On Windows 11, you can use Windows Subsystem for Android to download, install and run mobile apps on your desktop alongside the native apps. Microsoft officially allows users to install apps from Amazon Appstore, but the company also lets you sideload Android via the command line (ADB tools).
However, there’s a catch – the official command line way to sideload apps can be complex and lengthy. With a third-party tool called “WSATools”, you can easily sideload your favourite APK. WSATools acts as a GUI that replicate ADB commands in the background and lets you install Android apps with a few clicks.
WSATools is in the Microsoft Store and is getting a new update with two new features – support for APK Bundles and ARM64. For those unaware, APK Bundles are a new way to distribute Android apps, and Google introduced the new packaging system in 2018. Unlike APK, app bundles help save storage space and data usage.
To get started, make sure you have enabled WSA and download “WSATools” from the Microsoft Store. Run the app and follow the on-screen prompts. If ADB ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is missing, click the Install button to add the ADB tool. Android bridging is necessary to run Android apps, so you must install it.
Once done, you can reopen the app and choose an APK file or APK Bundle you want to install. WSATools handles APK files and APK Bundles associations in Windows 11, so you can right-click on any Android file and install it using WSATools
Windows 11’s Android subsystem progress
Microsoft recently released several updates for Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11 with a focus on performance, camera experiences, graphics, and more.
In February’s update, Microsoft made several framerate-related improvements and observed a 10-20% bump in frame rates on ARM-based PCs running the Windows Subsystem for Android.
On the other hand, traditional x64 PCs benefited more, with frame rates increasing by 40-50%, which is a lot.
These improvements are fascinating if you play Android games on Windows via WSA or rely on streaming services like Netflix.
Other than performance and bug fixes, the recent changes to the WSA platform aren’t that huge. One of the last significant updates brought Android 13 support to Windows 11, and Microsoft is likely planning to publish additional Android 13 improvements in the coming weeks.
The future updates will primarily focus on audio experiences or camera, performance, GPU, gaming control and more.