Windows 11’s 2022 major feature update is here, bringing a whole host of improvements to running Android apps on the desktop OS, and delivering the apps themselves to a much broader base worldwide – including Australia and the UK.
As you may know, you can run Android apps – from the Amazon Appstore – on the Windows 11 desktop, and support for the Appstore is coming soon – and fast.
Microsoft notes that this will happen over the next few weeks, and while the Amazon Appstore currently only works in the US and Japan, the countries that can access Android apps (in preview) will grow to no fewer than 31 .
These include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, among others. Windows 11 users in all these regions benefit from around 20,000 games and apps in the Appstore.
Equally important – even more so for the folks who have already tested Android apps on Windows 11 – is the announcement that the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), which makes it easier to run Android software on the desktop, has been taken seriously improved.
Microsoft tells us that the new version of WSA that arrives with the Windows 11 2022 update will offer two to three times faster performance in terms of graphics and better input for touch controls and mouse and keyboard for that matter brings with it. Strengthened security and network improvements are also built into this new version of WSA.
Some goodies are also coming to the Microsoft Store. That includes a new ESPN app with live sports coverage coming later this month, and starting today for Windows 11 testers will also include Amazon Prime Video alongside Disney Plus content.
The Microsoft Store is also due for updates in October, and that includes beefing up store search to include screenshot previews and add a bit of visual flair. Also, Microsoft promises that when you get a new Windows 11 device, it will be super easy to restore all your chosen apps from the Store.
Analysis: Some big improvements – and help finding Android apps too
It’s great to hear that Android apps will benefit from better graphics performance, and not just marginally – that sounds like a big step forward. Similarly, general improvements to the controls will also be very welcome.
Keep in mind that these Amazon-provided Android apps are accessed through the Microsoft Store, and another good thing to hear is that the software giant has made it easier to find them. Android software now appears in Microsoft Store search results, complete with inline ratings and reviews. Users can easily link to apps that they like and also want to share with their friends, which improves discoverability of these Android products on multiple levels.
With a leap forward in terms of 31 countries now having access to Amazon Appstore content, hopefully this is a sign that it won’t be long before Android apps are phased out of preview and into the general computing public with Windows 11 are available.
We’re not shy about shouting about the increasing popularity of the Microsoft Store, but it’s also worth noting that the company told us that over 900 million unique users use the store and that submissions of new apps and games are up 122% annually . in the year.