Microsoft is killing support for running Android apps on Windows 11

GothardJ2

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Well this is both surprising, but also not surprising at all. The experience of running Android apps on Windows has always been subpar. especially with Phone Link doing a much better job. I'd think that Microsoft might want to put more effort into getting more Phone Link features on other Android Phone Manufacturer's devices. I wonder if Microsoft, and other partners have seen that Phone Link is paying off and moving resources from WSA to work on Phone Link would help get feature parity across device manufacturers.

I would also think that Google would want to start working closer with Microsoft on this, especially with both being "Gatekeepers" in the EU. At the end of the day, anything Google can do to help get their app store on Windows over the Amazon store has to be good for them, right?
 
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ShinyProton

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Again.
They teased about the feature for years... Then failed to fully deliver outside this badly crippled version with a laughable number of useless apps.
Now, they pull the plug. Pathetic.
 
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naddy69

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I always thought this was a bad idea. Running the apps from a competing OS is never a good idea. It might be a short-term boost, but in the long run it will do more harm than good. IBM OS/2 taught us THAT lesson.

Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
 

NConley9

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Just in time for Windows tablets to explode in popularity with the Core Ultra series and Snapdragon X Elite. This is the most Microsoft decision to ever Microsoft.
 

Gabe Szabo

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Well, this is totally infuriating. They pull the plug, while most markets weren't even ever supported. I wasn't even able to try the feature out because of the half-assed launch and support.

Meanwhile, the joke widgets app on Windows 11 which still won't allow devs to add their own widgets, and "Start" get their support, and Bing has like 5 different versions and a dedicated janky Android app available with some custom browser monster instead of them simply using and supporting Edge.

We're getting close to Microsoft having to "Hit Refresh" once again, I feel. Panos leaving, Xbox going multiplatform, big layoffs everywhere, Surface not innovating and in decline, Duo killed off, Microsoft Launcher not getting features, the Microsoft-branded accessories being killed/spun off... We were here once before. Microsoft will probably realize once again that they have to have a leg in the consumer markets as well to drive the business side, after slowly draining all resources from consumer-facing products.
 

Jack Pipsam

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This was one of their main advertising features of Windows 11 lol.

I suppose they couldn't figure out a way to shove Copilot into it so it wasn't worth investing in any further 🥴
 

th3disturbed

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Add it to the graveyard. This was the only reason why I still own a surface pro. Even though had to mess around and get my own apks it gave me a few things I wanted from a tablet while keeping a pc.
 

bradavon

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This is the right move. It always was a silly idea and was never all that useful. Like MacOS supporting iPAD apps.

It's all rather silly and not very useful. There was nowhere near enough Apps on the store to make it worthwhile.
 
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I'm sad about losing WSA. It was great for sideloading APKs and testing your own Android apps (instead of deploying them to an emulator or real device).

The official use case with the Amazon Store sucked though. Bearly any useful app but filled to the brim with scammy mobile games.
 
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Starfals

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After years of hype, this is how it ends? Lol Microsucks. I actually know people that are VERY disappointed from this. Hek, even myself a little bit. There was a guy that even go to Windows 11 just for that haha. 1 less selling point i guess.
 

HeyCori

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This likely has a lot to do with Amazon moving away from their Android fork and switching to their own in-house OS. Kinda hard to justify supporting an Android based Amazon app store if there isn't one.
 

fjtorres5591

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"There's little use for Android apps on Windows..."

Actually, there is a need for lightweight standalone apps, a space that widgets and PWAs are *not* filling but android apps do fill. The comparison to OS/2 doesn't really work because nobody would replace a native windows application with a barely supported Android applet. Android support is to bring phone applets to tge desktop.

Now, if MS is going to be serious about widgets and use them for more than ads, they have a year to get their act in gear. They can start by getting banks and utilities, among others, to adapt their android apps into Windows widgets.

Conversely, Bluestacks and other Android emulators have a year to up their game, especially in the support arena.
 

GraniteStateColin

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Well, this is totally infuriating. They pull the plug, while most markets weren't even ever supported. I wasn't even able to try the feature out because of the half-assed launch and support.

Meanwhile, the joke widgets app on Windows 11 which still won't allow devs to add their own widgets, and "Start" get their support, and Bing has like 5 different versions and a dedicated janky Android app available with some custom browser monster instead of them simply using and supporting Edge.

We're getting close to Microsoft having to "Hit Refresh" once again, I feel. Panos leaving, Xbox going multiplatform, big layoffs everywhere, Surface not innovating and in decline, Duo killed off, Microsoft Launcher not getting features, the Microsoft-branded accessories being killed/spun off... We were here once before. Microsoft will probably realize once again that they have to have a leg in the consumer markets as well to drive the business side, after slowly draining all resources from consumer-facing products.

Largely agree, except for Xbox going multiplatform -- that was a false rumor.
 

GraniteStateColin

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Frustrating. We have built WSA into our Android app testing processes. It's actually one of the best and easiest ways to develop Android apps and provide broad QA outside a test team with dedicated hardware.

I loved this feature and felt I was just barely starting to take advantage. Very sad to lose it. Between WSA and WSL, a few of our die-hard Linux fans were finally opening up to using Windows. This will set that back.
 

GraniteStateColin

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This likely has a lot to do with Amazon moving away from their Android fork and switching to their own in-house OS. Kinda hard to justify supporting an Android based Amazon app store if there isn't one.

Is Amazon doing that? Are they moving away from the Kindle Fire? What's their in-house OS?

When I first saw this, I figured the logic was either lack of use by Windows users, so MS decided it wasn't worth continuing to support, or what you said, that Amazon is changing directions. Between those, I really don't know which is the key driver (or if it's something else or a combination).
 

naddy69

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"The comparison to OS/2 doesn't really work"

I think you are missing my point. OS/2 ran Windows 3.1 apps so well - in fact, better than real Windows 3.1 - that no one bothered to create native OS/2 apps. Which helped to kill OS/2. By the time Windows 95 and NT 4 came along, OS/2 was dead.

So if there is a need for "lightweight standalone apps", and these can be had via Android emulation, who is going to bother to write a native Windows app/widget/PWA? Developers love nothing more than having less platforms to support, which means fewer app versions to support. Which means less headaches all around.

Again, running your competitor's apps is not a viable, long-term solution. It's actually an admission that you are in decline and are desperate for new apps. As more devs see that "I can get Android users and Windows users with a single Android app", the situation only gets worse over time. It creates a downward spiral that Windows does not need to be in.
 
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HeyCori

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Is Amazon doing that? Are they moving away from the Kindle Fire? What's their in-house OS?

When I first saw this, I figured the logic was either lack of use by Windows users, so MS decided it wasn't worth continuing to support, or what you said, that Amazon is changing directions. Between those, I really don't know which is the key driver (or if it's something else or a combination).

According to Ars, the code name is Vega. And according to The Verge, the Echo Show 5 is already running it. I'd imagine the Fire tablets will likely get the same treatment soon.

 

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