The Microsoft event on June 24th finally confirmed what many had been speculating for weeks. A new Windows version is coming soon. The latest version includes several new features. This includes snap layout, snap groups, improved docking experience, and more!
Here are some of the best Windows 11 innovations that will make you more efficient and more productive.
1. Snap layout
Windows power users will be familiar with FancyZones. PowerToys allows you to align your programs with specific sections of the screen. If you work with ultra-wide or large screens frequently, this is ideal for you.
You do not need PowerToys for this under Windows 11. Windows 11 gives you layout options based on your display size once you hover over the restore icon.
You can arrange all of your apps the way that works best for you with just a few clicks. You no longer have to do this manually each time you open a program, saving you time and effort.
The best part is that Windows remembers the snap layout and groups them together. More on that next.
2. Snap groups
Snap Layout lets you arrange your Windows exactly how you want it. Opening a new program will mess up your current app layout. That means you will lose your arrangement and have to select the apps you are using again.
With Windows 11, you don't have to worry about that. If you click an app in your system tray that is grouped under a Snap layout, you'll see all of the other programs that are part of that group.
For example, let's say you've opened Chrome, Microsoft Word, and Slack all in a snap layout on your screen. In previous versions of Windows, to go back to the three apps you used after opening another app, you had to find and click them all on the system tray.
But with Windows 11, you just open one of the apps in the Snap group and all of the other linked windows go back to their places on the layout.
3. Undocking made easy
Many use an external display on their laptop and other mobile devices. But when you disconnect your PC from the screen with apps open, Windows tries to bring them all to your laptop monitor.
This results in a cluttered desktop with your programs open all over the screen remaining. But with Windows 11, when you undock your computer, all of the apps on the external display are minimized to your system tray.
And when you dock your device back on the screen, the Snap Group that you had there before will be restored. Even if you take your laptop with you, any apps you're working on will appear on your external screen when you return.
4. Microsoft Teams integration
Windows 11 integrates a messaging and collaboration app through Microsoft Teams. You can now send messages and make video calls right from your desktop.
While it's not as popular as other services like Zoom and Messenger, it's a handy new feature. You can now communicate with anyone right from your desktop, as long as they have a Teams account.
It helps that Microsoft Teams is also available for iOS and Android, so it has the potential to reach more people. However, it will take time to tell whether this function will prevail among the rest of the population.
Windows Widgets was first introduced in Vista and allows you to have useful mini-apps on your desktop. It was eventually removed from Windows when we discovered security flaws.
But since Android and iOS now have widgets, it's good that Microsoft brought it back in Windows 11.
With Windows Widgets, you can get a snapshot of your schedule, to-do list, email, and more. You can also view relevant news, content, and more right from your desktop.
6. New Windows gestures
Many professionals are reluctant to own two-in-one laptops or touchscreen displays. This is because navigating Windows with your fingers isn't as intuitive as it should be.
This changes with Windows 11. Microsoft designed the operating system to work with both your hands and a mouse. In computer mode, Windows 11 retains the familiar user interface. But in tablet mode, it optimizes the user interface to make it easier to use.
Fingers aren't as precise as cursors, and we can't see what we're typing. Because of this, they added larger touch targets and more space between the icons. There are even visual cues to make it easier to resize and move apps around.
Microsoft also uses the same touchpad gestures to navigate the screen. You don't have to relearn anything to use your touchscreen effectively. Windows 11 is intuitive and easy to use in both tablet and laptop mode.
7. A redesigned Windows Store
Windows 11 has an app store built from the ground up. This is great news as the current Microsoft Store has several issues.
In addition, the new Windows Store now also offers the traditional Windows apps that you are used to. This makes your experience more secure because you can download software directly from Microsoft. This ensures that what you install is free of malware.
Best of all, Microsoft claims they are not taking a cut from the developers. So you can assume that the software prices there are the same or even cheaper than elsewhere.
8. Android apps in Windows 11
This is probably the biggest surprise of all. Android apps for Windows 11 are now available via the Amazon Appstore in the Microsoft Store.
This feature lets you run the 3 million plus apps available on Google Play. Since many iOS apps are also available on Android, you can run your smartphone apps on your PC.
Windows integrates these apps into the start menu and the taskbar like any other program. You can also use Snap Layout to organize the Android apps alongside your regular Windows apps.
Intel's Bridge technology makes using Android apps like a Windows native. With this innovation, working on your smartphone, tablet and PC becomes seamless and easy.
The future of Windows is here
Recent events have changed the way we work. Many positions now work from home (or pretty much anywhere!). Our increasing reliance on portable and mobile devices reflects the latest innovations in Windows.
And do you know what's the best part about it? As long as your computer is compatible, you will receive a free upgrade to Windows 11. Microsoft has not yet announced a launch date. However, it is expected to come in late 2021.
Image credit: Microsoft
Microsoft unveils Windows 11
The software giant has announced the new iteration of its famous operating system.
About the author
(14 articles published)
Jowi is a writer, career coach and pilot. He has developed a love of everything PC since his father bought a desktop computer when he was 5 years old. Since then, he has been using and maximizing technology in every aspect of his life.
By Jowi Morales
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free e-books, and exclusive offers!
One more step …!
Please confirm your email address in the email we just sent you.