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Windows Subsystem for Android™️: How to Access the Amazon Appstore and Run Android Apps on Windows 11



How to Run Android Apps on Windows 11 with Windows Subsystem for Android




Have you ever wanted to run your favorite Android apps on your Windows PC? Well, now you can with Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), a new feature that enables your Windows 11 device to run Android applications that are available in the Amazon Appstore. This is a great way to enjoy a wider range of apps on your PC, such as games, social media, productivity tools, and more.


In this article, we will show you how to install WSA and Amazon Appstore on your Windows 11 device, how to set up your development environment for testing and debugging your Android app on WSA, and how to handle input compatibility issues for keyboard, mouse, and window management. By the end of this article, you will be able to run Android apps on your PC with ease.




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Introduction




WSA is a feature that allows you to run Android apps on your Windows 11 device without any emulation or virtualization. It uses a Linux kernel that runs alongside the Windows kernel, creating a seamless integration between the two operating systems. You can access Android apps from the Start menu or the Taskbar, just like any other Windows app. You can also resize them, snap them, minimize them, or maximize them as you wish.


To run Android apps on your PC, you need to install two things: WSA and Amazon Appstore. WSA is the component that enables your device to run Android apps, while Amazon Appstore is the app store where you can download Android apps. You can install both of them from the Microsoft Store.


Running Android apps on your PC has many benefits. You can enjoy a larger screen size, better performance, more storage space, keyboard and mouse support, and more features that enhance your app experience. You can also develop and test your own Android apps on your PC, using the same tools and frameworks that you use for Android devices. You can debug your app using Android Studio, logcat, adb shell commands, and more. You can also use breakpoints and inspect variables in your code, just like you would on a real device.


How to Set Up Your Development Environment for WSA




If you are a developer who wants to test and debug your Android app on WSA, you need to set up your development environment first. This involves meeting some device requirements, enabling developer mode on Windows 11, and installing Android Debug Bridge (ADB) on your PC.


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Prerequisites




Before you can run Android apps on your PC, you need to make sure that your device meets the following requirements:


  • Your device must be running Windows 11 version 22000.194 or higher.



  • Your device must have a 64-bit processor with at least 4 cores and 8 GB of RAM.



  • Your device must support virtualization and have it enabled in the BIOS settings.



  • Your device must have at least 15 GB of free disk space.



To check if your device meets these requirements, you can use the PC Health Check app from Microsoft or the WhyNotWin11 app from GitHub.


Next, you need to enable developer mode on Windows 11. This will allow you to sideload Android apps from APK files and use ADB commands to interact with WSA. To enable developer mode, follow these steps:


  • Open Settings and go to Update & Security > For developers.



  • Select Developer mode under Use developer features.



  • Click Yes to confirm and wait for the installation to complete.



  • Restart your device if prompted.



Finally, you need to install ADB on your PC. ADB is a command-line tool that lets you communicate with WSA and perform various tasks, such as installing, launching, debugging, and uninstalling Android apps. To install ADB, follow these steps:


  • Download the latest version of the Android SDK Platform-Tools from the official website.



  • Extract the zip file to a folder of your choice.



  • Add the folder path to the system environment variable PATH. This will allow you to run ADB commands from any directory in the command prompt.



  • To verify that ADB is installed correctly, open a command prompt and type adb version. You should see the version number and build date of ADB.



How to Install and Launch Android Apps on WSA


Once you have installed WSA and Amazon Appstore on your PC, you can start downloading and launching Android apps on your PC. There are two ways to install Android apps on WSA: from the Amazon Appstore or from APK files.


To download Android apps from the Amazon Appstore, follow these steps:


  • Open the Amazon Appstore app on your PC.



  • Sign in with your Amazon account or create one if you don't have one.



  • Browse or search for the Android app you want to download.



  • Click on the app and then click on Get or Buy to download it.



  • Wait for the app to install on your PC.



To sideload Android apps from APK files, you need to use ADB or a third-party app like APK Installers. APK files are the installation files for Android apps that you can download from various sources online. However, be careful to only download APK files from trusted sources, as they may contain malware or viruses. To sideload Android apps from APK files using ADB, follow these steps:


  • Download the APK file of the Android app you want to install on your PC.



  • Connect your PC and your Android device with a USB cable or via Wi-Fi.



  • Open a command prompt and navigate to the folder where the APK file is located.



  • Type adb devices to check if your device is connected and authorized.



  • Type adb install -r to install the APK file on your device, where is the name of the APK file. For example, adb install -r phone.apk



  • Wait for the installation to complete.



To sideload Android apps from APK files using APK Installers, follow these steps:


  • Download and install APK Installers app from the Microsoft Store on your PC.



  • Download the APK file of the Android app you want to install on your PC.



  • Open APK Installers app on your PC.



  • Select the APK file and click on Install.



  • Wait for the installation to complete.



