Windows 11 brought a raft of new features like a revamped start menu, more control over snap layouts, and integration with more Microsoft apps and services. One of the biggest additions was the Windows Subsystem for Android, which allows your PC to run Android apps. The subsystem rolled out as a preview, but it’s already left that caveat behind in the big Windows 11 2022 update. Microsoft isn’t resting on its laurels, either. It already plans to improve the subsystem with a move to the latest Android 13 OS.
The Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) is a virtual machine built into Windows, and it’s currently based on Android 12L (an upgrade over the original Android 12 distribution). Android is open source, so we have more insight into what Microsoft is doing with this feature than we do with other aspects of Windows 11. Over on the WSA GitHub page, Microsoft has posted a roadmap detailing the features it has added so far, along with the ones it plans to implement in the future. And right at the top of the list is Android 13.
Android 13 launched just a few weeks ago on Pixel phones, and Samsung only started rolling out the update to some versions of the Galaxy S22 in late October. It’s not the biggest update — most of the user-facing changes come in the form of enhanced theme support, which won’t matter on Windows, but the system optimizations and API updates are essential to future functionality. Microsoft’s apparent drive to keep the WSA updated is refreshing. Many Android-on-Windows projects have fallen behind, making it frustrating to run Android apps on a PC.
In addition to updating the WSA to Android 13, Microsoft plans to implement file transfer support, making it mercifully easier to move files between the Windows and Android parts of the system. Microsoft will also add default access to the local network, another way to make the Windows Subsystem for Android less compartmentalized.
Another planned addition is shortcuts, an Android feature that lets apps link to specific functionality. For example, a messaging app can provide a shortcut to a frequent contact that saves you from navigating to the conversation manually every time. There’s one more convenience feature on the way: picture-in-picture mode. That means Android media apps on Windows will be able to draw over the top of the Windows UI.
The roadmap doesn’t include any proposed dates or even a general timeline for these improvements. Microsoft was only a few months behind implementing Android 12L, and it recently opted to change the way it releases updates for Windows. No more will we have to wait for major semi-annual releases to get new features. So, we can expect the WSA enhancements to arrive whenever they’re ready.
Source by www.extremetech.com