This is pretty wild – the full-fledged Google Play Store, with access to all Android apps, is already up and running on Microsoft’s new operating system! As reported by The Verge, an Italian user experience design student has not only achieved this, but then went on to post his tutorial on Youtube for anyone else who wants to benefit from it as well.
Going by the name ADeltaX, the user managed this via Ubuntu using the Windows Subsystem for Linux, or WSL for short. The step-by-step instructions can also be found on GitHub, but if you’re a more visual person like I am, you’ll probably just want to watch below.
If you’re very much like me, you’re not really interested in punching in a bunch of terminal commands to make things happen, so for that reason, ADeltaX also created a Windows Store app called WSATools that automates the install of APKs on Windows outside of the Amazon App store.
Windows Insiders recently gained access to the Amazon marketplace for Android apps, but as of right now, it’s limited to a measly 50 or so titles. In my opinion, this makes it near useless, and it’s awesome to see that someone has already cracked the case on allowing the real deal app store from Google to run on its competitor’s hardware.
Do I think this is going to make Chromebooks yesterday’s news? Nope! In fact, I think that the simplicity and streamlined user experience of Chrome OS compared to the convoluted, complex developer nature of Windows (even with Windows 11’s improvements to the UX design) means that both ecosystems will continue to co-exist. I also feel that for people like me and probably even you, being able to run just about any Android app wherever you are – regardless of your OS – means that your workflow and productivity can increase and remain unshattered even as you’re required to use different devices for work and play.
Anyways, The Verge ended up getting the Play Store running on their machine in just about 30 minutes, so it’s not a long process, even if it is slightly complicated for those unfamiliar with the process. I will just caution you though that I in no way endorse you doing this if you’re not comfortable or well-equipped. (Insert obligatory disclaimer here). I just thought this was incredibly cool and wanted to share it with you all! Oh, and there’s no telling when or if Microsoft can or will shut this endeavor down, so there that.
With that being said, am I going to try this for myself? You bet! Especially since I’ve been running Windows 11 Insider Preview for the past few months and have compared Chrome OS to it for better and worse. It’s a decent OS that borrowed more than a few things from Google’s Chromebooks in order to draw in new and previously jaded users, but for day-to-day use outside of game development, I’m sticking to Chrome OS.