Microsoft announced that it's bringing a bunch of new features in the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22557 to the Developer channel. The changes include new touch gestures, folders for the Start menu, a Task Manager supporting dark mode, and much more quality of life (QoL) improvements.
The new QoL changes will significantly improve the usability of Windows 11, and the new Start menu will allow users to customize the pinned sections and drag applications on top of another to create folders. These can be rearranged by the users, and the ability to rename folders will be available in future builds.
Live captions will also help those who are hard of hearing or deaf to better understand audio by viewing captions of spoken content pinned to the top of the screen. The captions will be captured and automatically generated on-device, and they will be displayed either on the top of the screen or in a floating window. The feature currently only supports English (US) content, and it can be enabled with the WIN + CTRL + L keyboard shortcut, or from the Accessibility flyout under Quick Settings.
File Explorer’s Quick Access view is also getting an update. The feature will allow folders and compatible files to “Pin to Quick Access,” which will let users quickly find files on their computers in one place.
Microsoft also added a better OneDrive integration into File Explorer that will show when the service is syncing content, and it will also show the quota usage without needing to leave File Explorer.
New Touch Gestures
The developer build includes five new touch gestures that will make it easier to navigate Windows 11 on PCs with touch.
- Swipe to dismiss Start: Swipe with your finger from the middle of the taskbar to invoke the Start menu and swipe back down to dismiss it.
- Swipe between Pinned/All Apps: Within Start, swipe right to left from Pinned to get to All apps and left to right to get back to Pinned. The same gesture works for Recommended/More.
- Swipe to invoke or dismiss Quick Settings: Swipe with your finger from the bottom right of the taskbar to invoke Quick Settings and swipe back down to dismiss it.
- Swipe to invoke or dismiss Notification Center: We’ve updated the animation when swiping to invoke and dismiss Notification Center from the right edge of your screen so that it’s more responsive and follows your finger.
- Full-screen gripper: In full-screen touch-oriented apps and games (e.g., Solitaire), notice a gripper that appears if you swipe from the edges of the screen. This feature is designed to keep you in your app if you accidentally swipe near the edges. If you need to access edge content, simply swipe again on the gripper.
Snap layouts have a new way to trigger the feature by using touch or a mouse. Users can drag a window to the top of the screen to reveal the snap layouts, which will allow the window to be dragged to a layout and snap in place. Microsoft also added new animations to make the transition nicer.
- The default Sleep and Screen off window has been updated with a new design to include energy consumption, carbon emissions, and more information. The window will also provide recommendations on how to save power and reduce carbon emissions.
- Microsoft also improved Do Not Disturb and Focus to silence notifications and banners for apps, and you can also make exceptions.
- Taks Manager received a new redesign and efficiency mode, and it now also supports Dark Mode. A “command bar” has also been added to each page to give access to common actions.
There are many more changes and improvements that you can read about here. Microsoft has also officially started rolling out support for Android apps in the latest February update, and now everyone can try to run their favourite apps and games on their computer.