Windows 11 Android apps are about to get a whole lot better

0
37


Windows Subsystem for Android is an optional feature in Windows 11, which allows you to run Android apps and games alongside your other software. Microsoft is now testing a significant update to the subsystem.

Microsoft is now rolling out an update for the Windows Subsystem for Android on the Dev channel of the Windows Insiders program. The new version updates the core operating system from Android 11 to Android 12.1 (also known as Android 12L), which means that the new system and app features in Android 12 and 12.1 are now available on Windows for the first time. However, the new features in those updates do not apply to the modified version running on top of Windows. For example, one of the major improvements in 12.1 was a dual-pane notification panel for larger screens, but Android app notifications on Windows only appear in the Windows notification panel.

The update also improves the way Android apps integrate with Windows. The Windows taskbar will now show which Android apps are currently using the microphone, location, and other system services, similar to many native Windows apps. Toast messages (the little popups some apps use for temporary messages) are now displayed as Windows notifications, and the title bar in Android apps will use the name of the current activity for the title.

There are also some other minor fixes. Improved mouse and keyboard support (specifically with keyboard focus and scroll wheels), the camera isn’t as buggy, and apps won’t fully restart when your PC comes out of connected standby.

The Windows Subsystem app for Android Settings has received a patch along with the core system update. Microsoft said in a blog post: “We’ve redesigned the app from the ground up, now with clearer settings groups, grouped navigation, and an overall cleaner user experience. We’ve also added a diagnostic data viewer where you can browse all the diagnostic data collected by the subsystem and configuration options in the new compatibility settings to trigger fixes for specific applications, such as forcing applications not to resize or enable swipes for arrow keys. “

full changelog

  • Windows Subsystem for Android updated to Android 12.1
  • Advanced networking turned on by default for newer x64 builds of Windows
  • Updated Windows Subsystem for Android Settings App: Redesigned UX and Added Diagnostic Data Viewer
  • Simpleperf CPU profiler recording now works with the Windows Subsystem for Android
  • Windows taskbar now shows which Android apps are using the microphone and location
  • Improvements to Android app notifications appearing as Windows notifications
  • Reduced flickering when apps are restored from a minimized state
  • Apps don’t restart when devices come out of Connected Standby mode in recent versions of Windows
  • New video hardware decoding (VP8 and VP9)
  • Fixes for on-screen keyboard in apps
  • Fixes for full-screen Android apps and auto-hiding Windows taskbar
  • Updated Windows Subsystem for Android with Chromium WebView 100
  • Added support for Android NetworkLocationProvider in addition to GpsLocationProvider
  • Improved overall stability, performance, and reliability

The new update is limited to Windows Insiders for now, but once Microsoft fixes all the bugs, it should start rolling out to everyone on Windows 11 who has the Android subsystem enabled.

It’s impressive to see such rapid development in the Windows Android system, especially considering that Android 12.1 only started rolling out to phones and tablets in March. Google’s Chrome OS still uses Android 11 to run mobile apps and the Play Store.

Source: Windows Blog