Windows 11 2022 Update: The best new features to try out

Microsoft has announced its first major update for Windows 11 with the official name “Windows 11 2022 Update”. It’s packed with features, many of which have been highly anticipated since Windows 11 first launched in 2021.

The annual update touches on a little bit of everything, including UI, customization, security, accessibility, and even new apps.

Customizable start menu

The new Start menu in Windows 11, 22H2
Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

The Start Menu has always been the most controversial aspect of Windows 11 when upgrading from Windows 10, so some updates to its interface and usability are welcome. The most obvious change in Windows 11 2022 Update is that the Start menu now lets you organize applications into folders to make them easier to organize. This is done with a simple drag and drop, and they can of course be renamed – not unlike on an iOS or Android device.

You can also customize the Start menu to show either “More Pins” or “More Suggestions,” which determines whether you see more apps or more suggested files. This was highly recommended as the feedback from the community showed that many people aren’t able to do much with the recommended files.

Also Read :  Microsoft News Roundup: Surface Studio 3, Laptop 5, Pro 9 leaks, Intel Arc and 13th Gen CPUs, and Android apps on Windows 11

The Windows 11 2022 Update has also made searching directly from the taskbar more efficient. Launching apps, for example, is now much more responsive and instantly brings up the application by just typing a character or two into the search box.

Redesigned file explorer

The redesigned File Explorer home page for Windows 11.

File Explorer is one of the most used apps in Windows, and now it’s making some improvements to streamline things. First things first, tabs are finally coming to File Explorer, meaning you can open multiple folders side-by-side in a single window. This has been a feature of Finder in macOS for years, so it’s great to finally see it for Windows. However, Microsoft has indicated that tabs in File Explorer won’t be officially available until sometime in October.

File Explorer also gets some new ways to access files and folders. Under “Quick Access” you can now pin documents or files to the sidebar. There’s also a new “Home” page that gives you access to these quick access folders and documents, as well as a new “Favorites” section.

When you sync your folders with OneDrive, there’s a new sync status that lets you know at a glance that files have been synced. It can also display collaborators’ recent activities on the document.

Also Read :  10 New Features and Changes Introduced With 2022 Apple TV

Better touch controls, improved snap layouts

Windows 11 doesn’t include a “tablet mode” designed specifically for touch controls, but it was designed with touch-oriented devices in mind. However, the update smoothes out some of the creases. Snap layouts in particular are now more touch-friendly, allowing you to jump into snap layouts simply by dragging the window to the top of the screen.

You can now even swipe up on the desktop to bring up the Start menu, or swipe down to close it. The same works if you swipe up on the taskbar to bring up quick settings.

More Android apps

Android apps on Windows 11

Before the update, more than 1,000 Android apps were available in the Microsoft Store. The Windows 11 2022 update increases this significantly to over 20,000.

All 20,000 Android apps still exist through Microsoft’s partnership with the Amazon Appstore for Android. This is still a fraction of the 400,000+ that exist on the platform, meaning Microsoft is still heavily curating these apps for Windows 11. We’re still a long way from the vision of having a full library of Android apps available on Windows PCs, but the Windows 11 2022 Update takes another step in the right direction.

Also Read :  Resident Evil Showcase: Winters' expansion, third-person mode and upcoming PS VR 2 features detailed


Microsoft bought video editing app Clipchamp back in 2021, and now we’re seeing the fruits of that acquisition. Clipchamp was available through the Insiders program in early builds of Windows 11, but the video editing software is now available for all PCs through the Windows 11 2022 Update.

The demise of Windows Movie Maker in 2017 left a gap in Microsoft’s bundle of included software, and the availability of Clipchamp offers a solid default option for people who need to put together quick videos on a Windows PC. Think of it as the video’s Microsoft Paint.

Voice access and live subtitles

Live subtitles in Windows 11.
Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

Windows 11 2022 Update brings some admirable accessibility features, especially for those who have special needs in controlling their PCs. Voice Access is a new feature that allows you to control all of Windows 11 using just your voice.

Live subtitles, on the other hand, convert any audio source into subtitles, including videos and video calls. While many individual applications and websites include subtitles, Live Captions does so universally across the operating system.

Editor’s Recommendations

Source link