To launch Android apps on your PC, follow these steps:


  • Open the Start menu or the Taskbar and look for the Android app you want to launch.



  • Click on the app icon to open it in a separate window.



  • You can also pin the app to the Start menu or the Taskbar for quick access by right-clicking on it and selecting Pin to Start or Pin to taskbar.



How to Test and Debug Your Android App on WSA




After you have installed and launched your Android app on your PC, you may want to test and debug it to make sure it works as expected. You can use the same tools and frameworks that you use for developing Android apps on real devices, such as Android Studio, logcat, adb shell commands, and more.


To test and debug your Android app on WSA, follow these steps:


  • Open Android Studio on your PC and create or open your Android project.



  • Select Run > Run 'app' from the menu bar or click on the green play button.



  • Select Windows Subsystem for Android as the target device and click OK.



  • Wait for the app to launch on your PC in a separate window.



  • To view the app logs, select View > Tool Windows > Logcat from the menu bar or click on the Logcat tab at the bottom of the screen.



  • To use adb shell commands, open a command prompt and type adb shell to enter the WSA shell. You can then execute various commands to interact with your app, such as am (Activity Manager), pm (Package Manager), dumpsys (Dump System State), and more. For example, adb shell am start -n com.example.myapp/.MainActivity to start the main activity of your app.



  • To use breakpoints and inspect variables in your code, select Run > Debug 'app' from the menu bar or click on the bug icon. You can then set breakpoints in your code by clicking on the left margin of the editor. When the app reaches a breakpoint, it will pause and you can inspect the values of variables in the Variables tab at the bottom of the screen. You can also use the Evaluate Expression tool to execute expressions in the context of the current frame.



Conclusion




In this article, we have shown you how to run Android apps on your Windows 11 device with Windows Subsystem for Android. We have also shown you how to set up your development environment for testing and debugging your Android app on WSA. We hope that this article has helped you to enjoy a wider range of apps on your PC, as well as to develop and test your own Android apps for WSA.


Here are some tips and best practices for developing Android apps for WSA:


  • Make sure that your app supports multiple screen sizes and orientations, as well as keyboard and mouse input.



  • Use adaptive icons and adaptive launcher icons for your app icons, as they will look better on different devices and platforms.



  • Use native libraries that are compatible with x86_64 architecture, as WSA does not support ARM-based libraries.



  • Test your app on different devices and platforms, such as Windows 11 PCs, Android phones and tablets, Chromebooks, and more.



  • Optimize your app for performance, battery life, memory usage, and network usage.



If you have any feedback or questions about running Android apps on Windows 11 with WSA, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!


Frequently Asked Questions




Here are some frequently asked questions about running Android apps on Windows 11 with WSA:


  • Can I run any Android app on Windows 11 with WSA?



Not all Android apps are compatible with WSA. Some apps may not work properly or at all due to various reasons, such as hardware or software dependencies, DRM protection, platform-specific features, or developer restrictions. You can check if an app is compatible with WSA by looking for the "Works with Windows Subsystem for Android" badge in the Amazon Appstore or by trying to install it from an APK file.


  • Can I use Google Play Store or Google Play Services on Windows 11 with WSA?



No, WSA does not support Google Play Store or Google Play Services. You can only use Amazon Appstore or APK files to install Android apps on WSA. This means that some apps that rely on Google Play Services may not work properly or at all on WSA. For example, apps that use Google Maps, Google Sign-In, Firebase, or Google Play Games may not function correctly or show errors.


  • Can I update my Android apps on Windows 11 with WSA?



Yes, you can update your Android apps on WSA by using the same method that you used to install them. For example, if you installed an app from the Amazon Appstore, you can update it from there. If you installed an app from an APK file, you can update it by installing the latest version of the APK file. However, some apps may not notify you when there is a new update available, so you may need to check manually from time to time.


  • Can I uninstall my Android apps on Windows 11 with WSA?



Yes, you can uninstall your Android apps on WSA by using the same method that you used to install them. For example, if you installed an app from the Amazon Appstore, you can uninstall it from there. If you installed an app from an APK file, you can uninstall it by using ADB or APK Installers. To uninstall an app using ADB, follow these steps:


  • Open a command prompt and type adb shell to enter the WSA shell.



  • Type pm list packages to see the list of installed packages on your device.



  • Type pm uninstall -k --user 0 to uninstall the package, where is the name of the package. For example, pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.example.myapp



  • Wait for the uninstallation to complete.



  • Can I run multiple Android apps at the same time on Windows 11 with WSA?



Yes, you can run multiple Android apps at the same time on Windows 11 with WSA. You can switch between them using the Task View or Alt+Tab keyboard shortcuts. You can also snap them to different sides of the screen or use multiple desktops to organize them. However, some apps may not support multitasking or background running, so they may pause or close when you switch to another app.




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