Microsoft’s Windows 11 to get Android apps, taskbar improvements and more in the coming month, Telecom News, ET Telecom
According to The Verge, Windows chief Panos Panay outlined the upcoming Windows 11 changes in a blog post today, and they appear to be part of Windows 11’s first major update.
Improvements to the taskbar include mute and unmute functionality and possibly the ability to show a clock on secondary monitors. Both were missing when Windows 11 launched, but Microsoft is still working on improving the taskbar to bring back missing features like drag-and-drop.
The upcoming Windows 11 next month will also include the weather widget returning to the taskbar, something Microsoft started testing last month. The company is also reportedly redesigning its Notepad and Media Player apps, and both include dark modes and design changes that more closely match Windows 11.
However, the biggest new addition will be Android apps on Windows 11. Panay said this will be a “public preview”, indicating the feature will still be in beta when it becomes widely available next month. .
Microsoft began testing Android apps on Windows 11 with testers in October, and the feature allows users to install a limited number of apps from Amazon’s Appstore. There are a variety of workarounds to get the Google Play Store working on Windows 11, but Microsoft doesn’t officially support it.
Panay further shared various statistics on the importance of Windows over the past couple of years. Windows 10 and Windows 11 now run on 1.4 billion devices each month, and the PC market has seen strong growth throughout the pandemic.
“As we reflect on what is driving this structural shift in PC demand and use, we see three persistent trends: the rise of hybrid working and learning, changes in entertainment habits, and distribution models, and changing consumer habits for everyday tasks,” Panay said.
Microsoft claims to have seen a 6x increase in the number of people using apps such as Cisco WebEx, Slack, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Next month’s Windows 11 update will also make it easier to share your screen in Microsoft Teams and other video calling apps.
A new tab appears when users hover over apps like Teams in the taskbar, and it lets them quickly share window content while on a call, according to The Verge.