Windows 11 brought a way to easily run Android apps directly on PCs, and for July 2022, Microsoft is updating that system with some key tweaks.
The Windows Subsystem for Android allows users of machines running Windows 11 to download, install, and run Android apps natively on their desktops and laptops. The feature is officially associated with the Amazon Appstore for downloads, but also works unofficially with downloaded apps and services.
This week, Microsoft announced a new update for the Android subsystem in Windows 11, with the July update aimed primarily at Insiders. The update has version number 2205.40000.14.0 and is only available in the United States – Microsoft announced expansion to other countries in May.
What’s New in the July Update?
This latest update to the Android subsystem isn’t major, but it does bring some benefits.
Networking is one of the biggest changes, with VPN and IPv6 now supported. Microsoft goes on to explain:
We’ve made a huge change to networking! We are now introducing advanced networking, which allows applications to access local network devices for ARM computers, allowing applications to take advantage of this functionality. We also enabled IPv6 and VPN connectivity, improving the subsystem’s networking capabilities.
We’ve updated the Windows Subsystem app for Android Settings to now support advanced networking. This means that the IP address has been removed from the Developer section of the Settings app because the subsystem no longer has a different IP address than your computer.
Another welcome tweak is that Android apps can now tell Windows to keep the screen awake if video is playing, preventing your computer from going to sleep while you’re watching a movie. Android apps that run in “safe” mode now also block screenshots, as they are supposed to.
The full changelog follows:
- Enabling advanced networking functionality including application access to local network devices for ARM
- Removed VM IP address from Settings app. With advanced networking, the VM IP address is now the same as the host/computer IP address
- Fixes for app content not resizable when zooming or resizing
- Fixes for scrolling with mouse and trackpad in apps
- Android May Kernel Fixes
- Android windows marked as safe can no longer be captured
- Improve web browser launch
- Enable app sleep and standby while charging for better power saving
- ADB debugging prompts redirected to Windows for improved security
- Update to Chromium WebView 101
- Fixes for graphics, including app flickering and graphics corruption
- Fixes for video playback
- AV1 codec support
- IPv6 and VPN connectivity enabled
- Increased performance and reliability of in-container virtual Wi-Fi connection
- Video player apps can now prevent the screen from turning off on Windows
As mentioned, this update is only available to Windows Insiders at the moment, but should roll out to everyone in a few weeks.
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