An announcement in the Windows Experience blog revealed that the stable version of Windows 11 is getting a huge update next month. An improved taskbar, redesigned Notepad and Media Player apps, and support for Android apps as a public preview are among the upcoming changes.
The taskbar is expected to get a microphone mute button, time and date on the secondary display, and a weather icon that opens the Widgets pane.
Windows Insiders in the Dev channel already have all of these changes. Microsoft continues to improve the taskbar to bring back the missing features that were available in Windows 10. The ability to drag and drop items onto the taskbar is the most anticipated one.
In addition, the Windows 11 February Update will make it easier to share your screen in Microsoft Teams.
When you are in a conference in Microsoft Teams, hover your mouse over the icon of a running application in the taskbar. You will see a new button in the preview thumbnail for quickly sharing the content of that app to the conference participants.
When you have done with broadcasting, hover over the window icon in the taskbar again and click "Stop Sharing" in the preview thumbnail.
The classic Notepad will be updated to a newer version of the Fluent Design style. Microsoft has fully revamped its UI that now aligns with the new visuals in Windows 11. Rounded corners, the Mica effect, improved toolbars, scrollbars, fonts, etc. Microsoft says the app feels fresh and modern yet still familiar.
In addition, Groove Music will be replaced by the new Media Player application. The latter will handle both audio and video files. Besides unifying two media apps into one, the new Media Player brings a beautiful modern UI. The music playback view features album art and pulls additional artist pictures for a richer experience.
Android Apps support
Of course, the most awaited feature is the support for Android apps in Windows 11. Panos Panay said that the feature will still be in beta testing, but everyone will be able to use it.
The Windows Subsystem for Android allows you to install apps from both the Amazon Appstore and APK files. Using a hack, you can install the Google Play Store. Of course, this scenario has no official support from Microsoft.
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