After Android 13, WSA is now getting support for DRM-protected high-resolution video streaming.
Windows 11 is not a great operating system for many customers, but it comes with several cool features and one of the main flagship features is support for Android apps. As you’re aware, Windows 11 now supports Android apps via Windows Subsystem for Android, a technology like the WSL (Linux subsystem).
If you ever tried to run Android apps on Windows 11, you remember BlueStacks, which continues to be one of the most preferred and straightforward tools to run mobile apps or games on the desktop OS. However, BlueStack is more commonly used for gaming, and it doesn’t offer a native-like experience.
With WSA, Microsoft has been trying to make Android apps feel as native as possible on its operating system. You can use WSA to download and install apps and games built for Android. This includes Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms. Thanks to the deep integration, Android apps behave like any other native Windows app.
Unfortunately, video streaming is currently limited in Windows 11’s WSA integration. For example, there are performance concerns and it’s also not possible to play all DRM-protected content in the Android container.
Thankfully, Microsoft is looking into potential performance issues when streaming videos via WSA. Additionally, the company confirmed that it also plans to enable DRM-protected streaming support in the coming months.
“This is something on our radar already for new feature requests, we appreciate the feedback here,” Microsoft’s engineer Hamza Usmani noted in a reply to the “Hardware DRM/Widevine L1” feature request post.
Unfortunately, we don’t know when the new features will go live for the public.
Android 13 is now available for WSA
The Windows Subsystem for Android, also referred to as WSA, was recently updated with Android 13 support.
As WSA remains a top Microsoft priority, it is getting updates with lots of tremendous changes. For example, Android 13 support added quite a lot of new features, such as a new command line command that lets you schedule shutdown and improvements to boot performance (up to 50% in some cases!).
Other Android 13 improvements include mouse click input, clipboard stability, app resizing, improved Intel bridge technology, faster media file opening and much more.
While WSA sounds more exciting than ever, it isn’t available for everybody. Not all devices out there would meet the requirements to run Android apps on Windows 11. For example, computers must have 8GB of RAM (16GB is recommended) to run mobile apps, Intel Core i3 8th Generation, Ryzen 3000, Snapdragon 8c, or above.
Additionally, WSA also requires an SSD. To get started, head to the Microsoft Store and install Amazon Appstore, which is a dedicated app store for Android apps on Windows 11.