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Windows Subsystem for Android receives Android 12.1 and new features

Microsoft today released a major update for Windows Subsystem for Android to Insiders in the Dev channel. WSA version 2204.40000.15.0 for Windows 11 brings with it Android 12.1, improved integration of the subsystem with Windows, and the updated look of its settings.

Subway Surf For Android Running In Windows 11

What's new in Windows Subsystem for Android 2204.40000.15.0

Update to Android 12.1

Microsoft has updated the core Android system to Android 12.1. However,  because of this, some applications may no longer start. There are known issues related to this change.

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Optional telemetry

In the new version of the subsystem, optional diagnostic data collection is disabled by default. If you want to help improve Windows Subsystem for Android, you need to enable this option manually. You'll find it in the "Windows Subsystem for Android Settings" app. When enabled, WSA will start sending information about the use of Android applications to Microsoft.

Advanced networking

New insider builds (Build 22621+) improve networking with Windows Subsystem for Android so that Android apps can connect to devices on the same network as your Windows PC. With advanced networking capabilities, you can cast media to devices on the same network, or set up a security camera (or other smart home device) using a compatible Android app.

Redesign of the Settings app

Microsoft has completely redesigned the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app. Settings groups have become clearer, application navigation has become more logical. The user interface style has become more attractive.

There is a new tool to view diagnostic data collected by the subsystem. In addition, new compatibility options have been added to fix certain applications that allow you to force a window size limit or enable swiping with the arrow keys.

Improved integration with Windows

Microsoft has greatly improved the integration of Android apps with Windows. In Windows 11 Insider Builds (Build 22621+), the taskbar will show an indicator for Android apps that are currently using the microphone, location, and other system services. Also, the taskbar will now correctly hide and appear when using Android apps.

Toast notifications now appear as regular Windows notifications. Also, Android app window title can display activity information. In addition, new builds of Windows 11 (Build 22621+) will prevent Android apps from restarting when the device wakes up from Connected Standby, so you can pick up where you left off.

Camera improvements in Android apps

A lot of improvements have been made to the operation of the camera in the subsystem. The camera orientation is now fixed in its natural position. Fixed issues with camera preview not working properly, letterboxing errors, and squashing of the camera image.

Input improvements

The new version of WSA has improved mouse and keyboard support. In particular, support for the mouse wheel has been improved, fixes have been made for the focus of the on-screen keyboard and the display of the software keyboard in Android.

Full Changelog

  • Windows Subsystem for Android updated to Android 12.1
  • Advanced networking on by default for newer x64 Windows builds
  • Updated Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app: redesigned UX and diagnostics data viewer added
  • Simpleperf CPU profiler recording now works with Windows Subsystem for Android
  • Windows taskbar now shows which Android apps are using microphone and location
  • Improvements to Android app notifications appearing as Windows notifications
  • Reduced flicker when apps are restored from minimized state
  • Apps are not restarted when devices come out of connected standby on recent Windows builds
  • New video hardware decoding (VP8 and VP9)
  • Fixes for on-screen keyboard in apps
  • Fixes for full screen Android apps and auto-hidden Windows taskbar
  • Windows Subsystem for Android updated with Chromium WebView 100
  • Added support for Android NetworkLocationProvider in addition to GpsLocationProvider
  • Improved general stability, performance, and reliability

Known Issues

  • Instability with camera on ARM devices
  • Instability printing via Android apps
  • Some apps rendered at lower resolutions may lay out incorrectly
  • Some VPNs may not work with Advanced Networking. If you use a VPN and find Android apps do not have network connectivity, please disable Advanced Networking in the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app
  • Some apps that were previously available might be missing from the experience, fail to launch, or function incorrectly for various known issues. We’re working with our partners to address these issues as soon as possible.

The official announcement is here.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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