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Microsoft unveils new features for web apps, opens Android app submissions to all, more

The Microsoft Store logo alongside Windows 10 and 11 logos

Microsoft understands the importance of providing customers with a straightforward, reliable, and trusted source of apps and games for Windows 10 and 11. Therefore, the company is constantly improving the Microsoft Store, making it more user and developer-friendly. The latest enhancements include several AI-powered features and more tools to help promote apps across Microsoft's services.

Still, that is not all Microsoft has in store—during the annual Build developer conference, the software giant announced a few more developer-focused changes to improve progressive web apps, win32 programs, and Android apps for Windows 11.

New features for Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Microsoft says progressive web apps remain a "top priority in the Microsoft Store," so it has prepared several notable improvements to enhance the experience for developers and users. PWAs published in the Microsoft Store will soon support the Digital Goods APIs that enable in-app purchases and streamline checkout. Besides, Microsoft wants to help reach more users with Windows Widgets and web apps support in Edge's sidebar.

Developers can learn more about building and publishing modern, feature-rich, progressive web apps using Pwabuilder, Microsoft's open-source, community-guided project.

Streamlined Win32 certification

The Microsoft Store is a home for not just universal or web-based applications—it also supports "classic" Win32 programs. To those developing and maintaining Win32 projects, Microsoft has announced a suite of certification tests that can be run offline. It will also provide helpful guidance on fixing certification issues potentially preventing the app from landing in the Microsoft Store.

According to Microsoft, the new suite will give developers higher chances of a successful store submission and reduce the certification turnaround time by half. If you are a Win32 developer, learn more about the new certification tools here.

Android app submission for Windows 11 is now available for all

Android app developers can now submit their projects for distribution on Windows 11 devices without restriction and reach out to more customers by publishing their games or applications in the Amazon Appstore. Approved applications will run on compatible Windows 11 devices using the Windows Subsystem for Android, which is now based on Android 13 and features various improvements, such as better performance, picture-in-picture, enhanced memory management, anti-virus support, and more.

Microsoft recommends Android developers prepare their apps for a smooth testing and publishing experience by checking out available developer resources that detail how an app should handle window resizing and implement native input mapping in the new form factor.

You can learn more about the latest developer-focused improvements in the official Windows Developer blog. Also, check out the rest of Build 2023 announcements here.

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