After Android 13, WSA now gets 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 most important flagship features is Android app support. As you probably know, Windows 11 now supports Android apps through Windows Subsystem for Android, a technology similar to the WSL (Linux Subsystem).
If you have ever tried to run Android apps on Windows 11, you probably remember BlueStacks, which is still one of the most preferred and simple tools to run mobile apps or games on the desktop OS. However, BlueStack is more commonly used for gaming and does not provide a native-like experience.
With WSA, Microsoft has tried to make Android apps feel as native to its operating system as possible. You can use WSA to download and install apps and games 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 issues and it is also not possible to play all DRM-protected content in the Android container.
Fortunately, Microsoft is investigating potential performance issues when streaming videos through WSA. In addition, the company confirmed that it also plans to enable DRM-protected streaming support in the coming months.
“This is already something on our radar for new feature requests, we appreciate the feedback here,” says Microsoft engineer Hamza Usmani noted in a reply to the “Hardware DRM/Widevine L1” feature request message.
Unfortunately, we don’t know when the new features will go live for the general public.
Android 13 is now available for WSA
The Windows subsystem for Android, also known as WSA, has recently been updated with support for Android 13.
As WSA remains a top priority for Microsoft, it gets updates with many big changes. For example, support for Android 13 has added quite a few new features, such as a new command line command that lets you schedule the 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 opening of media files and much more.
While WSA sounds more exciting than ever, it’s not available to everyone. Not all available devices meet the requirements to run Android apps on Windows 11. For example, computers must have 8 GB of RAM (16 GB is recommended) to run mobile apps, Intel Core i3 8th gen, Ryzen 3000, Snapdragon 8c or higher.
In addition, WSA also requires an SSD. To get started, go to the Microsoft Store and install Amazon Appstore, a dedicated app store for Android apps on Windows 11.