Home windows 11 is sort of right here, whole with a brand new glance, a brand new location to your taskbar icons, and a brand new (and stringent) record of necessities. However a recent coat of paint is largely obligatory with a brand new model of Home windows. What we didn’t look forward to was once the laundry record of options coming with the brand new running device, a lot of which stuck us by way of marvel.
From Android apps to computerized HDR in video games to the wonderful go back of widgets, listed below are 7 new Home windows 11 options we didn’t be expecting. You’ll be in a position to check out them out for your self when the running device launches on October five.
Android apps for your Home windows 11 PC
Microsoft leader product officer Panos Panay stated that he was once “pumped” to convey Android apps to the PC, and why wouldn’t he be? Android apps were one of the vital benefits of Google’s Chrome OS platform, which powers competing Chromebooks. Their addition to Home windows 11 implies that the collection of apps to be had to Home windows PCs will develop doubtlessly a lot higher. Microsoft doesn’t steadily escape the collection of Home windows apps, however in 2018 Microsoft printed that there have been 35 million Home windows-capable apps, together with legacy instrument. AppBrain places the collection of Android apps at about three million.
It’s now not transparent whether or not Microsoft will convey each and every Android app to the PC, as they’ll seem within the Microsoft Retailer, now not a model of the Google Play Retailer for the PC. And actually, it’ll be Amazon’s Android app retailer powering issues in the back of the scenes. Microsoft confirmed off Khan Academy, Kindle Reader, TikTok, and extra in an instance screenshot.
To convey Android apps to Home windows PCs, Microsoft’s the use of the Intel Bridge era, which Intel describes on a prime stage as a “runtime post-compiler that permits programs to run natively on x86-based gadgets, together with working the ones programs on Home windows.”
It appears like Home windows 11 can be acting that paintings for your PC, moderately than at the Microsoft Retailer, in order that Home windows 11 PCs will have to have the ability to sideload Android apps and video games—ultimately, a minimum of. In a while forward of Home windows 11’s release, Microsoft introduced that Android apps received’t be to be had on day one.
Groups Chat to your Taskbar
Find it irresistible or now not, Microsoft insists that you simply have the ability to succeed in contacts simply out of your Home windows desktop. It all started with the now-defunct Folks app, then moved to Skype Meet Now to your Taskbar, too. Now it’s shifting directly to Groups, striking Groups Chat into your Home windows 11 taskbar.
“With Home windows 11, we’re excited to introduce Chat from Microsoft Groups built-in within the taskbar,” Microsoft stated in a weblog publish introducing Home windows 11. “Now you’ll right away attach via textual content, chat, voice or video with your whole private contacts, anyplace, regardless of the platform or software they’re on, throughout Home windows, Android or iOS. If the individual you’re connecting to at the different finish hasn’t downloaded the Groups app, you’ll nonetheless connect to them by way of two-way SMS.”
You’ll additionally have the ability to right away mute and unmute folks proper from the taskbar, or even get started presenting all through a Groups name.
Welcome to Widgets
We glimpsed Widgets in brief in our Home windows 11 arms on, however there’s obviously extra to it according to Microsoft’s authentic presentation. At the moment, Widgets is a ginormous card that slides out from the left-hand facet of your desktop. It sounds as if to be a mixture of Home windows 10’s Information & Pursuits, Your Telephone, and extra, with information, notifications, and customized knowledge of quite a lot of sorts being driven for your PC.
Will there be specialised widget apps? It appears like there might be. There’s even a captivating function that Microsoft embedded into the livestream describing the brand new Widgets function (spotted by way of the Verge): the facility to tip native content material creators. “Our aspiration is to create a colourful pipeline for international manufacturers and native creators alike, in some way that each customers and creators can get advantages,” Microsoft stated.
An upgraded Microsoft Retailer
Prevent us in the event you’ve heard this prior to: The Home windows Retailer wishes a makeover. No longer handiest is there back-end capability that would stand to be progressed, however the skill to search out new apps isn’t as just right because it might be.
Microsoft plans to improve the Retailer—even though it’s now not announcing when—with a brand new UI and larger curation. “No longer handiest do we convey you extra apps than ever prior to, we’re additionally making all content material – apps, video games, displays, motion pictures – more uncomplicated to seek for and uncover with curated tales and collections,” Microsoft says.
Microsoft is bringing extra apps to the Retailer, together with a few of its personal apps that experience by no means made an look prior to now, comparable to Microsoft Groups and Visible Studio. It’s including key third-party apps, too, comparable to Disney+, Adobe Ingenious Cloud, Zoom, and Canva.
We simply hope that we will be able to one way or the other retailer an app that we’ve downloaded with out the want to re-download it each and every time we wish to upload it to a brand new PC.
Sooner Home windows updates
Some folks actually, actually hate Home windows updates—sufficient that we added a how-to tale that will help you arrange your Home windows updates. Microsoft’s promising to assist beef up Home windows updates by way of making them smaller and sooner, probably making them much less evident as neatly. Traditionally, Microsoft has achieved this by way of “figuring out” precisely what code your PC has after which handing over precisely what it wishes.
DirectStorage and Auto HDR come to Home windows
Microsoft has stated up to now that DirectStorage, the garage spine of the Xbox Collection X, is coming to PCs —simply now not when. Now we all know it’ll arrive as a part of Home windows 11.
DirectStorage is a Home windows API that can be used to keep an eye on what Microsoft calls the Xbox Speed Structure. It’s Microsoft’s technique to lowering the garage capability that an Xbox Collection X sport calls for, loading the sport and its property as temporarily as conceivable. Now it’s coming to Home windows.
For those who’ve not too long ago learn our superb explainer on what HDR is and how one can permit it in Home windows 10, you will have a head get started on what this implies for Home windows 11: AutoHDR is coming for Home windows video games. “When enabled for your HDR succesful gaming PC, you are going to routinely get superior HDR visuals on an extra 1000+ DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 video games!” Hannah Fisher, a program supervisor with Microsoft, famous in a contemporary weblog publish explaining the brand new function.
Did we predict AutoHDR someday on PCs? Certain. But it surely’s being launched together with Home windows 11, which is beautiful cool.
Home windows 11 S is a factor
Microsoft’s simplified Home windows 10 S running device by no means were given a lot appreciate—we printed directions on how one can transfer to Home windows 10 House or Professional as an alternative. Microsoft’s Home windows 10X was once firstly designed to be even more practical as an instantaneous problem to Chromebooks, and a conceivable alternative for Home windows 10 S. However having cancelled Home windows 10X solely, Microsoft is shifting forward with a simplified Home windows 11 House in S Mode.
Voice typing with punctuation
We’re sneaking in an 8 function, that Microsoft quietly introduced: voice dictation, however with punctuation algorithmically implemented. Dictation is at all times a type of issues that’s a little tough, but when you’ll pull it off then it might probably save gobs of time. (Check it out your self in Home windows 10 by way of typing WIN+H).
Editor’s word: This newsletter firstly printed on June 24, 2021, however was once up to date to incorporate extra present data and rewrite the advent.