Google's decision could affect how we run Android apps on Windows 11

Reading time icon 2 min. read

Readers help support Windows Report. We may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tooltip Icon

Read our disclosure page to find out how can you help Windows Report sustain the editorial team Read more

Key notes

  • Developers that want to list their apps in the Google Play Store still use the default APK format for publishing.
  • Google is now planning to change this, by eliminating APKs and introducing Android App Bundles instead.
  • This decision could seriously affect Microsoft's capability to deliver Android apps natively to the new OS.
  • When Microsoft announced Windows 11, they also stated that users could sideload apps through the Amazon App Store.
Google Android app format change

If you weren’t aware, know that Google has just announced a major change for developers that want to list their apps on the Google Play Store, a change that could have a great impact on the Android app ecosystem.

For the moment, the default format for app publishing is APK, but according to Google, starting with August, the new system will require developers to post apps as Android App Bundle.

Developers will have to say goodbye to APKs

As you probably know, running Android apps via the Amazon App store is considered to be one of the biggest features of Windows 11. However, Google has decided to complicate things a bit.

Even though not many users are happy with Microsoft’s decision to sideload apps through another Store, that isn’t Microsoft’s own, or the Google Play Store, the situation got even more convoluted than before.

Even considering that this change only applies to new apps listed on the Google Play Store starting August 2021, this decision casts a shadow over Microsoft’s Android aspirations for the new OS.

So, as we mentioned above, the new Android App Bundle format will therefore replace APK as the standard publishing format. Note that over one million apps are already using the Android App Bundle format.

Is Google trying to somehow sabotage Microsoft’s plans?

Nobody is saying that this shift that Google has announced is directly aimed at Microsoft’s plans to bring Android apps to their new operating system, but some are definitely considering it.

This is mainly because Google’s announcement comes just days after Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 and its ability to let you sideload Android apps as APKs.

Google’s controversial switch to App Bundles could mean that there will be even fewer apps available to run on Windows 11, although you’ll also be able to get Android apps on Windows 11 from the Amazon Appstore.

Its still early, and Microsoft plans to release the new OS somewhere towards the end of the year. This gives the company plenty of time to rethink its strategy and come up with a solution.

All we can do now is wait and hope that the tech giant will indeed find some middle ground with Google and actually deliver the possibility to use Android apps natively on Windows 11.

What is your opinion on this whole situation? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

More about the topics: Windows 11