Another new Windows OS and this time it’s Windows 11. The official release hasn’t arrived yet however a Windows 11 Preview Build or ‘Beta‘ is available at the moment. The Public build might however see itself out in the late fall of 2021 and along with it might be some new features as well.
This post may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission, at no extra cost to you, when you purchase through links on the site.
If you’re curious about the Preview Build and would like to try it out there is a post on this site showing you how to Enable the Windows 10 Insider Preview Updates but be prepared because some of those options available do come with their own bugs each.
That’s not what you came for though is it?
You came for a list of all the new features Windows 11 has to offer. That you can find down below:
What’s new in the Windows 11 Preview
With a new Windows OS comes new features, that’s a given right? Well in this version of Windows there are:
Changes to the User Interface
There are some big changes that you would notice right away like the change in the UI (User Interface.). And there are some small changes that you may not feel make a huge difference to the experience like the rounded edges on… well, everything.
I mean rounded edges ARE different but really does it make that much of a difference?
Besides that, there are more noticeable changes.
You may want to take a deep breath for this.
Remember how everyone kept complaining about the changes to the start menu and taskbar each time Windows changed it? It’s changed. Yet again. Well, this time it may not be so bad.
This time the start menu looks like this:
Now there are no live tiles and there is a recommended apps list but the ‘All Apps‘ list remains similar to Windows 10 as shown down below:
Different Icons and Taskbar that make Windows 11 look a little different to its predecessor.
For some reason I find myself having to talk about the search menu.
Just in one sentence though.
To search is a little more seamless and the icon has been replaced. That’s it.
Speaking of Icons. (See what I did there?)
The icons on the taskbar have been moved to the center. Now, I know it may seem weird at first but it does grow on you. Even I felt that its position was a bit lets go with uncomfortable but I got used to it quickly and even started preferring it in a way.
But just because I liked it doesn’t mean you would.
But there’s a fix for that in the taskbar settings allowing you to move it back to its original position which was previously on the left in Windows 10. And if that’s not enough there’s always alternative start menu software Start11 by Stardock.
The Taskbar. Yeah, it’s stuck to the bottom.
Oh, you may be disappointed to find that the taskbar is stuck to the bottom.
No more shifting the task bar around anymore. It’s glued to the bottom. Hopefully this option is just in the Windows 11 Preview build and not its final release.
Right-Clicking on the Taskbar just gives you Taskbar Settings.
The Taskbar settings are quite easily accessed by right-clicking the Taskbar. As it was in Windows 10 but this time there are a few options missing. This is actually something I found myself not liking.
The only thing present once you right-click the Taskbar are the Taskbar settings.
No task manager and other doohickies.
Just Taskbar settings. (Kinda feels funny to say Taskbar so many times, doesn’t it?)
So, for those who found the shortcuts helpful be ready for a trick. Now you would have to access the task manager through ctrl+alt+del. Yes. The long way.
As for the rest of the missing options, they need to be opened the old-fashioned way as well.
New additions and changes that may be awesome.
Okay, so let’s go back to the topic of icons.
You may have noticed that there are new icons on the Taskbar such as the Task View Icon, Widget Icon and Chat Icon (The chat icon is actually Microsoft Teams which is now integrated).
Those icons are the ones placed after the Search icon in the picture further above if you’re wondering.
The Task View gives a more virtual experience than before.
Task View has changed in a way that allows you to set up virtual desktops and switch between them more seamlessly.
Similar to how the MacOS would allow.
There’s a little extra customization added as well such as the option to give each virtual desktop its own wallpaper. This definitely gives each virtual desktop its own feel.
Task View makes virtual desktops easier to manage and navigate too if you’re having more than a few of them open.
Widgets. They’re back in Windows 11 but are they useful?
Widgets are back and they can be accessed through the Taskbar.
You can customize them to your preference too, hiding which widgets you wouldn’t want to use but that’s about it.
There aren’t many widgets as of yet. Only the ones that are given to you by Microsoft such as the ones shown above.
Hopefully this changes with updates. Although to be honest I found myself not using the widgets at all but maybe it’s just me.
Gaming options that may make all the difference in Windows 11
Like Xbox consoles, Windows 11 will have features such as Auto HDR and DirectStorage.
Both of these features among others may improve gaming on a PC quite a bit.
Auto HDR in Windows 11
Because of the Auto HDR Feature (High Dynamic Range), regular apps and games that only have support for Standard Dynamic Range would be able to experience HDR image enhancement features.
With High Dynamic Range, colors become more realistic due to the wider variety/range of colors. Basically, bright details become brighter and darks become more detailed for the eye to see.
This means that the final product or image after HDR is applied would become more realistic and vivid.
The color enhancement feature of Auto HDR makes it an essential must have for gaming and regular use in my opinion.
I mean who wouldn’t want movies and games to look even better.
It is a great feature but you would need to have compatible hardware to enable it. Both your monitor and other hardware needs to have HDR support.
Windows 11 will also have DirectStorage.
DirectStorage helps to give you faster loading times with your SSD. (Solid State Drive.)
Just like on Xbox consoles, DirectStorage makes it possible to read and write data at a much higher speed. This is all due to the fact that DirectStorage helps your storage device (SSD) to communicate better with the other hardware in your PC. This could very well make loading times substantially quicker.
Other Features in Windows 11
I may be rambling on and on about Windows 11 and there are probably more features to talk about here but I’ll end with two more features that deserve their own light because they make Windows 11 so much better.
Snap groups and snap Layouts
Snap groups and Layouts are available already in the Windows 11 Preview and boy, am I glad for that. This feature allows you to realign and reconfigure the layouts of the windows on screen with a single-click of the mouse.
Being able to minimize and switch between layouts makes multi-tasking so much easier when switching between applications and windows.
There’s also a ‘Title bar window shake‘ feature. With this feature you could grab the top of any window and shake it to reduce or minimize every other window currently on your desktop. That’s a small tweak but it’s kind of awesome to me. Like, wow, am I going to use it a lot or what.
Android App Compatibility
Yes, it’s finally happening!
We all must have wanted to use android apps on our PCs once or twice in our lives, right?
Now with Windows 11 you wouldn’t need an emulator such as BlueStacks because Windows 11 would have Android App compatibility built into the OS itself. With a little help from Amazon of course.
To be able to download android apps on your Windows 11 PC all you would need to do is get the Amazon App store on your PC and log into your Amazon account then download away.
These Features in the Windows 11 Preview are…
Great so far and who knows, there may even be more features implemented as we go further down the line.
But what I can say thus far is that the features I’ve seen in the Windows 11 Preview are something I look forward to using. And I think Windows 11 itself may just be onto something good. I can’t wait to see what else the new operating system has in store for us.