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What’s new in Windows 11?

Windows 11 is set to be released on October 20th, 2021 (at the fitting time of 11 minutes past 11). But what can we expect from the new operating system? We’ve got a roundup of all the new features you’ll be able to access when you decide to update. 

A new look: less Microsoft, more Mac

Windows 11 is going to mean a brand new design for Windows users, including changes to the start bar, desktop and applications. For Mac users this might look a little familiar; but that could be down to the fact that Microsoft have opted for simplicity and style in this design. 

The start button and taskbar are going to be centred, instead of the left-oriented design that Windows users are used to. The more traditional list view for Windows start button seems to have been scrapped in favour of smaller icons, much like the ones you’d find on your smartphone. If you hate it, don’t worry - much of this will be customisable by users.

Multitask with Snap Layouts

If you’re a Windows 10 user you might be used to dragging a window to one side of your screen in order to see two windows side by side at once. There’s a great feature that Windows 11 is introducing called Snap Layouts, which allows you to quickly snap the apps into different orientations; really useful if you have multiple screens, or you just like to multitask. 

Another feature that Windows 11 is introducing is called Snap Groups, which is a feature that remembers where your apps are stored. When you create a layout using the Snap Layouts feature, the group is saved using Snap Groups. You can load a Snap Group up at any time, without having to manually drag each window into place. 

Android apps, on your desktop

One of the big updates from Windows 11 is the ability to run Android apps on the Windows PC. Although this is technically already possible using the Your Phone app, Windows 11 integrates a far more user-friendly and desktop friendly version. This will allow you to access all of your favourite android apps from your Windows PC or laptop.

Every single one of the Andorid apps on Amazon’s appstore will be available to download; this includes TikTok, Uber and WhatsApp. You will need to download the Amazon Appstore app, and log into your Amazon account to access this feature.

Widgets: information at a glance

Widgets are a collection of small graphical apps, and in Windows 11 they’re available from the taskbar. If you like using Live Tiles in Windows 10 it’s a similar thing; weather, news, photos and your calendar can all be accessed with a single click. In Windows 11, Widgets are there to give you a visual overview of what’s going on in the world.

Of course this can be customised, so you can add a Widget for sports, stocks, traffic, your to-dos, basically anything you can think of. Just click ‘Add Widgets’ to incorporate the apps that you want, and you can also click ‘Manage your news and interests’ to customise your news feed.

Updating the updates

If Windows updates are the bane of your existence, then you’ll be pleased to hear that Microsoft hasn’t skimped on the performance features of Windows 11. Not only will Windows updates now happen in the background, allowing you to continue using your PC or laptop whilst updating, they’ll also be 40% smaller. 

Should I update to Windows 11?

If you’re currently running Windows 7 or Windows 10, you’ll be able to update to Windows 11 for free. It is important to consider updating, because when you update your device you’re getting the latest bug fixes and security patches, which keeps your device protected against malware. 

Before you update, it’s worth checking that your device can support Windows 11, as well as any other connected devices that you use on a daily basis, such as printers, servers and scanners, etc. If you aren’t sure whether your device will support Windows 11, or are on the fence about updating, get in touch with your IT support team.

Want to talk to someone about Windows 11? Give us a call on 0191 482 0444

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