Sunday, September 24, 2023

Microsoft is testing its tablet-friendly taskbar again in Windows 11

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Microsoft is reintroducing its tablet-friendly taskbar in the latest preview of Windows 11. The taskbar was first introduced in February alongside other new features included for an eventual rollout in Windows 11, but was later withdrawn for more internal development. Microsoft said in a blog post that the taskbar is part of an update being rolled out to Windows Insiders in the developer channel and will only be available for PCs that can be used as tablets such as 2-in-1s, not laptops or desktop PCs.

The taskbar itself is designed to be hidden when a tablet user is not using it, requiring more screen space. When collapsed, it shows “critical” things on it, such as the time and battery percentage. When expanded, it reveals various apps, widgets, and the Home button, and appears more apt to touch when in use. The taskbar is designed to return to its optimized position when disconnected or when the keyboard is collapsed on a 2-in-1 device.

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft is also introducing other features that work on non-2-in-1 devices in the latest update, especially in the notification area. The latest update brings animated icons and illustrations to the Settings app by adding them to the sidebar when you hover over the options in the menu. These updates also contain some bug fixes for Settings, Widgets, Task Manager and Windowing.

A settings menu on Windows 11 with illustrated icons

The new update includes animated icons in the Windows 11 settings.
Image: Microsoft

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