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Microsoft engineer confirms you can sideload Android APKs on Windows 11

The confirmation comes from Miguel de Icaza, who works for Microsoft and developed the GNOME project, among others.

Published onJune 25, 2021

Windows 11 Hero
  • Famed software engineer Miguel de Icaza confirmed on Twitter that you will be able to sideload Android APKs in Windows 11.
  • Microsoft revealed yesterday that Windows 11 will support Android apps through the Microsoft Store via the Amazon App Store. But it seems you’ll be able to install your own APKs from anywhere.
  • It isn’t clear exactly how this will all work yet, but this is certainly exciting news.

Yesterday, Microsoft surprised us all by announcing that Windows 11 will support native Android app installation. Using the Microsoft Store, you’ll be able to search for, install, and use Android apps right on your PC. This is possible through an integration of the Amazon App Store.

However, a big question loomed over the announcement: would you be able to sideload Android APKs on Windows 11? Sideloading apps would allow you to install Android programs from outside the Microsoft Store, which would give you a much larger potential library.

Related: Microsoft officially announces Windows 11, coming this Fall as a free upgrade

It seems the answer to that question is “yes,” at least according to famed engineer Miguel de Icaza. Miguel is responsible for numerous software projects, including GNOME, and currently works at Microsoft. However, his Twitter bio explicitly says “Working at Microsoft, not speaking for them,” so we need to take this news with some skepticism.

Still, Miguel’s pedigree in the software space is very high, so it’s likely he’s correct on this news.

Of course, it’s not quite clear how sideloading Android APKs on Windows 11 will work. Will you be able to simply download an APK as you would an EXE, double-click it, and install it? Or will there be some sort of workaround protocol? We’ll need to wait to see how this develops.

In the meantime, though, you can get even more excited about Windows 11 landing this Fall!

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