Microsoft makes massive improvements to Windows Subsystem for Android in Windows 11

Windows 11 laptop

Microsoft has fully embraced Linux with the release of Windows Subsystem for Linux, opening up exciting possibilities for fans of Linux-based distros. The company has also shown support for Android, with the Windows Subsystem for Android making it possible to run mobile apps and games in Windows 11.

Now the company has made a significant update to Windows Subsystem for Android, making huge improvements to its networking capabilities.

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The two biggest changes in this update both relate to networking. Microsoft says of the first: "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".

But the most significant update is what Microsoft describes as a "huge change to networking". The company explains:

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.

The full changelog for this update looks like this:

  • 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 WIFI in the container
  • Video playback apps can now prevent the screen from turning off in Windows

Microsoft draws attention to a single known issue, saying: "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".

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