A software developer has managed to install the Google Play Store on Windows 11, allowing users to download and use official Android apps on their PCs without emulation.
ADeltaX, a UX designer at the University of Trento in Italy, has posted instructions on GitHub and a 10-minute tutorial video on YouTube.
The process is elaborate and involves using a Linux distro to create a modified version of the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA).
WSA is the new component that enables support for Android apps on Windows 11 installed via the Microsoft Store.
The workaround should probably not be attempted by those inexperienced with coding in Linux or Windows, but several users have reported the app store is functional and that their downloaded Android apps are working as intended on Windows 11.
The full video with instructions on installing the Google Play Store on Windows 11 is embedded below.
Integrated support for Android apps was a major feature Microsoft announced for Windows 11 but was not ready by its launch in early October.
Last week, Microsoft started to allow Windows Insider beta users in the US to try out Android apps through the Amazon Appstore hosted in the Microsoft Store.
These apps support Windows features like Snap Layouts, pinning to the Start menu or Taskbar, and interaction via mouse, touch, or pen input.
They are also integrated into the Alt+Tab task switcher, allowing users to move between them quickly.
For users who already have access, the apps can be found on the new Microsoft Store. If they choose to download the app, they are redirected to the Amazon Appstore, which will handle the installation and updating of the apps.
Testing using this official method currently only supports a limited pool of apps, including a few mobile games, reading apps, and kids’ apps.
ADeltaX’s workaround allows access to all of the apps on the Google Play Store and does not require users to go through Microsoft’s official channel via the Amazon Appstore.
Certain apps do not work, including those that require OpenGL support.