WSATools creator explains why APK sideloader was removed from the Microsoft Store [Update]

WSATools home screen that reads welcome

Simone Franco, the developer who has made WSATools has shared on his blog post why his app was removed by Microsoft from the latter's Store. For those who don't know, WSATools is a third-party app that helps users sideload Android apps on Windows 11 without going into the tricky process of using the Android Debug Bridge (adb) command-line tool method.

There was a bit of a ruckus surrounding this matter since Microsoft had seemingly removed the app from the Microsoft Store but provided "zero explanations" about the reason for the removal. However, the company had later "apologized" to the developer in a follow-up mail it sent and had also laid out the rationale for the removal.

Franco had already declared earlier that the reasons were indeed "rightful" and has since decided to share them on his blog.

As it turns out, Franco had sneakily published the app on to the Microsoft Store (which is why it was available privately) after it had failed the initial Microsoft certification check process. However, the app was caught by the automatic certification checker during a later WSATools update 0.1.56. That's why it was removed the second time, he believes.

From what I've understood, WSATools had one of these automatic certification checks the day after the 0.1.56 update was pushed, and it was removed

Moreover, Franco says that Microsoft also isn't too thrilled about the "WSATools" name itself as WSA or Windows Subsystem for Android is an official terminology.

WSATools has... WSA. Microsoft doesn't like this, even if "WSA" is not trademarked, but I understand why. They don't want the app to be believed or misunderstood to be official.

Microsoft has suggested that the app's name be either changed or it is made abundantly clear that WSATools has nothing to do with Microsoft itself. After this is done, Franco says that the app will be available on the Microsoft Store publicly sometime next year. For now, the app can be downloaded via this link.

Interestingly, the blog mentions "two rules" that were broken but seems to only talk about the WSATools nomenclature issue after that. That's the "second rule" according to Franco's own words.

We have reached out to the developer for clarification on this matter and shall update the post once more information is available to us.

Source: Simone Franco blog


Update: We had contacted Simone Franco, the developer of WSATools, for clarification on the matter of what the two broken rules for Microsoft Store were since - unlike the "second rule" - the first one wasn't clearly stated in his blog post. The developer responded back generously to our request.

Here is his response:

the first one is that the app must work for the majority of users since the app is based on WSA, that is a feature only available in insider builds + only in the US, then it won't work for a lot of people (regular/not insider users and even users outside of the US)

Essentially, the WSATools app requires the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) installed as a prerequisite but that is only available in the Beta and the Dev channel builds for Windows 11 insiders, and not a GA feature. Also, WSA is only available in the U.S. region for now.

Microsoft has also provided an easy solution to address this problem by basically clarifying these requirements clearly in the WSATools' store listing.

they told me I can solve this by making these dependencies clear in the store listing

While we are on that topic, here are the system requirements for WSATools as per the GitHub listing:

  • Windows 11

  • Windows Subsystem for Android app

  • Inside it, enable "Developer Mode" and set the Subsystem Resources to "Continuous"

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