In this tutorial, we will learn how to configure Windows 11 so that we can use Android applications from Windows! A feature possible thanks to the “Windows Subsystem for Android” component.
As of September 27, 2022, Microsoft began rolling out “Windows Subsystem for Android” for users located in Europe and the United Kingdom. Good news for people who have been waiting for this function for a long time, because until now it was only available in the United States and Japan. By tinkering with the configuration of his machine, it was possible to enjoy it also from France, but now it is officially supported.
This tutorial discusses theinstalling Android apps from the Amazon Appstore but also from APK installer packages.
II. Install Amazon Appstore on Windows 11
To use Android apps on Windows 11, it all starts in the Microsoft Store, because you have to install the app “Amazon Appstore“. Search “Amazon” in the taskbar and it will be offered in the list. Click the “Installer” to start the installation.
A few seconds later, a window will open: click on “Configure“. This will have the effect of opening a console on your machine, calling “Dism.exe”. In fact, Windows is quietly in the process ofinstall Windows components in the backgroundnotamment Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA).
At the end of the process, you must restart your PC to complete the installation. Otherwise, it won’t work.
After starting, you can launch the Amazon Appstore application on your PC. For the application to start, Windows 11 must first start the WSA component. A window similar to the one below will appear.
Then you have to log into the “Amazon Appstore Preview” application using an Amazon account. If you are an Amazon customer, use your usual account.
Once authenticated, you have access to the Android application catalog. You just have to search for the application you want to install and click on the “Obtain“. It will be installed, and in Windows 11 start menu, there will be a new direct entry to this application. Just like the Amazon AppStore has an entry here.
III. Install APK packages on Windows 11
The Amazon Appstore is not very extensive… Especially compared to Google’s Play Store. Well, the advantage is that all the applications listed in this application store are compatible with Windows 11. For people who want to go further and who are not afraid to tweak a little, know that it is possible toinstall an Android application by retrieving the installation package in APK format.
Note: procedure to be used with caution and provided as an example.
A. Enable Developer Mode in Android Subsystem
The first step is to enable developer mode in WSA. In the start menu, search for “Windows Subsystem Settings for Android“.
An application opens, click on “Developer” left then enable developer mode. If nothing happens when you click, set aside for now.
B. Installer WSATools
Second step: installing the WSATools application which will allow you to benefit from ADB (Android Debug Bridge) for installing APKs. Besides, for install an APK you will have to go through WSATools in graphical mode.
From the Microsoft Store, install the WSATools app on your Windows 11 PC.
Open WSATools, click “Install an APK“.
A warning will appear because ADB is not currently installed. Click on “Install“.
The application prompts us to select a folder where ADB should be installed: click “Select Folder“. You cannot choose a folder that requires admin rights. For example, an “ADB” directory in “C:\Program Files” will not work. For my part, I installed it in the following directory: “C:\Users\Florian\WSA_ADB“.
Once the components are installed, we can move on to installing our first APK! Close WSATools for now.
Remark : If you failed to enable developer mode in the Android subsystem options, try again.
C. Installer un package APK
You have to download the APK package corresponding to the application you want to install. For this, I encourage you to use the APK Mirror site. Don’t download apps from anywhere… It can be dangerous.
As soon as you have your APK package in your possession, you can launch WSATools and click on “Install an APK“. This time, the app directly prompts you to upload an APK. Select your file.
A window named “Do you want to allow ADB debugging?” should appear on the screen. Check the option “Always allow from this computer” and click on “To allow“.
WSATools will install the APK! Here is an example with “Opera News“where the message”Application installed successfully” shows that it is a success! Even if it is not always won despite everything… Click on “Open App” to open the app.
The “Opera News” Android app works on my Windows 11 computer!
However, do not believe that it works every time:
- Sometimes you have to run the installation 2 or 3 times before WSATools manages to install the APK
- Sometimes the application fails to install despite X attempts (for example: Aegis Authenticator) while for some it may pass on the first try
- Some apps, like Synology Secure Signin (see below), install but don’t work because they are dependent on Google components
I can only encourage you to test, without being certain that it will work in the end! But, it’s really case by case. Either way, Android app support on Windows 11 will improve over time. For the moment, the most reliable and safest way is to install applications via the Amazon Appstore, but we mainly find games there.
#install #android #apps