Windows 11 brought with it a way to easily run Android apps directly on PCs, and for July 2022, Microsoft is updating that system with a few key tweaks.

The Windows Subsystem for Android allows users with machines running Windows 11 to download, install, and run Android apps natively on their desktop computers and laptops. The feature is officially partnered with the Amazon Appstore for downloads but unofficially works with sideloaded apps and services too.

This week, Microsoft has announced a new update for the Android subsystem in Windows 11, with the July update headed to Insiders first. The update carries the version number 2205.40000.14.0 and is available solely in the United States – Microsoft announced an expansion to more countries in May.

What’s new in the July update?

This latest upgrade for the Android subsystem isn’t a major one, but it brings a few goodies.

Networking is one of the biggest changes, with VPNs and IPv6 now supported. Microsoft goes on to explain:

We’ve made a huge change to networking! We’re now introducing advanced networking, which enables app access to local network devices for ARM computers, allowing apps to take advantage of this functionality. We’ve also enabled IPv6 and VPN connectivity, enhancing the networking functionalities of the subsystem.

We’ve updated the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app to now account for advanced networking. This means the IP address has been removed from the Developer section in the Settings app as the subsystem no longer has a different IP from your computer.

Another appreciated tweak is that Android apps can now tell Windows to keep the screen awake if video is playing, preventing your computer from going to sleep while watching a movie. Android apps that run in a “secure” mode also now block screenshots, as they’re intended to do.

The full changelog follows:

  • Enabled Advanced Networking functionality, including app access to local network devices for ARM
  • VM IP address removed from Settings app. With Advanced Networking, now the IP address of the VM is the same as the host/computer IP
  • Fixes for non-resizable app content on maximize or resizing
  • Fixes for scrolling with mouse and trackpad in apps
  • Android May Kernel patches
  • Android windows marked secure can no longer be screenshotted
  • Improve web browser launching
  • Enable doze and app standby while charging for improved power saving
  • ADB debug prompts redirected to Windows for improved security
  • Updated to Chromium WebView 101
  • Fixes for graphics including app flickering and graphics corruption
  • Fixes for video playback
  • AV1 Codec support
  • Enabled IPv6 and VPN Connectivity
  • Increased the performance and reliability connecting to virtual Wi-Fi in the container
  • Video playback apps can now prevent the screen from turning off in Windows

As mentioned, this update is only available to Windows Insiders for now but should expand to everyone in a few weeks or so.

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