Windows Subsystem for Android update adds H.264 hardware decoding

Windows Subsystem for Android update adds H.264 hardware decoding

Microsoft has released an update for the Windows Subsystem for Android to Windows Insiders in all channels of the program. This update comes with some significant improvements that should make some apps that much more useful. Among them is support for hardware-accelerated H.264 video decoding in the Windows Subsystem for Android, meaning Android apps can run much more smoothly when playing back video in this format.

Improvements have also been made to rendering in some apps. Previously, multisample anti-aliasing (MSAA) was being enabled on apps and couldn’t be disabled. While MSAA can result in better-looking games, it can also affect performance, so this change should help some apps run a little better.


Another notable improvement has to do with email apps. If you have installed an Android app that asks you to open an email app (to share feedback, for example), it will now open the respective Windows app seamlessly.

Finally, Microsoft has also made some fixes to “general input” in Android apps on Windows. That includes scrolling in the Amazon Appstore and Kindle apps, for example.

This release of the Windows Subsystem for Android does come with a couple of known issues, though. Microsoft notes that video playback in Android apps may be choppy on some Windows PCs, which may be a consequence of enabling hardware decoding. Additionally, Android apps may be restarted when a PC comes out of Connected Standby.

If you’re enrolled in the Windows Insider Program, you can update the Windows Subsystem for Android right now by going to the Microsoft Store and then Library Get updates. If you haven’t installed it yet, you can get the Amazon Appstore here, which will automatically install the Windows Subsystem for Android on your PC. We also have guides on how to sideload Android apps on Windows 11 if you’re not in the United States, which is the only region where they’re officially supported. These updates should make it to non-Insiders sometime soon, since Android apps have been available since last month.

Source: Microsoft

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.