Microsoft is set to start rolling out Windows 11 on October 5, and one key feature that was promised and won’t be delivered is support for Android apps. Instead, that’s officially coming to Windows Insiders in the coming months. However, the Windows Subsystem for Android has appeared on the Microsoft Store, and you can even download it.
Sadly, it doesn’t do anything at the moment. If you go and open the app that the Microsoft Store delivers, you’ll just see a blank, black window. It’s nothing exciting for now.
What’s even more interesting is the Store listing for the Windows Subsystem for Android. Being that this hasn’t been in preview yet, Microsoft hasn’t talked about how it will work, or what you’ll need. Unfortunately, the listing only says Microsoft Confidential in the description, saying that the app is for testing purposes and that the people who are supposed to be using it shouldn’t take screenshots or talk about the content.
The system requirements page is a bit more telling. The Windows build required is 22000, which is the one that’s shipping on October 5. This indicates that it’s possible that Microsoft might not force users to wait until next year’s Windows 11 feature update to get the Windows Subsystem for Android. As we can see, the feature can be delivered independently. It’s also going to require 8GB of RAM, with 16GB recommended. It runs on ARM64 or x64 processors, and that’s obviously no surprise, since those are the two types of processors that Windows 11 runs on.
Perhaps more interesting is that this app is listed as available for Xbox consoles, including the Xbox One family and the new generation of Xbox Series X|S devices. Microsoft hasn’t talked about Android apps running on gaming consoles, but gaming on Android is a big deal. Bringing those games to the console, even if it’s just providing a way to play them, could be a useful strategy, if it ends up happening.
Obviously, none of this is official. Microsoft has said very little about Android apps running on Windows 11, let alone on Xbox. It announced the feature at the Windows 11 launch event, and then when it announced the Windows 11 release date, it announced that Android app support is delayed. We’ll just have to wait until the company has more to say on this.