Windows 11 users are getting a new major feature update for the Windows Subsystem for Android. This is the framework that allows Android apps to run on Windows 11 machines. For the new release, Microsoft is moving the subsystem to Android 12.1, Google's newest version of the platform.
Furthermore, Microsoft is debuting a new-look Settings app, while the link with Windows 11 has been improved. With this update, Windows Subsystem for Android is moving to version 2204.40000.15.0.
Because the Subsystem is a Microsoft Store system, the new update can be installed through the Store. However, it is currently only available in preview for users who are members of the Dev Channel on the Windows Insider Program.
When Microsoft initially announced Windows 11 in June, one of the big announcements was support for Android apps, the company's latest effort to address the App Gap. This is thanks to a collaboration between Microsoft and the Amazon App Store. While apps show up on the Microsoft Store, clicking them sends users to the Amazon App Store to download and install.
“Update to Android 12.1!
We have updated the experience to Android 12.1! This update may cause some apps to fail to launch (see the known issues below for more details).
Optional Diagnostic Data
With this update, telemetry collection (optional diagnostic data setting in the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app) is now off by default. To help us make Windows Subsystem for Android better and provide useful telemetry about Android app usage, please enable this setting in the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app!
Networking for Windows Subsystem for Android on newer Insider Preview builds (OS Build 22621+) has been improved to enable Android apps to connect to devices on the same network as your Windows PC. With advanced networking, you can play your favorite content on a speaker on the same network, or set up a security camera (or other smart home device) with a compatible Android app.
Settings app redesign
The Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app has been redesigned and updated in a huge way. We've redesigned the app from the ground up, now with clearer settings groups, grouped navigation and an all-around cleaner user experience. We've also added a diagnostic data viewer where you can examine all the diagnostic data collected by the Subsystem, and configuration options in the new compatibility settings to turn on fixes for specific apps such as forcing apps to be non-resizable or enabling swipes for arrow keys.
Improvements to Windows integration
We've made some great improvements to Android apps integrating with Windows in this update. For newer Insider Preview builds (OS Build 22621+), Windows taskbar icons will now show which Android apps are currently using microphone, location, and other system services in the system tray, and an auto-hidden taskbar will now correctly hide/show when Android apps are running. Android toasts will now be reflected as Windows notifications, and the Window title of an Android app will now reflect the Android activity title. Also, for newer Insider Preview builds (OS Build 22621+), Android apps will not be restarted when your devices come out of connected standby but will instead pick up where you left off.
Improvements to camera in Android apps
Many camera updates are being shipped in this update. The camera orientation is now fixed to natural orientation, and issues with incorrect camera preview, bugs with letterboxing and squishing of the camera feed have now been addressed.
Improvements for input devices
Mouse and keyboard support in Windows Subsystem for Android has been improved, with fixes such as improved scroll-wheel support, fixes for the onscreen keyboard focus and fixes for the Android software keyboard displaying correctly.”
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