Microsoft expands Android app support on Windows 11 and releases major update to Android Subsystem

Pranav Bhardwaj

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In a bid to bridge the “app gap” and enhance the user experience on Windows 11, Microsoft reaffirms its commitment to the Windows Subsystem for Windows 11 and announces plans to introduce a wider range of Android apps and games to the desktop operating system. Leveraging the integration of the Amazon Appstore, Microsoft aims to address the longstanding issue of app availability on the Microsoft Store.

With the recent availability of the Amazon Appstore in 30 regions and markets, Microsoft is optimistic that this collaboration will pave the way for an influx of Android apps and games on Windows 11. By enabling developers to publish their apps on the Amazon store and seamlessly bring them to Windows 11, Microsoft expects to diversify the app ecosystem for its platform.

Several popular Android titles, including TikTok, Audible, Hungry Shark Evolution, Epic Seven, and numerous other games and apps, have already made their way to Windows 11 through the Amazon Appstore. Importantly, these apps have seamlessly integrated with the desktop environment, eliminating the need for separate desktop versions.

Expressing enthusiasm for the future, Microsoft stated, “We look forward to many more Android apps and games launching on Amazon Appstore for Windows 11.”

To further augment the Android subsystem on Windows 11, a significant update has been introduced in the July 2023 preview. This update, labeled WSA 2306.40000.1.0, is now accessible to participants in the preview program.

The update brings several noteworthy improvements, including enhanced performance on devices with limited resources, such as 16GB or 8GB of RAM, through the introduction of a “partially running mode.” This optimization is expected to enhance the overall speed and responsiveness of the Android subsystem.

Notably, camera compatibility has been significantly enhanced, allowing Android apps on Windows 11 to better utilize the camera hardware. Additionally, the update introduces improved full-screen mode functionality, activated by pressing F11, which includes a hover taskbar, thereby enhancing the mouse and touch experience for users. These enhancements aim to provide a more immersive and interactive experience when using Android apps on Windows.

Moreover, users can now connect Android apps to devices on the same network through the “Advanced settings – Experimental features” section, replacing the previous “Advanced Networking” option.

The July 2023 update for Windows 11’s Android Subsystem encompasses various other significant changes, including:

  • Enhanced transparency and user control over privacy settings with a prompt notifying users if an app attempts to access permissions not granted to the subsystem.
  • Switching from EROFS to EXT4 for read-only disks to potentially improve system performance and compatibility.
  • Resolution of a bug that prevented OneDrive folders from appearing in Android apps.
  • Expanded support for drag-and-drop functionality, encompassing a wider range of file types.
  • Picture-in-picture (PIP) mode now includes additional UI buttons, thereby enhancing the multitasking experience.
  • Stability fixes for ARM devices and an update to the Linux kernel are now at version 5.15.104.

With these updates and collaborations, Microsoft aims to enrich the Windows 11 experience by making it easier for users to access a broader array of Android apps and games while ensuring seamless integration and improved performance.

Via: Windows Latest