Windows 11 Android apps: how to install and use them

As we have highlighted in many of our articles, Windows 11 introduces the ability to “natively” install and run le app Android. The adjective “native” should be taken with due caution: Windows 11 supports a software component called Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA, translatable into Europen as Windows Subsystem for Android) which, like WSL, which allows you to run Linux in Windows, relies on the virtualization of Microsoft Hyper-V.

It is virtualization that is “native” in the sense that Android applications run, thanks to Hyper-V e WSAdirectly on the host system hardware (host).

Android App Windows 11 – Fastest way to install WSA

With the launch of Windows 11 22H2, Europe has been added among the countries where you can access theinstalling android apps.

For heaven’s sake, even from our country it was previously very simple to install WSA anyway and run app Android in Windows 11 but with the release of Windows 11 22H2 (aka Windows 11 2022 Update) everything has become easier.

Before proceeding it is important to verify that you have a system with at least 8 GB of RAM, a unit SSD and at least an 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor or an AMD Ryzen 3000.

Install the Amazon Appstore from the Microsoft Store

The best way to run android apps in windows 11 consists in applying the simple procedure that we present below:

1) Type Microsoft Store in the Windows 11 search box or click on the icon Microsoft Store in the system tray of the operating system. Then click on Collection bottom left and finally on the button Get updates.

Install the Amazon Appstore from the Microsoft Store

2) Click on Refresh everything and make sure the Microsoft Store has been updated to the latest version available.

3) Type Amazon Appstore in the Microsoft Store search box. When the description sheet appears Amazon Appstore click the button Install.

Amazon Appstore installation in Windows 11

To install the Amazon Appstore it is essential to indicate the login credentials of a Microsoft account.

Installing the Windows Subsystem for Android

4) When the screen appears Prepare your PC for the Amazon Appstore click on Download then let Windows 11 download all the necessary software components.

Installazione Windows Subsystem for Android

You must wait patiently for the WSA download and installation process to finish as well. You can see that Windows 11 is busy downloading this component by pressing CTRL+MAIUSC+ESC to open the Task Manager then choosing Performance. At Ethernet o Wi-Fi you will see the bandwidth occupied in download (Received).

Preparing to run Windows Subsystem for Android

5) At the end, click on Open the Amazon Appstore a screen like the one shown in the figure will appear. The Amazon Appstore is in fact itself an Android app that needs WSA support to run properly on your machine.

Starting Windows Subsystem for Android

6) By logging in Amazon Appstore with a Amazon user account (those who usually place orders with Amazon Prime can use that same account…) you can access the Android app catalog and immediately start installing and managing them.

Login account Amazon Appstore

Google Play Store it is not an integral part of the WSA and cannot be used directly to install Android apps in Windows 11. In another article we have seen how to install the Google Play Store in Windows 11 but at the moment, due to some updates that have been applied, it could not being able to login with a Google user account. We are carrying out a series of checks.

Install WSA PacMan to load Android apps that are not in the Amazon Appstore onto the system

7) Meanwhile, you can download the free WSA PacMan software (short for WSA Package Manager) from GitHub by clicking on the file WSA-pacman-vX.X.X-installer.exe to manually install Android apps not in the Amazon Appstore.
After installing WSA Pacman, you can associate extensions with the program .apk e .xapk.

WSA Pacman

8) Type Android in the Windows 11 search box then click on the entry Windows subsystem settings for Android.

Windows 11 WSA settings

9) In the WSA settings window activate the option Developer Mode.

WSA developer mode

10) Type WSA Pacman in the search box then launch the application. If necessary, click on the button Start and when the window shown in the figure appears, deactivate the box Public networks and finally click on consented.

Windows 11 WSA firewall configuration

11) WSA Pacman show the message Connected, Successfully connected to WSA, application ready.

WSA Package Manager

Download other Android apps and run them in Windows 11

For example, by downloading the most useful Android apps with APKMirror, you can run them in Windows 11.
To start its installation with WSA PacMan just click on the corresponding file .apk o .xapk.

By clicking on Application Management in WSA PacMan you can manage android apps installed in windows 11 while with Settings management you can adjust some of the most well-known settings of the Android virtual environment. WSA currently runs Android 11.

App Android Windows 11

In order to reduce the workload and decrease the occupied machine resources, by default WSA is automatically disabled by Windows 11 when there are no Android applications running. However, it is possible to modify this preference by acting on the WSA settings.

In another article we published a comparison between WSA and BlueStacks describing all the main differences.

Configuring Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA)

Someone settings of the Windows Subsystem for Android they cannot be overridden and should be adjusted immediately after platform activation in Windows 11.

As we saw earlier, typing Android in the Windows 11 search box then clicking on the entry Windows subsystem settings for Androidit is first of all advisable to verify that in the section System the option is active Block installation of malicious apps. In this way Microsoft Defender will always check the contents of each Android installation package, reporting the presence of any suspicious or potentially dangerous elements.

Windows Subsystem for Android: system settings

With one click your Advanced settings so on Memory and performanceyou can define the amount of RAM memory to allocate to Windows Subsystem for Android and related apps (drop-down menu Memory allocation). Furthermore, it can be established whether WSA should always remain running or, vice versa, should be run only when expressly requested by the user.

In the first case, of course, Android apps they stay constantly running.

The setting Favorite graphics it is useful on systems that are equipped with an integrated GPU and a dedicated video card: acting on the corresponding pull-down menu, you can specify which one to use.

WSA advanced settings: RAM memory and graphics

Opening the subsection Experimental featuresWSA allows Android apps to access the contents of system folders such as Documents e Images. To do this, just activate the option Share user folders.

Once this step is completed, the Windows 11 system folders will appear within the directory Windows in the sdcard virtuale accessible from installed Android apps.

Finally, the option Advanced networks It is useful for making Android applications running with WSA able to connect to devices plugged in local network.

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