The Windows Subsystem for Android, or WSA for short, is a Windows 11 feature that allows some Android games and applications to run on your PC with alongside typical Windows apps. Now it’s about to get a big update.
Update, 1/10/23: Microsoft has confirmed that the Android 13 update is now rolling out to all Windows Insider channels, though it’s still not clear when it will arrive on all Windows 11 PCs with the Subsystem enabled. The original article continues below.
Microsoft announced in a GitHub discussion that an update is rolling out to people in the Windows Subsystem for Android Preview Program — it’s so early that it’s not even rolling out to general Windows Insiders right now. The new version (2211.40000.7.0) updates the system to Android 13, giving it new APIs for app developers to use and a few minor system features. Many of the features in Android 13, like an updated notification media player and a taskbar for large screens, don’t affect the virtualized Android Subsystem.
Besides the new system version, the update adds a new command for shutting down WSA, ideal for scripting and other automation. Boot times have been improved, with Microsoft reporting a 50% speed-up in the 10% percentile of devices. Mouse click inputs, clipboard, application resizing, and opening media files should also work better than before. Finally, the new update adds support for shortcuts from Android apps. If an Android app has any available shortcuts, they will appear in the jumplist when you right-click the icon in the taskbar.
Microsoft didn’t mention when everyone on Windows 11 will get the Subsystem update, but it should happen after bug testing in the Preview Program and Windows Insiders Program has completed. The update crosses several items off Microsoft’s checklist for WSA improvements, and follows an upgrade to Android 12.1 earlier this year.
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