Windows 11’s big feature update for 2022 has arrived, bringing with it a whole host of improvements for running Android apps in the desktop OS, and delivering the applications themselves on a much wider basis globally – including to Australia and the UK.
As you may be aware, you can run Android apps – from the Amazon Appstore – on the Windows 11 desktop, and soon, support for the Appstore is expanding – and rapidly.
Microsoft notes that this will happen over the next few weeks, and whereas the Amazon Appstore currently only works in the US and Japan, the countries which can access Android apps (in preview) will grow to no less than 31.
That will include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, among others. Windows 11 users in all those regions will get the benefit of some 20,000 games and apps which are on the Appstore.
Just as importantly – even more so for the folks who have already been testing Android apps on Windows 11 – is the announcement that the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), which is what facilitates the running of Android software on the desktop, has been seriously improved.
Microsoft tells us that the new version of WSA that arrives with the Windows 11 2022 update brings with it two to three times faster performance in terms of graphics, and better input for touch controls, plus mouse and keyboard for that matter. Bolstered security and network improvements are also part and parcel of this fresh release of WSA.
Some goodies are coming to the Microsoft Store, too. That includes a new ESPN app offering live sports coverage available later this month, and as of today for Windows 11 testers, Amazon Prime Video will be included alongside Disney Plus content.
Updates are to follow for the Microsoft Store in October, too, and that includes jazzing up searches within the store to include screenshot previews, adding a bit of visual flair. Also, Microsoft promises that when you get a new Windows 11 device, it’ll be dead easy to restore all your chosen apps from the store.
Analysis: Some big improvements – and help with finding Android apps, too
It’s great to hear that Android apps will benefit from better graphics performance, and not just by a bit – this sounds like a big step forward. Similarly, improvements across the board with controls are going to be very welcome, too.
Remember that these Amazon-provided Android apps are accessed via 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 will be able to easily link across to apps they like and want to share with their friends, too, improving the 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 that’s a sign that it won’t be long before Android apps are out of preview, and available to the general computing public who are running Windows 11.
Not shy about shouting about the increased popularity of the Microsoft Store, it’s also worth noting that the company let us know that over 900 million unique users are availing themselves of the store, and that submissions of new apps and games are up 122% year-on-year.