Why you should use APPS from Android on Windows

Android Apps running on Windows.

Using APPS from Android on Windows? You can with Microsoft's official software for Windows 11. 

The Android Google Play Store offers an unprecedented range of high-quality APPS. Including perhaps your favorite mobile APP that you already use on your smartphone. Which you would also like to use on your computer. However previously not available on the computer. Fortunately, it can now also be used on your Windows 11 computer with Windows subsystem support for Android.

Android on Windows is not yet officially available worldwide. With the steps below, you can install the software on any computer, in any country according to your wish.

Can my computer run Android APPS on Windows?

You should use a computer with the Windows 11 operating system, and furthermore, the computer should have virtualization support from AMD or Intel (processor). Depending on the components in your computer or laptop.

Installing Android APPS on Windows

You can easily install Android APPS on Windows. This requires only a small number of steps:

  • Enable Virtualization support in the computer BIOS/UEFI. 
    Since this is very specific per computer/laptop model. Please refer to the specific manual for the particular computer. For more information.
  • Once in the operating system. Enable Programs and Features option Virtual Machine Platform and Windows Hypervisor Platform on the Control Panel.
  • Browse to the online link generator for the Microsoft Store and select the drop down list option: Retail with url: www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/windows-subsystem-for-android/9p3395vx91nr Or select Fast, should you want to use the latest Android operating system. Only download links will be generated from the Microsoft Store. Without using the Microsoft Store's graphical user interface. Since Android for Windows is not available in every country. The official Store could refuse to display the required APPS. However, the files are downloaded from Microsoft. 
  • Download the file ending on the extension: .msixbundle and install the installer with the App installer.
  • Download the GUI, APK installer for Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) and install the latest WSA-pacman or WSATools release.
  • Enable the Developer mode on the just installed Windows Subsystem for Android.
  • APPS are downloadable as single file on download sites like APKpure or Aptoide. And installable with a simple double click on the file icon and select for WSA package as install manager. Separate installation files can be downloaded from the above link. If there is a desire for a visual store. F-Droid - The Free and Open Source Android App Repository or the Aurora Store may be the way to go.

Since Android APPS are very popular, we understand that you would like to use them. However, there are a large number of standard Windows- win32 and Universal Windows Platform (UWP) APPS that are less popular. Some of these are even never used. You can debloat Windows and remove the unnecessary APPS. The computer which only contains the APPS you actually use. Without the unnecessary bloat.

Manually install; Sideload APPS on Android

By default our preference is to install Android APPS manually. After all, it does not require a store program, which runs all day. To install a new APP every now and then (analysis).

  • Download and execute the latest ADB installer.
  • Connect trough the Developer mode in the Windows Command Prompt on: adb connect
  • Verify your connected device with: adb devices.
    The example result: List of devices attached device 'your phone name'.
  • Install a separate APK APP as desired. For example: adb install C:\Users\testuser\Downloads\WindFinder_3.29.1.apk

Android APP compatibility on Windows

Some Android APPS require the Google Play Services to function. Android APPS for Windows is developed by manufacturer Microsoft with the Amazon Appstore in mind. This means: The APPS available in the Amazon Appstore, do not use Google Play Services.

Without Google Play Services, some Android APPS (such as * Buienradar (Dutch local, weather forecast) and Sygic GPS car navigation) will issue a notification after booting, that they cannot be used without Play Services. Effectively, the application can work and the notification is only optical. Or you search for an alternative option on a Windows computer, will have to be extended for a while. As the application refuses to restart until the Play Services, are active. Which is obviously not easily possible (is beyond the scope of the project).

Since Google officially, only supports Android APPS on the Android operating system. It is a personal search. Which APP works and which APP does not work (well). General can be said. That the APPS offered in F-Droid; are running as they should be. So if you want to play it safe. Use this alternative store as a starting point. Linux user? Read our post on how to install Android APPS on a Linux computer

* Mostly the APPS using a Google Maps element. Thus our own practical experience.

Photo: Matheus Bertelli, Pexels.