Microsoft has teased the coming of the Windows Subsystem for Android by releasing a new whitepaper for Windows Insiders that explains how the platform will work.
The document, which was discovered by Microsoft prodder “WalkingCat,” is worth reading for developers interested in making their apps operate with the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA).
Windows Subsystem for Android™️ https://t.co/0HkROoVplr
— WalkingCat (@_h0x0d_) October 20, 2021
WSA is made up of the Android OS, which is based on the Android Open Source Project 1.1 and operates in a virtual machine like the Windows Subsystem for Linux.
The brief note details how developers should set things up in Windows 11, deal with the inputs and outputs of Microsoft’s wares and finally submit apps. The latter step requires the use of the Amazon app-store.
“Your device,” warned Microsoft ominously, “also must meet specific Windows 11 requirements.”
A longer blog post outlining the tech’s arrival for Windows Insiders quickly followed the document.
To get started, you’ll need to download the Amazon Appstore (or an Android or Amazon app from the Microsoft Store), which will also install the WSA. Once installed, a Settings app allows developers to customize the platform, including the ability to disable hardware-accelerated graphics and decide whether or not WSA should run in the background (and thus speed the opening of apps.)
Dev Channel Insiders on the cutting edge of things may feel a little left out, as the initial peek looks to be intended towards Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel for the time being.
Furthermore, only US residents with an Amazon account based in the United States are eligible to apply (so a simple switch of Windows region is unlikely to do the trick.)
On Windows devices, app developers should also consider mouse and keyboard input. It’s also worth thinking about resizing the app (since it’ll be in-window). “Android apps running on Windows 11 can be scaled freely, should be responsive in their scaling, and can be snapped using Windows actions/gestures,” according to Microsoft.
ARM apps will operate on x86-based CPUs, as predicted, albeit at an unknown performance loss. “Please submit your application for the x86-64 architecture for best performance,” Microsoft added.
Panos Panay, the CEO of Microsoft, demoed Android apps on Windows 11 during a shaky live webcast announcing the OS system in June. To make the magic happen, Intel Bridge Technology was used, which included a runtime post-compiler that allowed ARM software to run on AMD and Intel systems.