Android app support might come to Xbox consoles (update: it's not)

jsilva

Posts: 200   +1
Staff

Update (Sept 6): A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed there are "no plans" to introduce support for the Windows 11 Android subsystem to Xbox consoles anytime soon. Like in many other Microsoft Store apps, the Windows Subsystem for Android system requirements were misrepresentative of the app compatibility.

We already know that Windows 11 will support Android apps, but it looks like it won't be the only Microsoft product to have this feature. As per the listing of the Windows subsystem for Android found in the Microsoft Store, it looks like Android app support for Xbox consoles will be a thing.

When Microsoft announced Windows 11, it was made clear that the upcoming OS would support Android apps through Amazon Appstore. However, it seems Microsoft's plans to bring Android apps to its products aren't limited to Windows.

Microsoft recently added a listing for the Windows subsystem for Android on the Microsoft Store. According to its system requirements, you'll need an Arm64 or x64-based system running Windows 10 22000.0 or higher with 8GB (minimum) or 16GB (recommended) or an Xbox One. For now, the tool seems to be only available for PC, despite system requirements stating it will also support Xbox One.

There are multiple reasons for Microsoft listing the tool as being supported by Xbox One. The first that comes to mind is to bring Android apps to Xbox, bringing a slew of apps and games to console users at no extra cost. Another possibility is to allow developers to try Android apps on consoles for some unknown reason.

Microsoft's plans to add this functionality on Xbox One don't seem far-fetched, considering that Windows 10/11 and Xbox OSs have much in common. In Windows 11, support for Android apps works by acquiring the app/game through Amazon Appstore and using Intel Bridge technology to run it. It's not a question of "is it possible?" but more "is it worth it?"

Android apps like Reddit, Discord, Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, productivity apps, and games would be a welcome addition to the Xbox environment, expanding its capabilities considerably to the point of calling the console a decent budget PC.

Image credit: AsmodeanUnderscore, (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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FF222

Posts: 275   +225
"were misrepresentative of the app compatibility."
And with that Microsoft actually means, that even though technically there's nothing hindering running the subsystem also on Xbox (they probably even tested it on the console), but they ultimately decided not to offer that capability, because then (ie. if games could be bought also through the Android app stores for the Xbox) they'd obviously lose out on (or at least share) all the royalties they're getting from Xbox game sales, and their partners couldn't sell virtually the same games for 3-10x the price for the Xbox than for smartphones either.
 

Reehahs

Posts: 1,269   +939
I used to think the only good product Microsoft made was the Xbox controller. But they’ve messed that up too now.

The controller itself is the quality you expect, it is just the Bluetooth issue that really stinks it up. Microsoft warranty replacement service was quick as well but the issue with the product so it remains unresolved despite the replacement controller.

I had planned to replace my aging wired 360 controller for PC but still stuck with the wire despite getting a Bluetooth enabled carbon black Xbox controller.

In the end it boils to this: 'I paid for all the cylinders so I am going to use all of them!'.