You'll be able to sideload Android apps in Windows 11

Microsoft Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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It was announced that Windows 11 (opens in new tab) will have built-in support for Android apps, and there was much rejoicing. This is good news for anyone who wants to play games like Diablo Immortal on PC without having to download a third-party program full of ads. However, it was also announced that those apps will be available on the Microsoft Store via a partnership with Amazon's Android app store. What about apps that aren't on Amazon, or people who would rather not give their money to Jeff Bezos?

Miguel de Icaza, distinguished engineer at Microsoft, has been on Twitter assuring people that apps will run even if they aren't obtained from Amazon (opens in new tab). Android programs are bundled as apk files, and apparently you'll be able to "bring your own" (opens in new tab) and sideload them.

So yes, if you've got a library of apks from somewhere like itch.io (opens in new tab), or are particularly attached to anything from the open-source app library at F-Droid (opens in new tab), they'll run in Windows 11. Here's everything we know about Windows 11's release date, pricing, and what it means for games.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.