Windows 11, Android app in Italy by the end of the year and other new features at Build 2022
The annual Microsoft Build 2022 conference has begun, and while the main focus of the event this year is to create the ideal tools for flexible working, there are a few new Windows 11 innovations worth noting even for us ordinary consumers. Let’s briefly summarize by points:
- Android application in Italy by the end of the year. The Android subsystem is currently only being tested in the United States, but by next December it will also arrive in France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and Italy. We remind you that the initiative is developed in partnership with Amazon and its Appstore.
- More PWA integration. Thanks to updates to Edge and the operating system itself, progressive web apps will be able to open certain file extensions by default and will support Windows 11’s share UI. by them will not appear in the dropdown as if from Edge, they will only show the app name and icon.
- Android subsystem updates. It is now based on Android 12L, or more precisely version 12.1 of the Open-Source Android Project (AOSP). At least, for Insiders: the update was released last week. Several aspects of Windows integration have also been improved, including notification handling and more sophisticated networking technologies.
- Third-party widget support. With Windows 11, Microsoft has focused heavily on being able to customize the experience of using the operating system with widgets, but so far it has been the only one producing them. The plan has always been to extend this possibility to third-party developers, and obviously the time has finally come. According to the announcement, developers will be able to develop both Win32 and PWA widgets. It is interesting to observe that, at least according to Microsoft’s official statements, the operating paradigm remains unchanged: that is, the widgets remain relegated to the dedicated panel that can be opened by clicking in the left corner of the taskbar. This despite the fact that just a few days ago Microsoft introduced a web search widget (via Bing, of course) that can be placed on the desktop.
- Microsoft Store increasingly universal. Now all developers can publish their traditional Win32 applications and the previously used waiting list disappears.
- Advertise in the Microsoft Store. Developers will be able to advertise their apps and games through the Microsoft Advertising platform (image 1 above).
- App recovery after clean install/reset. This is a very handy feature, borrowed from the mobile world, which can be a great incentive for users to use the Microsoft Store. It will work exactly as expected: just log in to the new device, open the store, and head to the library. A prompt will initiate reinstallation of full apps with user data (image 2 above).
NEW SAP OF LIFE AT WINDOWS ON ARM
This is news for developers, but it has potentially huge implications for an entire category of consumer products – I Windows computer with Qualcomm processors, like the Surface Pro X. A full native ARM64 development toolchain is finally available. The hope is that this will inspire developers to step up their efforts in creating optimized software. The first preview of the toolchain will arrive, with Visual Studio 2022, in the coming weeks; the company also said it is working to include other tools such as Open JDK, Python, LL VM, Node, and Git.
Microsoft also announced Project Volterra, a dev box with Snapdragon chip, primarily designed to allow developers to explore different AI scenarios using Qualcomm’s Neural Processing SDK. Unfortunately, the concrete information ends there: we don’t know the spec sheet, we don’t have an image, and we don’t know when it will arrive or how much it will cost.