For Windows insiders, various versions of Microsoft’s flagship product Windows 11, has been around for a while. Yet, it was just recently released to the broader public. While the focus of Windows 8 and Windows 10 catered more for the mobile device market, 11 shifted back to a more familiar setting with improvements to some of the most useful Windows 11 settings.
Please note that some features are not unique to Windows 11 but are improved or added to the new OS.
Once a controversial default feature of mobile devices, location tracking is no longer a privacy concern and more of a necessity. Location services provide remarkable GPS tracking services for use with online maps and features. While location services are markedly more helpful when used on mobile devices, they are valuable as a PC or laptop feature. You can access a more personal experience with local news and weather and the occasional personalized ad. However, you should note that tracking is turned so that location services could be a privacy issue.
365 Cloud Computing
The current state of computing rather than the future, cloud access is more prevalent than ever. You can access almost anything from a cloud server using various streaming and continuous access technologies. In addition, cloud data negates the need to install apps and programs in most cases, and data encryption offers an extra level of security. Further, all cloud-based systems provide the advantage of off-site and extra storage should you need it. For example, Microsoft’s own Office 365 offers cloud access to the popular suite with all these benefits.
Cortana Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are becoming more common. And while some leave a lot to be desired, others are beneficial and accurate. Alexa is a prime example of how an AI assistant should be. Yet, Microsoft, being the tech pioneers, offers you their own Cortana AI, a system first introduced in the hit FPS game Halo. However, Cortana is disabled by default, and you need to re-enable it in Settings -> Apps and Features. Then, using your voice control, you can ask Cortana to schedule appointments, open apps and access local weather and traffic reports.
Microsoft has stated multiple times that Windows 11 is the definitive edition for gaming. Not only can you integrate your Xbox and PC gaming experiences into one solid platform, but you can enable auto HDR for your video games. HDR is nothing new to Windows, but it requires a manual switch. Should your display device and the game you are playing support it, Windows 11 will switch to HDR automatically. From there, you can enjoy the very best high dynamic range gaming that your Xbox and PC experience has to offer.
OS Default Browser
The default browser debacle has raged for decades. Suppose you are old enough to remember the Netscape incidents. In that case, you are aware of how seriously Microsoft previously took this subject. And while the default browser has never really been a difficult task for inexperienced users, it was somewhat tricky in the past. Fortunately, Windows 11 makes it easier than ever to switch to your favourite browsers like Firefox, Chrome or DuckDuckGo. To set your default browser, go to Settings -> Apps -> Default Apps and select your desired web browser.
Operating over multiple devices is more common than it used to be, thanks to the interconnected nature of the modern world. With the Microsoft family of apps and tools, you can sync your clipboard across devices. For example, you can copy an image of this week’s must-have fashion accessory from your company office PC Pinterest search. Then you can paste it to the PowerPoint presentation you are creating on your Microsoft Surface tablet. Clipboard syncing operates via your Microsoft account, so you need to log in to that for each device you wish to connect.
Snapping layouts is a feature that Windows 7 introduced, and it is remarkably useful. For example, you can snap a Notepad dialogue to the side of the screen while you work on a blog interview post. For some reason, the feature went a little sideways in Windows 10, but it is vastly improved in Windows 11. Various layouts are available. Rather than the standard side-by-side, you can split your tasks into triple arrangements of different sizes and configurations. The layout feature is handy if you don’t have multiple monitors but require simultaneous viewing of multiple windows.
Simplified Start Menu
The Start Menu is always a point of contention when a new version of Windows is released. Not least because Microsoft devs like to mess with it so much. If you’ll remember, they tried to do away with it altogether with Windows 8, which created a whole hot mess. Fortunately, the Start Menu is back, although not what you might expect. First, it’s in the middle of the Taskbar, and you will click the left for a couple of weeks. Second, it is simplified to displaying only pinned apps, with an All Apps button located at the top right of the pop-up menu.
The Right-click menu has been a valuable tool for GUI-based operating systems since the 1960s. And it is a staple feature in Windows operating systems. A right-click provides quick access to helpful options such as copy, paste, delete and open. Yet over the years, the Right-click menu became somewhat convoluted. So, in Windows 11, you are initially presented with the most relevant or everyday actions for a specific subject. Then, should you require more tasks, there is a ‘Show More Options’ feature at the bottom of the menu.
Mobile devices are notorious for disturbing you. Notifications, promotions and ads, incoming communications and alarms are some examples. And you can feel like it’s all too much. Unfortunately, modern PCs and laptops operate similarly. However, Windows 11 makes it much easier to control when and what your system interrupts you with. To optimize your computer focus, go to Settings -> System – > Focus Assist. From there, you have the option to set which specific apps’ notifications are shown, certain times they can be shown, and under what conditions, such as when gaming.