Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Microsoft Ending Windows Subsystem for Android

Microsoft (via Hacker News, 9to5Mac):

Microsoft is ending support for the Windows Subsystem for Android™️ (WSA). As a result, the Amazon Appstore on Windows and all applications and games dependent on WSA will no longer be supported beginning March 5, 2025.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Never depend on Microsoft for anything.

Alan Miller:

This seems like the nichest of niche products since Microsoft no longer even has Android devices of its own and most Android installs run on a different cpu architecture than most Windows installs.

Michael Love:

Glad I didn’t waste time supporting the Amazon AppStore for this. (meanwhile the case for a dedicated Windows port grows)

Also maybe helps to explain Apple’s lack of enthusiasm for Catalyst, since I assume they’re seeing some of the same apathy towards blown-up-mobile-apps-on-desktop that led Microsoft to make this decision.


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Hot take incoming: I kind of wish iOSAppOnMac (is there a better name?) had never shipped. Yes, it's nice that I can run Overcast or Apollo (RIP) or whathaveyou on an ARM Mac, but in terms of both visuals and haptics, the actual experience is mediocre at best. It reminds me a little of when we thought running X11 apps on a Mac was a worthwhile thing to do: on paper, nice that it's _possible_, but in practice, not really something people asked for.

And perhaps those resources would have been better put into making AppKit, UIKit/Catalyst, and/or SwiftUI better.

(I'm also unsure anyone _did_ depend on WSA. It, too, felt like a "I guess that's neat" tech demo.)

@Sören iOS apps on Mac were called Almond. The experience is not great, but it has been useful for me from time to time.

Well, this sucks. Microsoft kept it alive just long enough to incentivize companies to stop their Windows ports and recommend WSA instead (e.g. Authy), and now they're killing it.

Personally, after installing the Play Store on it, I found it very useful, and used it dozens of times each day.

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