Many people have wished for the ability to simply run smartphone/tablet apps on PCs and laptops, and it appears like Microsoft is working on delivering just that. Screenshots of Android apps running on Windows 11 have leaked, providing a glimpse of what this capability may look like.
Despite Microsoft’s previous statements that Windows 11 would enable Android apps, the operating system was released without such feature. It’s possible that Microsoft is currently testing it and only letting a small group of users to try it out through the Windows Insider Program’s Dev channel. Even if it is completed, it is unlikely that it will be issued as an obligatory part of a Windows Update. According to the leaked information, Microsoft intends to make it optional through the Microsoft Store.
Despite Microsoft’s request to keep it private, screenshots of the functionality were leaked and shared on Bilibili, a Chinese social networking platform. One of the photos displays the Windows 11 interface running Microsoft Store, with a download option for “Windows Subsystem for Android.” The software will use Intel Bridge technology to convert ARM code to x86 code.
This is analogous to the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which enables Windows users to run Linux binaries on their computers. Microsoft has also lately made this program public, and it can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store. This enables more streamlined and faster upgrades that aren’t linked to Windows update.
The other screenshots provide a better idea of what Android on Windows 11 might look like. Microsoft appears to be attempting to integrate the apps to the same degree as traditional programs, allowing users to pin them to the taskbar, run multiple apps at the same time, and receive notifications.
The WeChat Android app is shown in one of the leaked screenshots. The app is pinned to the taskbar alongside Google Chrome, implying that this feature will be included in the Windows Subsystem for Android program. Another screenshot clearly displays the ability to run multiple apps at once, resize them, and receive taskbar notifications.
Although the initial screenshots appear promising, it’s possible that Microsoft and Intel still have some work to do before this functionality is launched. There is no official debut date yet, although reports suggest it will be in the first half of 2022.