Microsoft continues to revamp its popular Windows OS, adding new features.
One of the most used operating systems, Windows, is getting a raft of new features and other updates. The OS, developed and maintained by Microsoft, is on the version known as Windows 11. The company released a new build, and it is available to testers.
The changes start from the Start menu and seek to address some of the complaints by users. Using folders, you can now make the Start menu look how you want it. This is similar to the functionality on Windows 10 to group several tiles into a single folder, making it possible to fit more tiles and, in this case, more icons on the screen. It is as easy as dragging icons onto one another, and you can rearrange the icons inside a folder and remove them if you wish to. Microsoft says it will enable renaming the folders in another update. It is interesting to see Microsoft pay attention to customization, something missing when Windows 11 launched.
Microsoft has also reworked gestures on Windows 11, a change that will delight users that miss the gestures that went away with Windows 8. This is a great addition, or return, for Windows 11 tablet users. For example, you can summon the Start menu by swiping up on the taskbar, while a swipe down will make it go away. Also, you can now swipe to navigate between pinned apps, all apps, and recommended apps on the Start menu.
Another touch gesture, swiping from the bottom right of the taskbar, will bring up the Quick Settings menu, giving you quick access to doing things like turning on and off the Bluetooth.
Still for tablet users, rotating your device, the content on the screen will adjust orientation faster and more responsively.
Microsoft will soon work Live Captions into the OS, which you can call up by pressing WinKey + CTRL + L as a shortcut. The feature is for people with hearing disabilities to read the text of audio on the screen. Live Captions will now work with any content that includes audio. However, everybody is welcome to use the feature, regardless of their hearing capabilities. The text can appear in a window or simply float at the top or bottom of the screen.
There is also the new Snap Layouts that is getting improvements. You can drag an open app to the top of a window, and you will see all available layouts. Drop the app into a layout, and the screen will automatically snap the apps into place.
If you use the Focus feature regularly to avoid distractions while working, a Do Not Disturb mode allows you to dismiss notifications quickly. However, prioritized notifications will still come in, like alarms.
The new updates include drag and drop onto the taskbar, a conspicuously missing feature during the initial launch of Windows 11.
Microsoft is improving energy consumption for PC users by changing the default values for the times the computer sleeps, and the screen goes off. However, only people that do a clean install of Windows 11 will see this for now, although new PCs will have even stricter power management in the future.
The Task Manager is now wearing a new look. There is a command bar, and you can enable dark mode, a massive change from the Task Manager many people grew up to know. You can also use an efficiency mode to limit how much resources apps consume.
Again, all these features are in the test channel, which you can join if you want them straight away. However, if you don’t mind waiting, Microsoft will eventually include them in a general release later this year.