Windows 11 introduced the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), a way for Android apps to run on top of Windows PCs, usually downloaded through the Amazon Appstore. Microsoft now has a public plan for making the feature even better.
Microsoft has already rolled out several improvements to WSA since the release of Windows 11, including updating the core system from Android 11 to 12.1, improving performance, and adding more integrations with Windows. The company has now published a GitHub repository for app developers to find information and file bug reports, which also contains a public roadmap for improvements coming to WSA.
The roadmap states that Microsoft is working on updating the Subsystem to Android 13, which would bring many security improvements and bug fixes to Android apps — most of Google’s design improvements in Android 13 wouldn’t apply to the virtual machine version, since all you see are the apps. Microsoft is also working on support for home screen shortcuts, “file transfer,” Picture-in-picture mode, and local network access by default.
The document also reveals a few features that aren’t coming to the Windows Subsystem for Android, which Microsoft simply explains as “unavailable” — either due to them not working under a virtualization layer, or a lack of sufficient need for the functionality. The list of blocked features include hardware-level DRM, USB support, direct access to Bluetooth devices, and all widgets.
There’s still no word on if Windows will allow easy installation of APKs in the subsystem — right now you have to use ADB or another tool to install apps from outside the Amazon Appstore. That might be covered under the promise for “file transfer,” but we’ll have to wait and see. Microsoft is also still limiting the Subsystem to regions where the Amazon Appstore is officially available.
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