Microsoft Updates Windows Subsystem for Android™ to the Latest Version 12.1
Major updates are now available for Windows Subsystem for Android on Windows 11 PCs in the dev channel insider build. It brings the latest Android 12.1, better windows integration, and new settings app experience.
The ability to run Android apps on Windows PC has been a well-known feature since the first launch of Windows 11. Since the feature was launched, we also posted a tutorial on how to sideload APK files to the system as you can find here. For the first time, the subsystem now receives a major update that will bump the underlying Android OS to the latest available version 12.1.
According to Microsoft, this update will only be available to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. You can grab the update by going to Microsoft Store > Library > Get updates > Update all. You can verify by checking the version of Windows Subsystem for Android™ to match the latest version 2204.40000.15.0.
Microsoft adds the updates will also include major Windows integration improvements and a new Settings app experience. Here is the complete changelog of the update.
Update to Android 12.1!
We have updated the experience to Android 12.1! This update may cause some apps to fail to launch (see the known issues below for more details).
Optional Diagnostic Data
With this update, telemetry collection (optional diagnostic data setting in the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app) is now off by default. To help us make Windows Subsystem for Android better and provide useful telemetry about Android app usage, please enable this setting in the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app!
Networking for Windows Subsystem for Android on newer Insider Preview builds (OS Build 22621+) has been improved to enable Android apps to connect to devices on the same network as your Windows PC. With advanced networking, you can play your favorite content on a speaker on the same network, or set up a security camera (or other smart home device) with a compatible Android app.
Settings app redesign
The Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app has been redesigned and updated in a huge way. We’ve redesigned the app from the ground up, now with clearer settings groups, grouped navigation and an all-around cleaner user experience. We’ve also added a diagnostic data viewer where you can examine all the diagnostic data collected by the Subsystem, and configuration options in the new compatibility settings to turn on fixes for specific apps such as forcing apps to be non-resizable or enabling swipes for arrow keys.
Improvements to Windows integration
We’ve made some great improvements to Android apps integrating with Windows in this update. For newer Insider Preview builds (OS Build 22621+), Windows taskbar icons will now show which Android apps are currently using microphone, location, and other system services in the system tray, and an auto-hidden taskbar will now correctly hide/show when Android apps are running. Android toasts will now be reflected as Windows notifications, and the Window title of an Android app will now reflect the Android activity title. Also, for newer Insider Preview builds (OS Build 22621+), Android apps will not be restarted when your devices come out of connected standby but will instead pick up where you left off.
Improvements to camera in Android apps
Many camera updates are being shipped in this update. The camera orientation is now fixed to natural orientation, and issues with incorrect camera preview, bugs with letterboxing and squishing of the camera feed have now been addressed.
Improvements for input devices
Mouse and keyboard support in Windows Subsystem for Android has been improved, with fixes such as improved scroll-wheel support, fixes for the onscreen keyboard focus and fixes for the Android software keyboard displaying correctly.
- 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
- 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.