Windows app: Future support for Android?
The Windows app provides remote access to Windows PCs and Microsoft services. At present, the Windows app is not compatible with Android devices, but is only accessible through iOS, iPadOS, Windows, and major web browsers (Edge, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox).
During the presentation at Ignite 2023, an Android screenshot was shown, suggesting that the Windows app may support Android devices in the future, despite the current lack of compatibility. This new Windows app is designed to provide an easy and secure way to access one’s Windows PCs through the cloud, leveraging Microsoft services such as Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, Microsoft Dev Box, or one’s own PC remotely. Anyone who wants to try it out can do so through any of the supported browsers (excluding mobile browsers).
Minimum requirements for the Windows App
Here are the minimum requirements for using the Windows app:
- The Windows app supports: Windows 11 (now available in Windows 11 version 23H2) and Windows 10.
- The Windows app for macOS supports: macOS 12.0 and higher.
- The Windows app for iOS and iPadOS supports: iOS or iPadOS 16.0 and higher.
- The Windows app for browsers supports: Microsoft Edge version 79 and later, Google Chrome version 57 and later, Apple Safari version 11 and later, Mozilla Firefox version 55 and later.
Web browsers for mobile devices are not supported.
A centralized hub for remote access
The Windows app, currently in beta, is essentially what was previously known as Windows 365. This app acts as a centralized hub, allowing remote access to various Windows and Microsoft services, offering PC and cloud access. It is a gateway to Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, Microsoft Dev Box, Remote Desktop services and remote PCs.
Microsoft says it is possible to use the Windows app on a variety of devices and platforms, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, as well as directly within the browser from the dedicated portal, without the need for a dedicated app. The app offers a customizable screen for managing various workflows and allows access to remote PCs and various Windows services, even with different accounts. It also supports managing multiple monitors, customizing scaling and video resolutions, and redirecting peripherals such as webcams, storage devices, and printers.
Current and future availability
Currently, the Windows App is available only for corporate accounts, but it appears that in the future it will be accessible to everyone, including home users. The name Windows App seems to indicate a different direction than previous tools for remote control and assistance, such as Remote Desktop Connection.
For those who wish to test the app, it can be accessed through the desktop browser (mobile browsers are not supported). For Apple devices, it is currently available through TestFlight, Apple’s beta testing platform that allows users to preview apps.
Windows App anywhere via the browser
You can start the generic setup procedure from this link, and once completed, you can choose which service to access and from which device to log in. Once the beta testing phase is completed, Windows App will be available in the App Store and Mac App Store. As we said, there is currently no news about an Android version, but it could be considered in the future.
Microsoft has established a new team focused on web capabilities after Panos Panay, the executive in charge of Windows development, left the company to take a senior role at Amazon.
Empowering Microsoft Windows, software and services through cloud-based AI
The new team called Windows and Web Experience is dedicated to developing AI-powered Web experiences. Among the latest innovations announced are the expansion of Copilot tools to improve productivity with virtually all Microsoft 365 software and services, increased connectivity between enterprise data and AI tools, and a new suite of AI and productivity tools for developers.
With AI, Microsoft Edge can translate video in real time, providing an even richer experience for users.
In conclusion, Microsoft’s Windows app represents a significant step forward in the field of remote access and connectivity between devices. Although currently available primarily for enterprise accounts, the prospect of future opening to private users suggests that Microsoft is looking to bring Windows to the cloud more broadly.
Microsoft’s focus on cloud-based AI and the enhancement of Windows and Microsoft services promise further improvements in user efficiency and productivity. The ability to translate video in real time via Microsoft Edge is just one example of how the company is looking to deliver richer, more integrated experiences.