Windows 11 Subsystem for Android Gets a Big Update

Posted on May 20, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Android, Windows, Windows 11 with 5 Comments

Microsoft has just released a big update for the Windows 11 Subsystem for Android ahead of its Build 2022 conference next week. The update is only available for Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel, and it brings better mouse and keyboard support for Android apps, as well as improvements to the ways these apps integrate with Windows 11.

With this release, the Windows Subsystem for Android has also been updated to Android 12.1. Microsoft has acknowledged that some apps may not fail to launch or be unstable, but Microsoft is already working to fix these issues.

Here are the main new features in this Windows Subsystem for Android update:

Advanced Networking: Android apps can now connect to devices on the same network as your Windows PC, including devices or security cameras.

Better Windows integration: The Windows 11 taskbar will now display which Android apps are currently using microphone, location, and other system services. Android toast notifications will also now appear as Windows notifications.

Mouse and keyboard improvements: This update brings improved scroll-wheel support in Android apps, as well as bug fixes for the Android software keyboard

Camera improvements: Microsoft has fixed bugs affecting camera orientation, camera preview, and the camera feed

Video hardware decoding (VP8 and VP9): This should make a performance difference in Android apps using these codecs

Redesigned Settings app: Microsoft has revamped the app from the ground up to add clearer setting groups and a diagnostic data viewer (telemetry collection is now off by default).

Please note that you’ll need to be running the Windows 11 Insider build 22621 or newer to take advantage of most of these improvements. Unfortunately, Android apps on Windows 11 remain only available in the US at this time, but these new Windows Subsystem for Android improvements could be the sign of an upcoming broader rollout.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Windows 11 Subsystem for Android Gets a Big Update”

  1. cwfinn

    Have they improved the number and especially the quality of Amazon Store apps available?

  2. solomonrex

    They must see this as primarily a developer tool. They only offer the Amazon store, and FireOS is stuck on Android like 9 or 10, so why are they upgrading it? Where is this headed?

    • qaelith2112

      Exactly the question that occurred to me, and for exactly the same reason. I still don't quite get it. Nonetheless, my hope is that by having a more complete up-to-date Android underlying the subsystem, maybe it makes it easier for somebody smarter than me to hack the Google Play components into it so that we can run a sizeable chunk of that ecosystem instead of being restricted to the smaller subset of Amazon's, which I had found in the past were often not being updated as often. My hope rests in the fact that even on an Amazon device it isn't really that hard to smuggle in the right several APKs via sideloading and then get most anything to work, so maybe we will see that here unless they work REALLY hard at making that impossible.

  3. angusmatheson

    i think there is a typo

    Microsoft has acknowledged that some apps may not fail to launch or be unstable, but Microsoft is already working to fix these issues.

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