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Windows 11 updates its Android subsystem to include VPN support and better video playback

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Aizaz khan
Aizaz khan
Aizaz was the first person to get a byline on his blog on technology from his home in Bannu in 2017. Then, he went on to a career in breaking things professionally at my electric sparks which is where he eventually took over the kit as a hardware editor. Today, as the senior editor of hardware for my electric sparks, he spends time reporting about the most recent developments in the hardware industry and technology. If he's not reporting on hardware or electronics, you'll see him trying to be as remote from the world of technology as possible through camping in the wild.

Windows 11 allowed it to run Android applications directly on PCs. In addition, for July 2022, Microsoft has announced that it will begin upgrading the system with some fundamental changes.

Its Windows Subsystem for Android allows users with Windows 11 to download, install and run Android applications natively on their desktop computers and laptops. Amazon Appstore officially integrates the feature for downloads. Amazon Appstore for downloads, but it is not officially compatible with other sideloaded applications and services as well.

The week before, Microsoft is releasing a new version of the Android subsystem within Windows 11, with the July update going for Insiders the first. The update is tagged with a version number of 2205.40000.14.0 and is available only for users in the United States – Microsoft announced that it would be expanding to other regions in May.

What’s new with the July update?

WSA's Advanced networking setting is enabled
WSA’s Advanced networking setting is enabled Source: BleepingComputer

The latest update for Android is a bit of a surprise. The Android subsystem isn’t enormous, but it has some excellent features.

Networking is among the most significant modifications, with VPNs and IPv6, which is now fully supported. Microsoft goes into detail:

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 feature that is appreciated can be found in the fact that Android apps can now tell Windows that it should keep your screen active when the video is playing, which prevents your PC from going to sleep when you watch a film. Android applications that operate in the “secure” mode also now stop screenshots, which is what they’re designed to do.

The complete changelog can be found here:

  • 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 stated, the update is available only for Windows Insiders for now but will be available to all users in the next few weeks.

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