Business and Technology

Windows subsystem for Android tested

 Windows Subsystem for Android is buggy, it holds great potential for future users. Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) is a feature that Microsoft has started implementing as an option on Windows 11 to allow the use of Android apps on the platform. WSA is not available for all users yet as it is still in a testing phase, but it can be installed with a few workarounds.

For some users, it may be as simple as joining the Beta or Dev channels on the Windows Insiders Program, updating, and then installing the Amazon Appstore together with WSA on the Microsoft Store.

This did not work when we tested it, and manually downloading and installing the entire subsystem was necessary.

We also installed WSATools, which promises to make the installation of any Android APK easy. After many restarts and playing around with settings in the BIOS, we were able to get Android apps installed by opening the APK in WSATools.

Other emulators were also installed for comparison, including Bluestacks, LD Player, Genymotion and Nox Player.

Most of these emulators required enabling virtualisation in the BIOS, and numerous installer issues popped up. They were, however, easier to get working than WSA. Geekbench 5 was installed on WSA and all the emulators, leaving all the settings on their defaults where possible.

On a PC with a Ryzen 1600AF, 16GB RAM, and an Nvidia GTX1080, WSA comfortably outperformed all the emulators when it came to multi-core CPU benchmarks. It narrowly lost to Bluestacks in the single-core CPU test.

The performance bodes well for WSA when it is made available to everyone in the future to allow users to run Android apps on their desktop.

As an additional test, we also installed PUBG MOBILE: Aftermath, and was able to jump into a game without any problems.

The game did pick up that we were not playing on a mobile phone and thus grouped us with other emulator players. While only the movement controls were mapped correctly, requiring clicking and dragging for all other functions, the game was playable.

However, after one round, the game did give an error and asked to update the emulator to continue playing. While WSA may not be in a perfect usable state just yet, it does show us a glimpse of the future where running Android applications may be a standard feature in Windows.

Microsoft announced yesterday that it will be launching a public preview of Windows Subsystem for Android with Windows 11’s first major update that is expected to roll out in February. The table below provides an overview of the performance of the different emulators.

Source: mybroadband

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