Microsoft released a new version of Windows 11 on Tuesday (20). The update for the second half of 2022 (22H2) is the biggest since the system launched in October 2021, and it arrives with new security and productivity updates. New functions include, for example, an intelligent system to protect the computer from malicious applications and “focus mode”, which minimizes system distractions and helps the user to concentrate on his tasks. The update also marks the availability of Android apps in the Microsoft Store for 31 countries. For Brazilians, however, the resource remains a promise: the country was not included in the list.
- Six features of Windows 11 that will make your life easier
The update will be rolled out gradually for all users starting today. It is likely, however, that computers with newer hardware will be prioritized. In the following lines, TechTudo lists the main updates for Windows 11 and shows how to install the update on your computer.
Windows 11 portable office laptop — Photo: Handout/Microsoft
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Finally, tabs in Windows Explorer
In this update, Microsoft responded to user requests and brought the tab feature to Windows Explorer. With the new feature, it will be easier to manage and navigate through folders and files. However, the feature won’t come to PCs until October. In addition, the file browser will allow you to pin your most used folders and files to the home page and will now show the sync status of your OneDrive files.
Windows Explorer will get tabs for easier navigation — Photo: Disclosure / Microsoft
Still on the usability of the system, the manufacturer has also made changes to the Start menu, which now allows you to group application icons into folders with a drag-and-drop movement – in the style of Android and iOS phones – and in Windows 11 search, now faster and more accurate.
Android apps in the Microsoft Store
One of Microsoft’s key promises for Windows 11, native support for Android apps didn’t make it to the release of the software version. Until then, the feature was only available to users participating in the Windows Insider program in the United States. With the update, the manufacturer will expand its partnership with the Amazon App Store to 31 countries in the coming weeks. The Brazilians will have to wait a little longer because Brazil was not on the list.
The CapCut app is available for download in the Microsoft Store — Photo: Disclosure/Microsoft
Now users in the covered countries will be able to find and download more than 20,000 Android games and apps directly from the Microsoft Store, without the need to install an emulator. The list of apps ranges from social networks like TikTok and the popular video editor CapCut to games like Subway Surfers and the Kindle app, Amazon’s e-reader.
As far as productivity is concerned, the main novelty of the update is the so-called “focus sessions”. The feature allows the user to set the time during which they want to focus and activate the timer. When the countdown begins, Windows automatically turns on Do Not Disturb mode, which silences notifications and disables taskbar icons. The goal is to reduce distractions and help the user complete the task in the allotted time.
“Focus Sessions” feature helps the user to focus and be more productive — Photo: Handout/Microsoft
Snap Layouts have also received improvements. The function that allows you to organize different windows open on the desktop has been extended to Microsoft Edge. Now it will be possible to see multiple browser tabs simultaneously and much faster.
New accessibility features
One of Microsoft’s goals is to “make computers easier to use and safer for everyone.” For this, the manufacturer has invested in accessibility tools. One of them is voice access, which allows you to control your computer with just your voice. In a press demo, the feature was used to open folders, minimize windows and dictate words in documents, for example.
Windows 11’s “Voice Access” feature lets you control your PC with just your voice — Photo: Disclosure / Microsoft
Also new is the Live Captions feature, which can automatically generate subtitles from any sound in Windows 11 – from system alerts to YouTube videos. Microsoft has also added more natural voices to Narrator in Windows 11. The idea is to provide a more pleasant experience to help you read or browse the web. According to the company, nearly one in five people benefit from accessibility features on their computer. It is worth noting that these resources are currently only available in English.
In terms of security, the main new feature of Windows 11 is Smart App Control, a tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to protect users and businesses from malicious apps that contain malware or other threats. Built on the core computing capabilities of Windows Defender, the app creates an AI model of the 43 trillion security signals that Microsoft maps daily to predict whether an app is safe. It’s worth mentioning that you need to perform a clean install of Windows 11 to access this feature.
Smart App Control is a new security feature in Windows 11 — Photo: Handout/Microsoft
New video editor and camera features
Among the novelties of the Windows 11 update is ClipChamp, the system’s new video editor. With a simple interface, the software promises to make video editing easy and has basic features such as cutting, effects and transitions, various templates and a video audio library. It’s worth mentioning that in the web version of ClipChamp, the free plan allows you to export videos up to 1080p (HD) and without a watermark. To unlock the premium features, you need to subscribe to the Pro version which costs BRL 84 per month.
ClipChamp is a new video editor for Windows 11 — Photo: Disclosure/Microsoft
The new Windows 11 also got what Microsoft calls “Windows Studio Effects,” a tool to enhance the image and sound of users during video calls. Effects include a sort of portrait mode, which blurs the background of the environment; background noise filtering for greater clarity of the speaker’s voice; and auto-framing, a feature similar to Apple’s Center Stage, which tracks and centers the user in the video frame.
Windows Studio Effects configuration screen — Photo: Disclosure/Microsoft
How to upgrade to a new version of Windows 11
If you already have Windows 11 installed and want to download the new version, just go to system settings, select “Windows Update” and then click “Check for updates”. It’s worth noting that the update should be rolling out to PCs gradually – PCs with newer hardware should be prioritized.
Windows 10 users who want to migrate to a new system should check if their computer is compatible using the PC Health Check program. It’s worth noting that the minimum installation requirements remain the same. Another way to check is to open Windows Update and select “Check for updates”: if your computer meets the requirements, an option will appear to download and install the new version.
See also: Five highlights of Windows 11, Microsoft’s new system
Windows 11: see five highlights of Microsoft’s new system