October 2, 2023

More Improvements Are Coming to Android Apps on Windows 11

Windows 11 wallpaper with Android robot.

Windows 11 introduced the Android Subsystem for Android, which allows some applications and games built for Android to run on PCs. Now, Microsoft is testing a significant update to the feature.

Microsoft just started rolling out a new version of the Windows Subsystem for Android to all PCs running Insider builds of Windows 11. You can now share your Windows folders, like Documents and Pictures, with Android apps. Before this update, it was difficult to move files back and forth between your PC’s file system and the Android environment. Your PC files appear as a “Windows” folder in Android apps.

Microsoft said in a blog post, “Your privacy and security are important to us, so Android apps can only view or edit your files with your permission. Apps must show a system dialog to request your permission, and permission can be revoked at any time from app settings. The Subsystem also guards against malicious apps that would abuse your permission by scanning all Android apps with your antivirus software during installation and blocking threats, whether you installed the app from the Amazon Appstore or installed it with developer tools.”

This isn’t a perfect system, since it doesn’t work well with cloud storage files and other specific scenarios, but it seems like the best solution that allows unmodified Android applications and games to use files from your PC. This has also been a problem for Android apps on Chromebooks, which Google addressed by adding a “Play files” section in the File manager.

The update also allows files to be dragged and dropped into Android apps, which works even when folder sharing is turned off. Microsoft also fixed some bugs with Wi-Fi, camera access, and included the latest Android security patches. It’s not clear when the update will roll out to everyone, though.

Source: Windows Blog

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