Microsoft perhaps is going to start a new era of app experience through its latest operating system Windows 11.
When Microsoft on June 24, 2021, announced its highly anticipated Windows 11 OS, this news left the Internet keep buzzing around the discussions on its interesting feature that users will now be able to use Android applications on their Windows PC.
Yes, it’s true. You will soon be able to see Android apps on the Start menu bar, with their own dedicated icons on the taskbar, and launch with desktop shortcuts too.
This special feature of Window 11 is expected to benefit both users and developers. Users won't have to rely on the web version of an application while developers will have the freedom to skip develop an Android app dedicatedly for the Windows-only version.
There is a lot of curiosity among people about how Windows 11 will benefit through running Android apps and why it ultimately matters to them.
Today in this blog, I will tell you how Windows 11’s feature-allowing Android apps to be used on desktop/PC, matters to users and mobile app developers.
What is Microsoft's Windows 11?
Windows 11 is a PC operating system built by the world's iconic software company Microsoft. Windows 11 is the latest OS since Windows 10. It provides several innovations focused on improving end-user productivity with a whole new experience.
Windows 11 is designed to support today's hybrid work environment and meant to be the most reliable, secure, responsive, and high-performing Windows operating system ever.
Android app development companies are very much excited about this feature as it will increase more accessibility to users on desktop PCs.
Microsoft said it wanted Windows 11 to feel fresh, clean, and beautiful but still familiar. So there will soon be rounded corners for apps in Windows 11 and other designs reminiscent of those Apple. There are also new themes, colors, transitions, and dark mode.
What are the key features of Windows 11?
1. More tablet-friendly
Windows 11 appears more user-friendly to use in tablet mode. Remove the keyboard from a tablet and this operating system automatically creates more space between the icons in the taskbar, adds bigger touch targets, and resizes and moves windows easier. Windows 11 will also assist haptic feedback for stylus pens when you use them to write, edit or draw.
2. New Start Button
The Start button has been shifted from the bottom left to the bottom center of the screen. Taskbar icons have moved to the bottom center too. These changes are expected to make it easier to find what users need.
Opening multiple windows will be easier with Snap Layouts and Snap Groups in Windows 11. Snap Layouts will offer many ways to users to quickly position different applications side by side. Windows 11 can also store which apps you "snapped" together for easy multitasking.
There will be a new Desktop feature allowing users to set up different "home screens to group apps of related functions together, such as for work, school, or gaming.
4. Team Chat
With Windows 11, Microsoft is integrating Chat from its Microsoft team’s chat as well as videoconferencing software into the taskbar.
Through this feature, users will be able to connect via text, chat, voice, or video with all contacts across windows, Android, or iOS. Even if the person you are connecting to the other side has not downloaded the Teams app, you can still connect with them via two-way SMS.
Widgets are already available in Windows 10; they have been redesigned with an updated experience for Windows 11. Widgets are basically a collection of apps for news, weather update, your appointments, etc. And in Windows 11, they all can be accessed by a slide-put screen.
Microsoft said these widgets are empowered by artificial intelligence and its Edge Web browser to give users a personalized feed.
Gaming is among the top improvements in Windows OS. Microsoft is bringing DirectStorage from Xbox to Windows 11 so that games load faster.
7. Changed App Store
The Microsoft Store in Windows 11 has been revamped to make it faster to discover what users need. In a unique move, Microsoft added that Android apps are coming to Windows 11 with the help of Amazon and Intel.
From this technology, users can search for the Android apps they want and install them from the Microsoft Store through the Amazon Appstore. Android apps will also run in Windows 11 on AMD machines including Intel.
What is the special feature in Windows 11?
Windows 11 has made a rocking entry with a fresh design and some clean multitasking tricks, but the hot change is, of course, its ability to run Android apps.
There has been a long demand for using Android apps on Windows. And this time, Microsoft solved this problem with some help from Amazon. Microsoft has confirmed that Android apps will be listed on the Microsoft Store, although they will need to be installed via the Amazon Appstore.
It simply means only currently only Android apps available from the Amazon Appstore can be downloaded on a Windows 11 PC, not the whole Google Play Store catalog.
Microsoft is using Amazon's AppStore to bring Android apps to Windows 11. Apps will be listed in the new store called Microsoft Store. Apps can be pinned to the taskbar or snapped alongside traditional Windows apps.
The software giant company demonstrated apps like TikTok running on Windows 11. Through Microsoft Store, users will have full access to over 600,000 apps on Amazon App Store.
How users will benefit by using Android apps on Windows 11?
A soft beginning, but huge potential
Microsoft has opened a new door for Android applications. They made it possible with the help of the Intel Bridge technology. In technical terms, it is a runtime post-compiler that allows apps to run natively on x86-based devices.
In simple words, Intel's Bridge tech does the reverse of what Apple's Rosetta 2 tech does on Mac, allowing x86 software to run on ARM-based Macs. However, Microsoft says Windows 11 machines with an AMD chip inside and even those with ARM silicon will be able to run Android apps as well.
So the benefits are obvious.
The capability to run Android mobile apps on a PC means users don't have to switch between their phone and laptop every time they want to watch a TikTok video, book an Uber ride, or enjoy Game of War-Fire Age.
The best thing is that these apps will run just like regular Windows software on a laptop or desktop, as they will appear in the taskbar, can be minimized or opened as a regular PC application, and run in a portrait view just like they appear on a smartphone.
Bliss for those who need easy multitasking
You will have the liberty to multitask on Windows applications like Word while having apps like Kindle, TikTok, Instagram, or Ring open in another window. The new Windows 11 Snap feature will come in handy to choose the layout of the multiple apps on the screen real estate.
For those using a tablet or dual-screen gadget loaded with the next OS version, it will boost multitasking in amazing ways. With a seamless ecosystem of all that you desire on your tablet is about to transform the Windows dynamics in the coming years.
Amazon Appstore Integration
The major surprise for Android apps to come on the Windows 11 ecosystem comes with Amazon Appstore marketplace integration, rather than partnering directly with Play Store to provide the Android apps.
To give a whole new experience, these non-native apps will make the best out of Intel Bridge technology to run on x86 processors.
Sideloading apps and Play Services
This is a highly beneficial feature for users. It will help them to use Android apps on the PC ecosystem which will not be offered officially via the Amazon Appstore.
Since Amazon Appstore will be an influential factor for managing the apps, you can expect some chance of Play Services coming in the upcoming time.
From developers' perspective, it will be interesting to see how much Amazon is interested to lessen its revenue cut in the near time.
Flood of apps ready to storm the OS
While Windows's own store is nothing much to talk about, it will flood the Windows landscape with content like never before. There are approx. 1.85 million Android applications out there, so you can imagine the possibility in the future, taskbar with their own windows.
Microsoft has opened new doors for Android application development and tried to provide more accessibility from smartphones to desktop/PCs. However, this is a humble start by Microsoft but it has created broader scope for apps to be used on multiple OS platforms.
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