Windows 11 has made a good deal of friends due to its ability to run some Android apps (via the Amazon app store) directly on the desktop with no fuss, and things just got much better on the mobile gaming front with an update to the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA).
This is still in testing, and the new WSA version (noticed by Neowin (opens in new tab)) comes alongside the fresh preview build of Windows 11 which has just been released (build 25295, which brings in a small but nifty change of its own that we talked about earlier).
With WSA version 2301.40000.4.0, frame rates have been increased by a whopping 40% to 50% with both AMD and Intel processors. There’s also a substantial uptick for those running an ARM CPU, albeit a more modest 10% to 20% increase.
This isn’t just about smoother frame rates, though, as there are a number of other important tweaks as Microsoft details in this blog post (opens in new tab).
That includes a fix for zooming out in apps with the mouse (or touchpad) so this now works properly, and overall improvements to reliability (with better audio input latency, to boot). Android 13 security updates are also bundled in this new version, which is good to see.
Analysis: Proof will be in the pudding, of course
A 50% boost in frame rates – or close to that – is massive, of course, and it’ll make playing Android games a far smoother experience on the Windows 11 desktop. Or it should do, anyway; remember, this version is still in testing, so certainly at the moment, things may not work as planned.
We have to take Microsoft’s word for it that gains will indeed be this big, but the fact that the company has said 40% to 50% rather than ‘up to 50%’ certainly makes it clear enough that this should represent a huge difference across the board to Android apps on the Windows 11 desktop.
The work to improve overall stability will go a long way to making WSA a more user-friendly experience, no doubt, and having the latest security updates is another important step forward, too.
WSA has long been considered to be a big selling point for Windows 11, because Windows 10 doesn’t have it – although recently, we’ve seen a workaround to get WSA on the latter (though the method is clunky, and the results may well be unpredictable, so proceed at your own risk on that front).