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Windows 11’s next big change should make using Windows tablets more user friendly

Windows tablets aren’t super common right now, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a thing.

In fact, while the most common Windows tablets are the Microsoft Surface Pro lineup, there’s a bunch of other lower-end Windows tablets too as well as 2-in-1 laptops that can be used in tablet mode. With so much work put into making Windows 11 friendlier than ever for touch-based devices, Microsoft’s new updates for Windows 11 should make the experience even better.

In the latest Windows Insider build of Windows 11, Microsoft reveals that they’ve made the taskbar just that bit more optimised for use on a tablet. There will now be a new taskbar state specifically for tablets and also automatically kicks in once it detects that your 2-in-1 device’s keyboard has been disconnected or folded. However, it won’t work on regular laptops or desktop PCs. Essentially, this new taskbar can now either be collapsed or expanded.

When it’s collapsed, the taskbar becomes much, much thinner, giving you just that bit of extra screen real estate while also making it harder to accidentally hit the taskbar’s icons while using your tablet. It will however still how critical status icons. Meanwhile, when in expanded state, the taskbar is bigger and allows for easy use with touch. To switch between the two, you simply need to swipe up and down on the bottom of your tablet or 2-in-1 device. If you want to try this out after installing the latest Dev Preview of Windows 11, you can find the option for it in Settings > Personalisation > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviours.

That’s not the only major change Microsoft is introducing in this preview build of Windows 11 though. Microsoft has also tweaked the Widgets feature, allowing for more dynamic content to the Widgets screen. It seems that they’ve merged the news feed and widgets together into what they’re calling a ‘dynamic blended feed’, and ought to make it easier for users to discover and use widgets as well as comb through their news feed. However, you can still personalise your Widgets screen the way you want to, and pin any widgets you use often on the top too.

This is on top of all the other bug fixes and user experience optimisations that they’ve done as well to improve Windows 11, such as an improved snap assist for windows and 37 new emoji characters.

Curiously, this Windows Insider build is also available for ARM64 PCs, which means if you’re using something like the Microsoft Surface Pro X you could try it out too. For more information on the full changelog of what’s coming to the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview Build, you can click here to see the full blog post.


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