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Friday, September 29, 2023

Windows 11’s big Android update brings native apps-like file sharing and more

Microsoft has released more Windows Subsystem for Android updates than it has Surface Duo handsets. Microsoft has quietly released a major update to the Windows Subsystem for Android while we wait for new firmware for the Surface Duo. The much-anticipated addition of file sharing was included in the update that began rolling out on June 1.

Officials from Microsoft have told me that “file sharing” is now supported in the Windows Subsystem for Android. This function, introduced in build 2305.40000.2.0, modifies the way in which local files are accessed by Android applications.

Android apps, for instance, can view files saved on your device’s internal memory. Pictures taken with an Android device can now be uploaded straight to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. This also means that transferring a video to an editing program is a breeze.

You can also share files privately by dragging and dropping them from File Explorer to any other Android app. Like the clipboard functionality between a virtual machine and Windows, some apps support copying and pasting clipboard content.

It’s important to keep in mind that Windows Subsystem for Android can read anything stored on your device’s internal memory. If you open “/sdcard/Windows” in the Subsystem, it will take you to your user profile folder (C:UsersMayank). Apps can now access your camera roll or files on your computer, but they need your approval first.

Android apps will display a prompt asking for permission to read and write local storage the first time they try to access it. As usual, Android apps’ access to your data can be revoked in the settings menu. This is similar to the way conventional Android permissions and privacy settings operate.

WSA built-in security protects your device

To further safeguard the sandbox and the Windows installation from malicious apps that may abuse the permissions feature, Microsoft has also integrated its Windows Defender security features into Windows Subsystem for Android.

This new security patch will prevent the installation of any malicious software.

According to a Microsoft official, the company is working on a way to prevent potential dangers posed by apps downloaded from third-party sources like the Amazon Appstore.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are constraints to consider. The “.exe” file extension, for instance, will be automatically blocked by the company. Subsystem applications will be prevented from saving an.exe file, as well as any other potentially malicious file extension.

Local storage files that can only be accessed online must be downloaded to the device before WSA can read them. OneDrive files that have been synced to Windows 11 cannot be accessed by WSA. Files stored in a cloud service, such as OneDrive, must be downloaded to a local device before they can be accessed.

It’s likely that Microsoft patched other issues, too, not just the file-sharing one WSA-13 Android with the patch released in May of 2023.

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