There aren’t a ton of great ways to run Android apps on Windows, but there are several official methods on the horizon. Microsoft announced last year that Android apps would run on Windows 11 thanks to a partnership with Amazon. Windows 11 is widely available now, but the Android functionality is only beginning to roll out in preview. Even when it’s ready, you might not be able to enjoy this particular feature. Microsoft has provided recommended specs for Android apps, and you’ll need some serious hardware, reports PC World.
Microsoft’s new support page for Android app functionality says you need at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB is recommended. 16GB is pretty standard for high-end office machines and baseline gaming, but plenty of PCs still come with 8GB. Those machines will probably have a bad time running any hefty Android apps. Some computers even still have 4GB of RAM, and they won’t be able to run Android apps. After all, most basic Android phones only have 4GB of RAM, and they’re not running a full desktop operating system on the side.
It’ll probably be a little easier to hit the storage spec — Microsoft says you’ll need an SSD rather than a spinning drive. SSDs have considerably faster performance than even the most efficient traditional hard drives. The CPU situation will rule out more machines, though. On the Intel side, you need at least an 8th Gen Core i3, which launched in 2017. AMD fans will have a little more trouble as they need a Ryzen 3000-series, which came out in 2019. Yes, even those beefy 8-core second-gen chips won’t work. It’s unlikely this is a matter of raw power — Ryzen 3000 only boosted performance by about 15 percent. The newer Zen 2 and Zen 3 Ryzens may support technologies that Microsoft needs. For the very few Snapdragon-powered Windows machines, you’ll need the Snapdragon 8c or above. Regardless of your hardware, you’ll need to be on the new February update.
If you have a Windows computer from the last few years, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to run Android apps on it. Assuming, of course, you can run Windows 11, which requires a TPM. It should not come as a surprise that Microsoft needs so much power to run Android apps. Virtualization always comes with some overhead, especially when moving between computing platforms. Even Google is not immune. The Android maker announced a beta for its own Google Play Games on Windows, allowing you to get content from its store rather than Amazon’s. It requires at least eight CPU threads, 8GB of RAM, an SSD, and a “gaming-class” GPU. That last one will be tough in an era when video cards go for twice their MSRP. By that standard, Microsoft’s system requirements are downright reasonable.