Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system didn’t get off to the smoothest of launches last year, but the company is steadily making headway in sorting out problems. Several updates addressed security issues, but the latest focuses on the Android component.
The operating system lets you run Android applications on a Windows-based computer, but many feel that it’s clunky and awkward. So, if you use the functionality, you don’t want to miss this update.
Read on details on the update and how you can download it to your computer.
Here’s the backstory
The ability to launch Android apps was initially only available to Windows Insider members until the public release in March of this year. Technically called the Windows Subsystem for Android, it lets you download and access mobile applications from the Amazon app store.
The newest update to the Subsystem brings it to Android version 12.1 and includes many improvements and a new Settings app. Unfortunately, it is only available to Windows Insider members but should roll out to everyone soon.
Here are some highlights:
- The Settings app for the Android component gets a fresh redesign with clearer settings groups, grouped navigation and a cleaner user experience. The new compatibility settings include configuration options like enabling swipes for arrow keys.
- Mouse and keyboard improvements include better scroll-wheel support and the Android software keyboard displays correctly.
- Telemetry and diagnostic data collection are now optional by default.
One of the most significant improvements is that the Windows taskbar icons will show which Android apps are using the microphone, location, and other system services. In addition, the notifications will display in the system tray.
When can you get this Windows update?
Since this update is only available to Windows Insider members, you’ll have to wait for it to be released to everyone, expected later this year. You can sign up for the Windows Insider Program if you want to give it a test run without waiting. Here’s how:
- Register with your Microsoft account, which is the same account you use for other Microsoft services, like email, Microsoft Office, or OneDrive. (Don’t have a Microsoft account? Sign up now!) You can also register for the Windows Insider Program for Business with your work account.
- Accept the terms of Microsoft’s Program Agreement and Privacy Statement and submit.
- You’re now part of the Windows Insider Program.
For more details on Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program, check out its information page here.