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Windows 11 Update: Android apps and more new features coming soon

Android apps will be available for Windows 11 users to test from next month, Microsoft says, along with plenty of other helpful features for PC owners.

The long-awaited addition of Android apps will be available as a public preview for the first time and it seems they will be part of the the first major Windows 11 update for the best laptops and desktop PCs since its launch last year.

The Android apps were part of a limited test for Insiders last year, but Microsoft is now ready to make them public ahead of a full launch of the Amazon App Store for Android within the Windows Store.

They’ll be joined by new versions of the Media Player and Notepad, according to Windows chief Panos Panay in a blog post on Wednesday. Panay also said taskbar improvements are on the way too, including the ability to mute and unmute calls. Weather is also coming to the taskbar too.

It’s not clear when the first major Windows 11 update will be available to the public, but it might be a few months from now. Microsoft likes to give its beta testers plenty of time to put updates and improvements through their paces before a public launch.

The company usually aims to offer twice annual updates for Windows, but it’s unclear whether this will continue in the Windows 11 era. Considering Windows 11 arrived on October 5, we might be looking at around April for the first Windows 11 update.

In the post, Panay said: “Next month we’re bringing new experiences to Windows that include a public preview of how you can use Android apps on Windows 11 through the Microsoft Store and our partnerships with Amazon and Intel, taskbar improvements with call mute and unmute, easier window sharing and bringing weather to the taskbar, plus the introduction of two new redesigned apps, Notepad and Media Player.”

When the preview builds begin to drop we should get our first look at how the Android app integration will work and get our first look at those redesigned Media and Notepad apps. The new taskbar hasn’t been a massive hit, as yet, so we’re interested to see Microsoft’s improvements.

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