Windows 11 launched recently and Microsoft delivered some big changes to the storied operating system, including its first name change in six years. The Windows 11 update began rolling out on 5 October 2021 although it will be released in a phased approach on eligible devices.
Windows 11 comes with a tonne of new features, such as the ability to download as well as run Android apps on your Windows PC and updates to Microsoft Teams, the Start menu and the overall look of the software, which is cleaner and Mac-like in design. Keep in mind that not all of the features are available today.
Windows 11 isn’t just Windows 10 with a new collection of wallpapers. Thankfully, many other tweaks and improvements make an upgrade to the latest OS seem enticing. That said, the new OS’s wallpapers are, indeed, beautiful!
Windows 11’s new desktop aesthetics try to mimic the look of glass. As a result, there’s a lot of transparency on many desktop elements, from windows to menus. This transparency goes hand-in-hand with related effects like a background blur, drop shadows, and rounded corners. All GPU-accelerated for a buttery-smooth user experience. It should both be more elegant and snappier than Windows 10.
Bar to Dock
Like Mac OS and many Linux Desktop Environments, Windows 11’s taskbar can turn into a dock. The icons on it can be centred, which is very helpful when using Windows 11 on a touch-enabled device. Fans of the classic taskbar will still be able to align the Start button as well as app icons to the left. Note that if you like Windows 11’s looks, and especially its centred taskbar, we’ve looked at how you can make your Windows 10 desktop look like Windows 11.
Return of the Widgets
Did you prefer widgets, the little floating informational windows in Windows Vista and 7, to the Live Tiles of Windows 10? The new widgets in Windows 11 appear in a dedicated pane, which slides in from the left of the screen. In addition, they also seem to be more geared towards presenting information instead of working as mini-apps. Still, that’s not a ground-breaking feature.
Easily Accessible Snap Layouts and Groups
Windows already supported snapping windows to the sides or corners of the screen in rudimentary arrangements. Originally “borrowed” from other OSes and advancing mobile technology, the feature was further expanded with Windows PowerToys’ FancyZones feature. Now, a new, as well as improved version in Windows 11, brings the feature to everyone, placing it in a quick menu hovering over the maximize button.
Android Apps on Windows 11
Up to Windows 10, if you wanted to run an Android app or game, you could either remote control your smartphone or run an emulator. Windows 11 will come with support for Android apps baked-in. Theoretically, you’ll be able to install almost any Android app or game, click on it, and then it will pop up on the screen, almost as with native Windows software.