Microsoft is testing Android 12.1 and other improvements for Windows 11

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mobtkr20 May 2022Last Update : 1 month ago
Microsoft is testing Android 12.1 and other improvements for Windows 11

It looks like Microsoft isn’t resting on its laurels when it comes to the system that allows Windows 11 to run Android apps: On Friday, the company announced an update that upgrades the current version of Android running on your computer and helps make applications more user-friendly. at home running on a PC. The Windows Subsystem for Android update is currently only available for testing Windows Insiders, but it’s probably a good thing for reasons we’ll get to in a moment.

The headliner enhancement is an Android version update that underpins Windows’ ability to run mobile apps. The current public version seems to be running Android 11 (based on some prompting I did using dev tools), but the version Microsoft is testing is running Android 12.1, aka Android 12L. This basically means that if you have anything other than a recent Pixel, your computer may be running a newer version of Android than your phone.

The update also brings improvements to how Android apps integrate with Windows. Pop-up messages from apps can now appear as Windows notifications, and the taskbar will be able to show if an Android app is accessing your microphone or location. The company also says Android apps should behave better after you wake your computer from sleep. Instead of restarting, they should just pick up where they left off.

Microsoft also says it’s completely redesigned the Settings app you use to manage Windows Subsystem for Android, consolidating settings and providing a “cleaner user experience.” It also made various improvements to how Android apps can access your computer’s camera and even improved networking capabilities so you can set up smart home devices using an Android app running on your computer.

While these all sound like great improvements, you might want to hold off trying to use the feature yourself for now. For one, it’s currently rolling out to the Dev channel, which is the most cutting edge of the Windows Insider rings. (Which means you’re more likely to experience bugs and crashes outside of running Android apps.) At this point, Microsoft warns that upgrading to Android 12.1″ may cause launch failure of certain applications”. Perhaps that’s not terribly surprising given how hard Android 12 has been rolling out to phones. The company says it’s working with partners “to resolve these issues as soon as possible”, so hopefully this will be fixed before it reaches consumers.

Even though the update isn’t quite complete yet, it’s good to see that Microsoft is actually liking Android apps over Windows functionality. He could have easily pitched it as something cool coming with Windows 11, kicked it off, and considered the project more or less done. The fact that we’re seeing major changes, however, makes it seem like Microsoft is committed to the feature for now. If he really wants to have a first-class experience, however, he’ll have to find a much easier way to download apps from the Google Play Store, rather than the much more limited selection from the Amazon Appstore.

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