Finally, Microsoft lets Home windows 11 share information with Android apps

Microsoft is including the power to share information between Home windows 11 and its Android subsystem, a much-requested characteristic that marks the newest step by Redmond to play good with Android and iOS.

The software program maker is letting Home windows Insiders take a look at out the characteristic as a part of an replace (2305.40000.4.0) launched this week to the Home windows Subsystem for Android (WSA).

Home windows 11 customers will be capable of share such Paperwork and Photos with the Subsystem, “so eventualities like importing a photograph to a social media app or modifying a video in a artistic app work seamlessly,” the WSA staff wrote.

The folder sharing is enabled by default within the preview however might be toggled on and off to swimsuit, the staff wrote. If enabled, a consumer’s Home windows profile – corresponding to “C:UsersJohn Doe” is shared as “/sdcard/Home windows” within the Subsystem.

Safety a spotlight, apparently

With information being swapped backwards and forwards, safety and privateness grow to be necessary and in accordance with Microsoft it is sorted.

The hot button is permissions. Android apps want the consumer’s permission earlier than viewing or modifying their information. The apps have to point out a system dialog to request the permission, which might be revoked at any time by way of the app settings.

“The Subsystem additionally guards in opposition to malicious apps that might abuse your permission by scanning all Android apps along with your antivirus software program throughout set up and blocking threats, whether or not you put in the app from the Amazon Appstore or put in it with developer instruments,” the WSA Crew claimed.

There are also a spread of limitations on the subject of file sharing, corresponding to solely the information in a consumer’s Home windows profile folder can be found to WSA. Others, like Home windows system folder, program information, the folders of different customers, and exterior drives cannot be shared.

As well as, solely the information the Subsystem saves to /sdcard/Home windows can be found to Home windows; it lets customers copy information to Home windows which can be opened in different folders from an Android app. Home windows information and folders like AppData, hidden Android apps, and executable information (corresponding to “.exe”) cannot be shared.

“Cloud storage information should be downloaded to your machine,” the staff wrote. “In case your cloud storage supplier consists of online-only information in File Explorer, the online-only information is not going to be accessible to the Subsystem till you obtain them.” Additionally, the WSA must index shared information earlier than the apps can entry them, which might take a while if there are loads of information.

As well as, Redmond is trialing a option to share particular person information with particular Android apps even when the folder sharing characteristic is disabled. Customers can drag and drop information from File Explorer to an open Android app that helps file sharing. As well as, some apps permit pasting information copied to the Home windows clipboard, although the software program will solely get learn entry to the shared file.

The WSA replace comes with a fair proportion of different options and enhancements, together with enhancements in Wi-Fi API and digicam {hardware} compatibility, Android 13 and Linux kernel safety updates, and an improve to model 113 of Chromium WebView.

Microsoft’s increasing help for each Android and iOS in its portfolio permits it to have a presence within the cellular house. The corporate made a run at cellular that ended years in the past when it shut down its work with Home windows Cellphone and Home windows 10 cellular.

Since then, the corporate appears to have given up on cellular and is as an alternative seeking to embrace (and perhaps “lengthen, and extinguish”) cellular opponents in the long run. ®