One of the features promised during the Windows 11 run-up was that it would be able to natively run Android applications. The Windows Subsystem for Android fulfills that promise. The WSA is officially out of preview.
Before you start installing the new feature there are some of those pesky requirements to contemplate. At the bare minimum you’ll need 8 gigs of RAM, an SSD storage device, and i-3 or Ryzen 3000 series CPU. However, like all things PC, the minimum specs will probably leave you unsatisfied with the performance. 16GB and an i-5 or Ryzen 5000 series will let Android apps run like they do on your phone or tablet.
I have an i-7, 16GB, an SSD, and discrete GPU in my laptop. I tested out several apps, they all ran fine. I was able to play War Robots, a 3-D mech warrior clone, without lagging or other issues. Even on-line matches worked well. It should be noted that not all apps are supported, and some will suffer from re-sizing issues depending on how they were coded.
You should also be aware that the Amazon App store is the only supported option for installing apps at the moment. If you are so inclined, there are a few posts on-line that explain how to hack the system into running other famous app stores along with getting direct APK files to install and run.
Installing the Windows Subsystem for Android is a simple matter. Open the Windows App store and install the Amazon App store. Yes, I know that sounds weird but nonetheless it is correct. If you have issues, make sure that the virtualization features of your processor are enabled. These settings are accessed in the UEFI BIOS. Microsoft has published this handy document that has links to most manufacturers’ instructions. Typically, the options are enabled by default in my experience.
I’ve already found the feature useful for testing Android apps and playing a few Android games. Outside of development and techs playing around, I’m not so sure the feature will catch on. The Amazon Appstore is missing some key apps. I had hoped to install the Microsoft Authenticator app for some end user documentation efforts but found that it isn’t available. If Microsoft can secure support for Google Play store the mass appeal will be stronger. It remains to be seen if that’s in the cards.