated the workload exceptionally smartly.

How do I set up the Home windows Subsystem for Android?

The set up procedure is, fortunately, simple. First, ensure that the Microsoft Retailer app is up to date; then set up the Amazon Appstore app, which routinely allows the Home windows 11 Digital Device Platform and installs the Home windows Subsystem for Android parts within the background.

After set up is entire, you can in finding two new shortcuts at the Home windows 11 Get started menu, one for the Amazon Appstore and any other for the Home windows Subsystem for Android Settings app. The latter app provides you with some regulate over how the Android digital device makes use of device sources.


Use this app to regulate useful resource utilization for the Android digital device.

How a lot reminiscence and disk house does the Android subsystem use?

On my check device, putting in the Android subsystem used kind of 1.3GB of garage for the app and linked parts; putting in the Kindle app and downloading a couple of books grabbed any other 1.3GB of disk house.

In operation, the Android digital device and working apps use an excessive amount of reminiscence, which would possibly provide an explanation for why Microsoft says 16GB of RAM is really helpful for this configuration.

You’ll be able to use Activity Supervisor to watch reminiscence utilization for the Home windows Subsystem for Android. As you’ll see from this case, taken from the Floor Professional X with 16GB of put in RAM, the Android digital device itself gobbles up smartly over a gigabyte of reminiscence, and the Kindle app plus its knowledge record takes the whole utilization to greater than 2GB.


Android apps run in a digital atmosphere that makes use of an excessive amount of reminiscence.

How do I uninstall the Home windows Subsystem for Android?

To uninstall the Android parts and reclaim the disk house they are the usage of, open the Home windows 11 Settings app, pass to Apps > Put in Apps, and scroll all the way down to the Home windows Subsystem for Android access. Click on the 3 dots to the proper of the menu access after which click on Uninstall.

Word that uninstalling the Home windows Subsystem for Android additionally uninstalls the Amazon Appstore and any Android apps you will have put in.

Is all of it value it?

The Home windows Subsystem for Android was once designed to be used on touch-enabled pills, no longer on PCs pushed through a keyboard and mouse. The Kindle app working on a Floor software with a removable keyboard is one the place that design succeeds. You’ll be able to arguably take a unmarried software at the highway and use it for studying, leisure, and working productiveness apps in that configuration.

However that is with reference to the one good fortune tale on this early iteration of Android on Home windows. The choice in Amazon’s Appstore is paltry, and it is laborious to believe that any builders with A-list Android apps are going to be swayed to add them to Amazon’s retailer in order that they may be able to run on a tiny minority of Home windows gadgets.

This situation would possibly were extra sustainable in a global the place Home windows ran on smaller pills, however Microsoft just about killed off that shape issue after the Home windows 8 debacle.

So, for now, the Home windows Subsystem on Android is most commonly only a evidence of idea. Microsoft could not crack the code for convincing builders to jot down local apps for its Home windows pills, and it is tough to peer anything else right here that makes a extra persuasive argument.

As all the time, the right kind solution is most definitely to simply look forward to model 3.

Barbara Martin

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