Windows 11: see how to install any Android app in beta version

Microsoft has released the first preview version of the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) for users of the new operating system’s Insider program, allowing the installation of mobile apps, but enthusiasts have realized that the service offering on the Amazon Appstore is still limited. However, the portal Bleeping Computer detected that it is possible to download any type of APK using the Android Debug Bridge (adb) tool.

It was also identified that the Amazon store is automatically downloaded with the purchase of the subsystem, and the options offered were selected to test and validate a large number of hardware variations, with more apps being made available in the coming months.

Amazon Appstore preview with sample apps.Source: Playback/Bleeping Computer

installation tutorial

Check out a brief guide to acquiring and using more options that are out of the current list offered by Microsoft. Importantly, they can be downloaded from sites like APKPure or APKMirror, but not all of them work on Windows.

The Google Play Store, for example, can even be installed, but it doesn’t run, making it impossible to use applications that depend on the company’s services. It also didn’t detail what types of access apps have on the OS, so make sure the content isn’t malicious.

Before starting the procedure, it is important to emphasize that the use of Android apps needs to meet some requirements. In addition to running Windows 11 on a compatible PC and in beta version, the user must enter the system region for the United States and have an Amazon account located in the country.

In addition, the process requires system virtualization to be enabled in BIOS/UEFI. With everything set up and the Windows for Android subsystem running, follow the steps below to install external apps.

  • After securing the Windows Subsystem for Android, download the desired app from APKPure or APKMirror.
  • Download the latest version of Android SDK Platform-tools 31.0.3 for Windows and extract the file to its internal storage.
  • Go to the “Start” menu and open Windows Subsystem for Android. Then an options window will appear, so look for and enable the “Developer Mode” option. Afterwards, copy the IP address exposed in the interface. If you don’t find the number, click on “Refresh” and, if it still doesn’t appear, go to the “Files” option at the top of the screen to make sure the subsystem is working.

Subsystem interface with highlightsSubsystem interface with highlights.Source: Playback/Bleeping Computer

  • Open the Command Prompt and make a CD (change directory) to the folder where you extracted the Android SDK Platform-tools 31.0.3 from step 2. If the file is in C:Platform-tools, for example, type “cd c :platform-tools” and press “Enter”.
  • You will now be in the Android SDK tool folder, so write “adb connect ipaddress”, where “ipadress” is the number you copied in step 3 — it will look like “adb connect 172.30.204.180”, for example.
  • Install the APK using the order “adb install apk” with the file name and its location. As a reference, if it’s called “com.innersloth.spacemafia_2021.6.30-967_minAPI23(arm64-v8a,armeabi-v7a)(nodpi)_apkmirror.com.apk” and it’s in “Downloads”, use the command “adb install %UserProfile %downloadscom.innersloth.spacemafia_2021.6.30-967_minAPI23(arm64-v8a,armeabi-v7a)(nodpi)_apkmirror.com.apk”.
  • Close the “Command Prompt” and open your app, which is now listed in the “Start” menu. If the app doesn’t work, support is not yet implemented in Windows 11.

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