Along with a new build of Windows 11 rolling out to insiders in the Beta channel today, Microsoft is also releasing a new version of the Windows Subsystem for Android, though this one is available to all Windows Insider channels. This update brings the Windows Subsystem for Android up to version 2206.40000.15.0, and it seems to be heavily focused on improvements to the gaming experience on Android.
Specifically, there have been some updates that make it easier to control games. It’s now possible to control games that use joysticks, with directional movement mapped to the WASD keys, while games that use aiming and sliding gestures can be played with those controls mapped to the arrow keys on the keyboard. Additionally, you can straight-up use a gamepad with Android games that support them, making the experience that much more natural. Gaming is one of the most common use cases why people use Android emulators like Bluestacks, so this update could make the Windows Subsystem for Android that much more useful for that crowd.
There are other general improvements to the overall Android experience on Windows, too. That includes improvements to scrolling, networking, and more. Here’s the full list of changes:
- Scrolling improvements
- Networking improvements
- Android minimum window size defaulted to 220dp
- Improved dialog when unsupported VPN is detected
- New toggle to view/save diagnostic data in the Windows Subsystem for Android Settings app
- Security updates
- General reliability fixes, including improvements to diagnostic sizes
- Graphics improvements
Microsoft still notes that some VPNs may not be supported with the advanced networking features in the Windows Subsystem for Android, which is the only known issue mentioned in this release.
It’s worth noting that the Windows Subsystem for Android is still only officially available in the United States, though it’s possible to work around those restricitons if you want to use it in other regions. Microsoft announced earlier this year that it plans to bring Android app support to five more markets before the end of the year, but we have yet to hear more news on that front.