Microsoft enhances Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11 with major update

Devesh Beri

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Microsoft has released an update (2306.40000.4.0) for Windows Subsystem for Android™ on Windows 11 for all Windows Insider channels. The update brings several improvements and requested features, including camera compatibility enhancements and a fullscreen mode that displays the hover taskbar for a better mouse and touch experience with F11.

Meanwhile, yesterday Google’s Nearby Share for Windows officially launched, which would facilitate seamless file transfers between Android and Windows devices.

Under the advanced settings, there are significant changes: “Local networking” replaces “Advanced networking,” allowing Android apps to connect with devices on the same network, respect Windows firewall rules, and work with VPNs on all versions of Windows 11.

The update also introduces the option to change default shared folders in “Share user folders” under advanced settings. Additionally, the subsystem will prompt users if an app tries to use permission that the subsystem doesn’t have.

Furthermore, the update includes a switch from EROFS to EXT4 for read-only disks, fixes for OneDrive folders not appearing in Android apps, support for drag and drop with more file types, and UI buttons enhancements in the picture-in-picture mode.

For devices with at least 16 GB of memory, the partially running mode is now enabled by default. Stability fixes are targeted explicitly at Arm devices, and the Linux kernel has been updated to version 5.15.104. Lastly, the update brings security updates for Android 13.

Overall, it’s clear that this comprehensive update seeks to create a smoother, more secure, and feature-rich experience for users leveraging Android apps on the Windows 11 platform.

Here is the full list:

  • Camera compatibility improvements.
  • Fullscreen mode with F11 now displays hover taskbar to improve mouse and touch experience.
  • Local networking (under Advanced settings – Experimental features) now replacing “Advanced networking”. Android apps can connect to devices on the same network, on all versions of Windows 11, respect Windows firewall rules, and work with VPNs.
  • Share user folders (under Advanced settings – Experimental features) now gives users the option to change their default shared folder.
  • The subsystem will now prompt if an app is trying to use a permission that the subsystem does not have.
  • The subsystem has switched from EROFS to EXT4 for read-only disks.
  • Fix for OneDrive folders not showing up in Android apps.
  • Support for drag and drop for more file types.
  • Improvements to picture-in-picture (new UI buttons when in PIP).
  • Partially running mode now enabled by default for devices with at least 16 GB of memory.
  • Stability fixes for Arm devices.
  • Linux kernel updated to 5.15.104.
  • Android 13 security updates.