Microsoft began testing Android applications on Windows 11 PCs in October, in collaboration with Amazon and its app store
Microsoft began testing Android applications on Windows 11 PCs in October, in collaboration with Amazon and its app store. However, the feature was limited to about 50 apps and was only available to beta testers in the Windows 11 Insider Program. With the addition of the Amazon Appstore Preview to the Microsoft Store, the firm is now able to reach a wider audience. The Microsoft Store currently has over 1,000 applications and games.
Microsoft is also releasing a revamped Media Player and Notepad program, as well as some enhancements to the Windows Taskbar.
Previously, Android app beta testers could check out programs such as Amazon’s Kindle app, The Washington Post, Clash of Kings, Coin Master, and Lego Duplo World. The experience is powered by Intel’s Bridge Technology and is developed on the Android platform using the new Windows Subsystem for Android. However, both AMD and Intel machines are supported as long as they fulfill the Windows 11 hardware requirements.
The Amazon Appstore Preview’s extended access began rolling out earlier this morning, as engineering preparation work was required to stage the experience. The fully integrated experience, however, was not yet available.
In conjunction with Amazon, Windows 11 customers in the United States may now visit the Amazon Appstore Preview and download over 1,000 additional applications and games, including top apps like Audible, Subway Surfers, Lords Mobile, Khan Academy Kids, and others. To get started, customers must first open their Microsoft Store and then update it (click Get updates in Microsoft Store > Library). The Amazon Appstore will then allow you to search for and download your favorite applications and games. The aim is that the applications would operate in such a way that they seem like they’re part of Windows, integrating with Windows input and windowing experiences such as Snap layouts.
Improvements to the taskbar are also being sent out today. The revamped taskbar in Windows 11 drew a lot of criticism from users who didn’t like the fact that it was now locked to the bottom of the screen and didn’t enable them to set their own shortcuts. Microsoft has been listening to user complaints and has been working on a solution, but today’s update is focused on a different set of difficulties.
The secondary monitor’s taskbar will now display the clock and date; the left-hand corner of the taskbar will now display live weather content; and Microsoft Teams customers (with work or school accounts) will be able to mute, unmute, and share any window from the taskbar to make video calls go more smoothly.
These features will be available in the non-security preview release in February 2022.
In the meanwhile, the Media Player app has been updated to include enhanced keyboard shortcuts and access keys for keyboard users, as well as other accessibility enhancements. In addition, the Notepad app now has a new user interface that includes design elements from Windows 11, such as Dark Mode compatibility, streamlined menus, and other desired improvements such as multi-level undo, colorful emoji, and improved find-and-replace functionality.
These updates may be requested by navigating to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and selecting Check for Updates.
In addition to the yearly update, Microsoft says it expects to upgrade Windows 11 more regularly in 2022.