Android Apps on Windows: The Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Android has just received a major update

Microsoft has updated the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) to Android 12.1 and made improvements to Android’s integration with Windows, Web, App Camera, Settings app, and more.

Android on Windows was a crazy but slowly seething affair that launched on Windows 11 in October with very few apps to be installed from the Amazon Appstore. Microsoft released 1,000 additional games and applications to general users in February, but there are minimum hardware requirements, and the Amazon Appstore is still only available in the US.

Current limitations aside, Microsoft continues to invest in porting Android to Windows 11, as seen in WSA Update for Windows 11 (version 2204.40000.15) to Android 12.1, which is available for Insiders on the Dev Channel, according to a Microsoft blog post. WSA launched with Android 11.

SEE: Best Android Phones: Better Than iPhone?

Microsoft has improved networking in the Windows subsystem for Android so Android applications can connect to devices on the same network as your Windows PC. Advanced network connectivity allows users to configure smart home devices such as speakers and security cameras with a compatible Android application. This feature is available in preview of Windows 11 22621 and later, with Advanced Networking by default on new builds of Windows x64.

The integration of Android with Windows has also been improved. Windows taskbar icons now show which Android apps are currently using hardware features like microphone and system tray location.

The taskbar now also properly appears or disappears when applications are running or stopped. Android notifications also appear as Windows notifications and the title of the Android application now reflects the title of the Android activity. Android apps won’t restart after exiting connected standby, but will instead resume where the app was paused.

Among the “many camera updates” in this release, Microsoft highlights that camera orientation is fixed to natural orientation and that incorrect camera previews, lettering (where the application window is wider than tall or longer horizontally), and “image squashing” have been fixed. from the camera “.

Fixed the mouse and keyboard inputs in the Windows subsystem for Android. Microsoft also improved support for the scroll wheel, fixed the on-screen keyboard focus, and ensured that the on-screen keyboard was displayed correctly.

The updated Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app has a redesigned UX and diagnostic data viewer. As of this update, the collection of telemetry data is disabled by default. However, Microsoft encourages users to turn this setting on so that it can collect data about the use of Android applications.

SEE: Windows 11 security: how to protect your home and small business computers

Other major updates include reducing flicker when restoring applications from a minimized state, adding VP8 and VP9 hardware video decoding, and adding Chromium WebView 100 to the Windows subsystem for Android.

A few known issues remain, including camera instability on Arm devices, shaky printing via Android apps, layout issues with apps rendered at lower resolutions, and some VPNs may not work with the advanced network.

“Some previously available applications may be missing from the environment, fail to launch, or malfunctioning under various known issues. We are working with our partners to solve these problems as soon as possible, ”warns Microsoft.

It will likely be a while before more Android apps arrive on Windows 11. Currently, Amazon is not accepting new Amazon Appstore submissions for Windows 11 devices beyond the 1,000 apps it selected for the program in February.

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