What’s New in Windows 11’s First Big Update (February 2022)

Since its first release, Windows 11 has received a steady stream of minor updates. Now, though, Microsoft has launched the first massive update for the operating system that changes the game with lots of new features and tweaks.

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How To Get The Latest Version of Windows 11

Before we jump into what you’ll get with Windows 11’s first major update, you probably want to know how to get it. If you already have Windows 11 installed, you simply need to go to Windows Update and click “Check for Update.”

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If you don’t have Windows 11 yet, you’ll need to go through the process of updating to it, which is painless enough (assuming you’re not trying to run it on an unsupported PC).

Android Apps on Windows 11

Since the day Windows 11 was announced, one of the most exciting features was the ability to run a selection of Android apps through a partnership with Amazon. The feature wasn’t ready for the launch of Windows 11, but Microsoft has finally made a public preview available to all Windows 11 users.

The selection of apps isn’t as vast as the entire app store offered by Google Play, but you’ll find a solid selection, and many of the critical apps are there.

It’s easy to get Android apps running on Windows 11, so give it a try once you’ve updated the operating system and see how you like it.

Taskbar Improvements

Another critical change in the latest Windows 11 update is significant taskbar improvements. Now, Windows 11 will finally show the clock on the taskbar across multiple monitors instead of just showing it on the primary display. This was definitely an oversight in the original design, and it’s nice to see Microsoft solving the issue.

Additionally, Microsoft is bringing the weather widget to the taskbar in this update. This is an excellent convenience to have, as it grants you access to weather and other widgets more quickly.

Finally, the quick mute in the taskbar feature for Microsoft Teams is available to all Windows 11 users. It was in beta for some time, and now it’s available to the masses. If you use Zoom or any other meeting software, this feature might make Microsoft Teams a more appealing choice. You can also share Windows in Microsoft Teams more quickly with the latest Windows 11 version.

Redesigned Apps

Microsoft redesigned Notepad and Media Player for Windows 11. If you’re an avid user of either of these apps, you’ll enjoy the new features and the look and feel that fits with Windows 11 nicely.

Starting with Notepad, you’ll notice a multi-step undo feature, a better search interface, colorful emojis, and support for dark mode.

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The Media Player app has also received a significant tweak. It’s set to replace Groove Music and Windows Media Player, and it looks like it fits right in with the rest of Windows 11. If you use Groove Music as your go-to music player on Windows, your playlists and library will automatically migrate to the new Media Player app.

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You’ll need to visit the Microsoft Store to update your Notepad and Media Player applications. It’s definitely worth downloading them, if for nothing other than making them fit in better with the overall design of Windows 11.

Windows 11 Updates Will Come Faster

Windows 11 has been out for some time now, and Microsoft is making some major changes that’ll make the OS even better. If you haven’t upgraded yet, it might be time to take the plunge (assuming your PC supports Windows 11).

This update is worthwhile between the support for Android apps, improvements to the taskbar, and tweaked apps. Sure, some of those features were meant to be there from day one, but it’s better late than never.

Microsoft intends to release updates faster after this update instead of making fans wait a year for new features. Microsoft’s Panos Panay said, “Over time, you’ll see us release new features into Windows 11 for end-users more frequently in addition to our annual update. We will leverage the variety of update mechanisms we have in place, including servicing and Microsoft Store updates. Our goal is to deliver continuous innovation, providing you with the best experiences year-round.”

If you’re the type of user who gets excited about new features, this is excellent news, as you’ll get new goodies to play with more often.

Source: The Cloud Consultancy blog