Trends in Technology
On October 5, 2021, Microsoft officially launched the Windows 11 operating system featuring a stunning new design and interface packed with highly intuitive features to make everyday life easier. From improved multi-monitor support to more advanced interface features, translucent windows, and the new Microsoft Store, there’s a lot to be excited about if you haven’t upgraded to it yet.
More importantly, there is exciting news for those who have opted for this new OS. In February 2022, Microsoft announced that it will bring a host of new features to Windows 11 with its new update called Build 22557.
In this post, we’ll dive a little deeper into the Windows 11 operating system before talking about the latest update, including new touch gestures, a new Task Manager, and more.
Why Windows 11?
For nearly a decade, Microsoft users have either opted for Windows 7, 8, or 10 following their consequent releases. With the Windows 11 update, Microsoft hoped that it had finally developed an OS all PC users will enjoy. Here are some of the key features that make Windows 11 the best operating system in the market right now:
1. AI-Powered Widgets
As one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence, Microsoft aimed to use the technology to enhance the user experience. It did just that by bringing back widgets from the Windows 7 and Vista OS and incorporating them with the Live Tiles on Windows 10 to optimize navigation with dedicated pane slides on your screen’s left side. This way, you can find what you need without the need to scroll over the entire interface.
2. Android Apps
With Android dominating the smartphone and tablet market, Microsoft had to do something to ensure more users, especially businesses, had all their applications on a single device. Thus, it included a built-in store for Android apps to give users an easy way to download their favorite apps without going to the Google Play Store or downloading APK files from untrusted sources.
Popular apps available for download include:
▪ Kindle for Android
▪ Washington Post
▪ Yahoo Mail
▪ Google Podcasts
▪ Disney Plus, etc.
3. Virtual Desktops
The latest Windows operating system allows users to create individual virtual desktops that can be customized with unique wallpapers to make it easier to identify and organize each one. Virtual desktops are quite similar to how Mac OS works on a computer screen when you switch between different apps or programs.
4. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams has been perhaps the most important feature included in Windows 11 following the emergence of remote work and asynchronous communication models during the pandemic. Now, users can integrate their video conferencing platform and connect from different devices and platforms, including computers, laptops, Xbox consoles, and even iOS devices, such as the iPhone or iPad.
So, no matter where you are or what device you’re using, you can stay connected with friends, family, and/or coworkers as long as you have an internet connection.
5. Snap Layouts
With multitasking becoming a workplace norm, many users were looking for ways to run several applications more efficiently. Microsoft went one step further and now allows an unlimited number of windows on your screen at once. This way, you can see so many different things happening while you’re working on a specific application.
Using Snap Layouts, you can arrange different layouts on a single screen and save them on the windows with a custom arrangement.
A Quick Overview of the Latest Windows 11 Features
If you’re intrigued by the exciting features Windows 11 offers to users, let’s check out the newest features in its latest update designed to improve the user experience further:
1. New Start Menu
Windows 11 introduces a new and improved Start menu in which users can add folders. With this feature, users can now drag different applications on each other to create a quick folder. Yes, this is similar to creating app folders on Android devices for quick access.
The only difference is that you can’t rename the folder like on Android. However, you can still rearrange the apps in the folder and add or remove them as per your requirement.
2. Touch Gestures
Microsoft has added five new touch gestures to the Windows 11 OS in the latest update. To use the first gesture, swipe up on the taskbar; this will open the Start menu. A swipe down would dismiss it. The second gesture allows you to swipe between all apps (pinned, recommended, etc.) on the start menu. The third gesture allows users to swipe from their taskbar’s bottom-right to open the Quick Settings. Lastly, a full-screen gripper has been added to minimize unwanted swipes in touch-based apps.
3. Live Captions
The latest update will allow users to use Live captions using the Win+Ctrl+L command shortcut. With this, they can see any video that is being played back on any synced device or any window. This unique feature is specifically designed to benefit users with hearing issues or faulty speakers. You can see the captions either displayed in floating windows or pinned to the bottom or top of your screen.
4. Better Snap Layouts and Other Changes
New Snap Layouts are designed to allow users to drag an app from their screen’s top and reveal all its layouts. The Focus feature in the layout is being improved to include a Do Not Disturb Mode. Other changes included better drag and drop support from the Taskbar and a revamped Task manager design with dark mode.
And there you have it – a quick overview of the latest Windows 11 features. With this information, you can finally update your Windows to the latest operating system and enhance your user experience.
For existing users, the drag and drop support, new touch gestures, and better Start menu offers a much-needed improvement from the previous version as the new design change lacked a sense of familiarity, especially for users upgrading from Windows 10. Lastly, please note that many of these features are still in testing, and it could be months before they arrive in your system.